This morning I was able to join the walkers of the International Women’s Club on their ramble for only the second time.  They really are easy to be with….fun, grounded, non demanding….Everyone goes at their own pace so small groupings occur, and no one passes judgment on the quick or the slow.

The location is just about twenty minutes down the road from here so I felt comfortable driving myself….although as I neared the meeting place I realized that I had no drivers license or identification with me!  A bad habit from so much of the local run abouts and not worrying about having to carry my wallet, especially as I am the passenger.  I don’t think I want to find out what the consequences would be here!  Police rarely come out this far so I didn’t really think I had to worry, though.

There were about ten of us, some of whom I knew from before.  Hats, sunscreen, sunglasses, insect repellant, binoculars, and cameras were put to use as we meandered up the dirt road.  I chose to lag behind with the slowest who were nursing a bad back and a troublesome ankle.  Cows and flowers gave us reason to pause.  Sheelagh, from Scotland, is an orchid hobbyist so is always keeping her eyes out for specimens.  She even found two lying in the road to rescue and attempt to get to flower at her house.  Sandy has a new camera she is trying to learn how to use.

Los Angeles has become quite an expat locale, seeming to consist of a lot of thriving hippies of all ages.  The Ticos aren’t too fond of their presence as there is little attempt to blend in with the community.  Some of the houses in the video are quite a step above what the regular people can afford, unless they spent time in the US to save money for a house grander than their childhood.

After a bit Sheelagh and Sandy decided to go no further while the rest of us continued on.  Soon the houses stopped while the road began to get even steeper.  There is a Buddhist retreat we didn’t get to but is supposedly quite breathtaking.  The gang decided to turn around and head back to the others who we found bird watching.  A summer tanager, blue gray tanager, flycatchers, etc. were darting about having their lunch while we took turns deciding what animal we would choose to be reincarnated as.  Jane, someone would like to be an otter!  As Cathy broke the theme and chose to be a world class figure skater I decided I would match her as that is a fantasy I have had for years, though she did say she would like to be her dogs as she knows what a good life they have!

Back down by the cars we chose to perch on the many rocks to have our own mid-day meal.  The conversation centered on local bakeries (sadly not much to write about), cheeses (which are beginning to become more to our liking thanks to the few artisans in the country), our ages, and obtaining residency here.  The oldest were born in ’45 while I was the youngest being born in ’52.  The two from Scotland were complaining that even though they contributed to their pension for decades they are denied a cost of living increase simply for living out of the country.  The US is one of the few countries who still taxes citizens while living overseas, but we do get a COLA from social security.

Bill and I should hear about our residency status March 10 when our agent has a meeting with immigration, at our request.  The former minister did a great job in trying to clean up the process and move things along, but his successor doesn’t seem to be continuing his hard work…..Then we have to get CAJA, the national health insurance, before we will be given our cedula, local identification.  I think that has to be completed within a month.  The last hurdle will be obtaining our Costa Rican drivers license so we don’t have to enjoy the stress of border runs any more.