Saturday, March 08, 2008

Knit-Ins are going Great!

And now there are 5... crafters meeting regularly. We really do knit/crochet, but we are having a ball getting to know each other also. All have lived here different time periods, some speak more Spanish than others, but we all love to do things with our hands. New learners, and more seasoned knitters, all helping each other. Not only do we realize each others crafting skills, but often are able to assist in other ways also. Problem solving is always easier if someone else has 'been there, done that', and can tell you what worked for them. In a foreign country, friends are a necessity, as well as a blessing. I never dreamed I would be having so much fun in my retirement. Like most, I figured I would have to work at something, (i.e. greeter at WalMart, bell ringer at Christmas) just to make ends meet on a pension. Living here, means I have learned to deal with other aspects of retirement in different ways, but I still have time to really enjoy my retirement also.

Several of my friends are building homes and are working through all the elements that go with that. Seeing the progress, and the delight in their eyes, encourages me as well. I bought a pre-existing home, and am very happy with it, as it is more of a northern style home. Just seeing how happy my friends are when things go right, makes the more difficult battles easier also.

Above: new knitter/a beautiful
Next: our crocheter/a beautiful
Below: the teacher's helping hands
a baby blanket

At the Knit-In, one discussion developed about our most difficult 'thing, time, process' here, so far. These were the things we discussed: language barrier, paying bills, getting address changes made for certain accounts, having to arrange for repairs and the time it takes to get the proper assistance, and darned if I remember the rest. Age does that to you, even here. I guess I will have to start taking notes if I want to write them later. The thing that struck me the most was, for each item, one of the others had a solution or at least another avenue to try. One of the gals brought a gas stove, and 3 months later, is still trying to get it in working order here. Most USA stoves are set up for natural gas, and all gas here is propane. The best thing, if you are bringing one here, is to have a repair person convert it before packing it to ship. Same would be true of a gas dryer. Mine was on propane in the states, so no conversion was necessary. Most appliances develop some problem when you go to use them here anyway. The electrical items all seem to have something wrong. My washer, dryer, and refrigerator, all had to be repaired within a week of getting here. The washer had a transmission leak, which we found when we moved it to put it on the truck. To say the power here is the same, is not completely correct. I have an APC power surge protector, which always ran on the backup battery, which has now burnt out. The power is lower, and gets surges and goes out frequently, so maintaining a constant rate for a computer is difficult. The computer works fine on a less high-tech protector, but I dare say, perhaps not as protected either. I will replace the battery in the better one when my daughter comes to visit and brings it. Until then, I pray more.

Even with all the pitfalls, the silver lining is still wonderful. Helping each other get through all these difficulties, makes each of us stronger, and enriches our friendships too. For those who refuse to 'fit in' to this way of life, they don't make it here very long, and find they would rather put up with being a greeter at WalMart, and return home. For the rest of us, we are home.


Scott S said...

It is wonderful the community of friends you have developed in Costa Rica. I have begun to find fascination in the number Americans that now live in Costa Rica. I must have read a dozen blogs about that in the last two days.

Two that I specifically recall are Costa Rica HQ and one called yo-yoinparadise. They are both by Americans that moved to Costa Rica.

They are all passionate advocates of how great a place Costa Rica is to live.

Is there a large American population there now? Do many live together and are there "American" areas?

Scott S.

Mae said...

Hi Scott S.
Thank you for your comment! To answer your questions... Yes, many Americans live here now, not sure how many, but I personally know more here, than I did where I lived for 25 years, in the states. It is somewhat like a military community, in that, knowing each other keeps us connected in different ways. Different things to different people.
Some Gringos live as neighbors, and others really only have Tico neighbors. Each city/town has different elements of living situations: some are gated communities, some are Tico style homes, some are developments where many buying into them are Gringos. Some Gringos buy land, and develop a very private life there, while others do reforesting. I think for every person here, there is a different expectation, and dream, I suppose, they hope to realize. Keep reading, there are many of us who blog, and love to share our experiences. Many are willing to assist others coming here in any way possible.