A few days in Montezuma

Today we splashed in the waves of Montezuma’s Playa Grande, which, thankfully can only be accessed by foot. While dealing with the never-ending onslaught of waves, Liam and I came up with a series of names for our manuevers:

Undies – for under the wave

Ovies – for over

Bundies – for but-first into the wave

Pitsters – for armpit first (pronounced like pictures, with a bluebear accent)

Sitsters – sit underwater as the wave goes over you (pronounced “sisters”)

Layzers – lay down underwater

There was also the modifier:

Handy – which meant “hold hands while doing this maneuver.”

and at the end there was also:

Daddies – for when your daddy picks you up and holds you above the waves, or when you get a ride on his back.

This is CLEARLY a “pitster.”
I think this may have been an “Ovie.”

The Adventures of Jimmy and Jimmy

Jimmy and Jimmy are, in Reid and Liam’s world a pair of silly small turtles, probably babies, who scarcely get beyond interrupting Escoffier to introduce themselves. “Hi, I’m Jimmy!”

“Hi! I’m Jimmy too!” They say, represented by a fist with the middle knuckle extended for the head. “… Hi. I’m Jimmy!…” The repeat. It’s cute and crazy. 

Here, instead is Reid’s first graphic novel, with a different set of characters, also named Jimmy and Jimmy.


Today, I woke up to the krawk, krawk, krawk of a Keel-billed Toucan. I’m going to miss that. Again, the young cows wandered into our yard to eat the grass this morning, and we just let them. Minutes ago, an irridescent green hummingbird landed on a branch out my window not 5 feet from my face, and I didn’t even take the time to stare, they are so common.

With only a handful of days left in Monteverde I have begun celebrating our lasts. We had our last Quaker meeting yesterday. I was the greeter. I welcomed everyone, explained that everyone must find their own translation help if needed, and stepped through announcements.  Oh – there’s the hummingbird again – let’s see … green, brown, blue tail, small…perhaps the steely-vented hummingbird, even though it would be uncommon at the altitude, everything is moving up the mountain.

We’ve had a number of last dinners with Sue and Richard and Ed and Jenny and Alia, with Fern and Luis, and last night Lori and Kori threw a great party, and the whole community showed up. Music and food and good conversation late into the night. Tonight I’ll have my last or second to last futbol game.

We are packing. The art is off the wall. Things are moving apart on their own now.

Paul and his Bellbird

One of the many neighbors who has brought us joy this year is our neighbor Paul Smith. Within minutes of meeting him, we discovered that he had attended Kodai School in India, where Tim and I previously taught, and our friendship just took off from there.

Paul is an artist, a retired dairy farmer, a climate change activist, a solar vehicle enthusiast, and a fellow with a great laugh, among other things. He took my writing class at the Institute and produced a wonderful essay about his most recent endeavor, building a Bellbird with his friend John out of found materials:



Paul’s essay was published in the Tico Times–it’s a great story!


Todd and Susie are incredibly loyal friends when it comes to visiting us in unlikely places. They came to India–twice!!–and this year, now with Maeve and Hazel in tow, they generously made the trip down to Costa Rica.

We were clearly busy playing–and not taking photos–but here are a few.




Solentiname Islands

We made our last visit to Nicaragua in April when we visited the Solentiname Island of Mancaron. This island was historically a fishing community, but became the focal point of the work of a famous Nicaraguan liberation theologian and of an arts renaissance. The island was beautiful and interesting to explore, though it seems to be in a rough spot at the moment with community conflicts over land.


Liam joined a night pick-up soccer game in the first town we stayed in–I admire his courage!


Montezuma Oropendola nests.
The epiphytes were stunning.
But the play ground had been decimated by the January hurricane.



We took a traditional art class with a local family who runs the hotel Sueño Feliz. The art was carving balsa wood into birds with everything from machetes to smaller knives, then painting them. The father and the daughter taught us, and helped us to carve the birds, while the mother and son helped us to paint them.P1070416P1070431P1070451P1070455

The church was lovely, but went seemingly unused, even the Sunday before Easter.