77. The Circle of Life

Sunday 5/1- Today is my last day of freedom… ok, maybe that is a little bit dramatic. Beginning tomorrow I start my new job which will keep me more tied down than I have been since I left my job back in MN. I decided that I wanted to be slightly spontaneous today and asked Ramie if he wanted to go to the beach. Of course, I don’t really think he would ever say no to a spontaneous day at the beach, so we changed into our suits, grabbed a few bottles of water, decided we’d bring Breeze with us, and headed to the secret beach. Since it was early, we decided we’d go simple today and not pack drinks or lunch, skip the umbrella and chairs, and just go for a nice long walk- or at least as long as Breeze would last. Truly, there are times where I just want to go to the beach to walk, and walk, and walk—and that’s how I felt today. So, we got to the beach, we parked at the end of the road, we kicked off our sandals in the car, and we walked. We made it about 5 minutes into our walk and we started to notice dead fish skulls along the high-tide line. That’s weird! As we continued to walk we saw more and more. The skulls were completely clean of any skin, so they must have been there for at least a few days for the birds and bugs to clean them off. We started speculating- either there was a fisherman that cleaned the fish near here and left the garbage for nature, then the birds picked them up and spread them out, or there was a big fish die-off and the corpses all ended up left behind on the beach after high tide. These were pretty good sized fish by the size of the skulls, and we even ended up finding a whole in-tact fish skeleton. That, I must say, was pretty neat.

We continued on farther down the beach and could see dozens and dozens of the black vulture-like birds all together in one big group. Well, that’s odd! Maybe they are eating these dead fish? Breeze didn’t seem bothered by them, nor them by her. Surprisingly, she didn’t try to chase them off like I would have expected her to. I think Ramie wanted to run into the birds more than Breeze did. Once we got closer, we could see that these birds were in fact eating something dead, but it was bigger than a fish. 

As we got closer still, the birds moved away but didn’t completely fly away. As it turns out, there was a dead sea turtle on the beach that the birds were going to town on. Woah! We weren’t expecting to find that on our beach trip this morning. Since we weren’t too far from the car, I had to go back to get my camera. Since I wanted to get up and move today anyway, and joked with Ramie on the drive here about coming to run on the beach, I actually did get the opportunity to run. I ran back to the car, grabbed my phone, and ran back to Ramie, Breeze, and the turtle corpse. It was only about a 10 minute run, but it actually felt pretty darn good. Too bad this beach is a half hour drive from our house otherwise I’d come to run here more often. Anyway, we grabbed some pictures of the turtle, and since I had my camera, grabbed a picture of the fish skeleton (pictured above) and continued our walk down the beach.

We kept going until Breeze started to slow down, which we know means that she’s tired, so we turned around to go back to the car, get her a drink and let her rest. We coaxed her into the water to play a little bit, then finally got her back to the river for a drink of fresh mountain water, and then continued walking in the opposite direction. After a little while longer we decided that we felt good and had spent long enough walking, so would head back home for the afternoon. 

Monday 5/2- As I mentioned previously, I was supposed to start my new job today. One little problem though, I still didn’t have my work computer! My new employer was shipping down the whole setup that his regular office employees have, and it was coming in 4 separate packages. The computer in one, the monitors in one, the monitor stand in one, and the cables, headset, and other odds & ends in the last. I got 2 of the 4 about a week ago, the stand and the cables (of course, the 2 that wouldn’t do me any good without the other 2). My computer and my monitors were stuck in customs. About the same time that my packages were delivered to customs in San Jose, the Costa Rica “Hacienda” computer system was hacked. This affected many government websites including customs, immigration, and other things that we probably aren’t even aware of. 

Let me backup for a second- you are probably wondering how shipping works for us, since I have told you numerous times that they don’t have mail or even addresses down here. Well, there is this company called Aeropost that is kind of like UPS or FedEx. I set up an account with them and I got an address in Miami with a specific account number. Now, I can have things shipped to that address, they will air-freight it to Costa Rica, bring it through customs, then deliver it to the Aeropost location in Uvita. Their office location is literally walking distance from our house and we can see the back of their building from our backyard. So, technically, if I wanted something shipped down here, or I bought something from Amazon, I could have it delivered here. 

The only catch is- it’s EXPENSIVE!!! We had to use them once before when we had an item from Amazon that we needed in order to complete our house build. (It's something we could have shipped down in our pallets but there were some changes to the house plans during construction that made us need this when we didn't originally) The item cost $46 and the shipping and taxes were an additional $112. We’ve decided that unless it’s something VERY important, it’s just not going to get shipped here! So, with this work equipment, they are reimbursing me for the cost of the shipping, so that is what made this new job possible.

Anyway- due to the hack of the government computer system, the most important of the 4 packages- the computer- was stuck. I have been at Aeropost about every-other-day for the last week asking if my other 2 have arrived, and they keep telling me that there is nothing anyone can do right now and to keep checking back. I have been in contact with my new boss and his staff and explained the situation. They are very understanding and assured me that we’ll just play it by ear, and I’ll start when I get the equipment.

Since I wasn’t able to start work today, and since Ramie did have to work at the animal sanctuary, I stayed home and played Suzie Homemaker. I started the morning by throwing together a batch of bread for the bread maker (it’s turning out that I love this machine- I didn’t really think I would, but Ramie is having great luck with it and I’m having fun experimenting with alternative flours that I can have), and then taking out my sewing machine to work on some more tool pouches for Ramie to organize more of his things. I felt pretty accomplished for the morning, so when Ramie got home, I asked him if he wanted to go to the beach again, because, why not?! Who knows, when I’ll have a chance to go again, so we might as well make it worthwhile today. We didn’t bring Breeze with us this time so we could walk as far and as long as we wanted to without worrying about her, so off we went to the beach.

Wouldn’t you know it- we found something interesting on the beach again today. A herd of cows! Seriously, I couldn’t even make this stuff up if I wanted to. As we were walking, we saw some hoof prints and laughed about someone bringing their pet cow to the beach like we bring Breeze. Why would someone bring their cow to the beach? Maybe the cow likes to swim too? Before long we discovered the source of the hoof prints in the sand- there were about 20 cows all just chilling along the tree line. No human in sight anywhere. I’m guessing someone led them down there this morning, but for what reason, we will never know. Of course, I didn’t bring my camera with me (because we try not to bring anything with us when we are out on the beach) and I wasn’t going to run all the way back today to get it, but it was definitely an interesting sight! I guess the cows love taking in the view and listening to the waves crash just as much as we do. Who would have thought, Beach Cows!?! Hahaha!!

On the way home from the beach, we stopped to check if my computer had arrived yet- nothing.  Maybe I'll get to go to the beach tomorrow again too?!

Tuesday 5/3- This morning I woke up to an email from Aeropost indicating that my packages may have arrived. (Yeah, it doesn’t just tell you they are there, it asks for payment and says you can pick it up soon) so instead of paying online, we went up to the store once they were open. Sure enough, the packages were there! One huge one containing the monitors and one small one with the computer. Exactly what I needed to start working! I emailed the people that were coordinating my training, got a hold of the IT guy that had to set things up for me, and we decided that tomorrow afternoon I would work with IT to set things up, and Thursday morning I would officially start my first day of on-boarding. I only ended up starting 2.5 days later than expected, but that’s the shipping system here in Costa Rica! 

P.S.  Happy Birthday Dad!! 

Thursday 5/5- Friday 5/6- And today it all begins- the next chapter in my Pura Vida life= Work

For the first time in over 2 years (since prior to COVID) I have to get up, get dressed, and GO to work every day. As many of you know, once COVID hit and they closed our offices I worked from home every day (other than a handful of partial days that I went to the office to get supplies & mail) until I left my job to move here. We didn’t do video calls at all, so that meant I didn’t have to do my hair, didn’t have to do my makeup, didn’t have to change out of my lounge around the house clothes, and didn’t have to even attempt to make myself look presentable. I also didn’t have to pack my lunch, drink my coffee from a to-go-mug, or plan for anything because it was all right there at home. It was weird at first, but having worked at home a few days a week prior to that, it didn’t take long to get used to, and got used to it I DID!!!

Now, since we still don’t have internet at our house, I would have to get dressed, pack a lunch, and bring my coffee with me. Makeup was a no-go, that just melts off of my face here anyway, and hair- well, there’s really no taming the frizz here, but I will try to make myself look presentable. 

I quickly learned that this company LOVES to do video calls, so I had to do my best every morning now to look ok for the co-workers, and even dress up a little for zoom calls with clients. I had to pack a lunch to bring with me, and I either had to drink my coffee before I left home or pull out the trusty to-go mug and bring it with me (I can’t work, heck, it’s hard for me to function at all, un-caffeinated! Good thing I live in the land of coffee, even though coffee take-out isn’t really a thing here.)

Originally my plan was to work from the mini-golf course in the conference room they had upstairs in the offices, however after trying a video call there a week or so ago, it appeared that the speed just wasn’t strong enough to support what I would be doing. We talked to Geiner about it, and he offered, instead, that I could use his old office at his house. He has a separate little building at his house that used to be his office before they had the office at the mini-golf, and he didn’t use it anymore. It has a bathroom, and the modem for his house is also located in his old office so I can plug directly into it. I took him up on the offer, and now have my very own private office to work from. Not to mention the internet speed is great so I don't have to worry about glitchy video calls. This is just another reason we really love the Tico culture. They are so friendly and willing to help however they can, so Geiner if your reading this thank you so much!

I’m an early riser, and the rest of my team is on East Coast time (2 hours later than here) so my agreed upon hours start at 7am for me and that works out perfectly right now. Once we have the internet at home (and I’m done with much of my training/collaborating with team members) I might start at 6, but for now 7 is perfect. Ramie brings me to work, drops me off and picks me up when I’m finished (my own private chauffeur, boy do I feel fancy!) Oh and to this day I still have not driven. Making it nearly a year since I’ve been behind the wheel of a car.

Thursday & Friday, days 1 and 2 of work were LONG and EXHAUSTING! It was constant- one video call after another, training, showing me how the systems work, showing me where to find things, talking about practices and procedures, just constant. Each day was 7.5 hours with no breaks other than a few minutes here and there so I could use the bathroom. I probably could have raised a surrender flag and asked for a 15- or 30-minute break, but I figured that these first few days would be crazy and that I would just push through them. I’m a good sport like that. Once we get through these initial training days, things will (hopefully) run at a smoother pace! By the end of both days my brain was exploding with information overload, I was mentally exhausted, and I was physically drained from being on video calls all day meeting new people and forcing myself to be the bright cheery person I so often am (but usually not for 7.5 hours straight with no breaks). The systems and procedures are new and confusing, but the people seem very helpful, nice, and approachable. I probably forgot half of what I learned, so the fact that these coworkers are friendly and helpful will be a life saver! Once I get comfortable with the job part of things, I think I’ll enjoy working for this company.

**Real time update **

After working here for this company for a few months, things are settling into a good routine.  The co-workers are fantastic and the work is interesting.  Some days are still a little bit crazy, but it is like that with any job, and the fact that they are allowing me to do all of this from Costa Rica just makes this so perfect.  I know a few of my co-workers are probably reading this now, so yes, I will admit, that first week was intense, but I'm so glad I made it through and to where I am now!

Pura Vida- welcome back to the working world!


  1. Glad to see that you are now, once again, a useful member of humanity and can once again pay tax's which part of that goes into my retirement, thank you and Edie thanks you also. We are happy to see that all is coming together for your new life and you can truly start to enjoy life in paradise. Keep up the good work and above all, enjoy life to the fullest!

  2. I will say working a scheduled job is hard for Dana to get used to after almost a year off. She is a trooper and still trucking away at it. I have to earn my keep by keeping her happy around the house, so I do the day to day stuff now, except cook, I dont like to do that! Thanks for the well wishes it means a lot to us.


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