Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Be Careful Which American Dream You Choose

The American Dream -- In Search of More Stuff

The simplicity in which the BriBri lived their lives was stunning.  A child we saw had one toy -- Elmo on a string that dangled from the palm-thatched rafters.  Do children really need much more than that?  Do we?  I'm surrounded by stuff that I have to take care of.  I want to resist the urge to keep up with friends and relatives and be content with what I have.

As we drove to the BriBri village, we passed just a few yards from a river that forms the boundary line between Costa Rica and Panama.  This is by far the farthest south I've ever been.

On the way home from the BriBri, Jackie took us to a waterfall for a swim.  The water was the perfect temperature.  I got out when some fish started nibbling on me.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Cahuita and Exotic Flora and Fauna

The American Dream of Retirement

Cahuita is on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, a country where Americans have flocked in recent years for an affordable American dream of retirement.  It was an interesting town.  Its main street was four blocks long, lined with restaurants that had no walls.  No need for walls, the weather is pleasant year-round.  Most of the eateries had concrete floors, but we had a delicious traditional Costa Rican lunch at one with a dirt floor.  A family made a living there serving guests at one table perched unevenly among tree roots and at one bar with six stools in front of it.  

Fauna and Flora of the Americas

The atmosphere of Cahuita was exotic to me.  One dead tree on Main Street played daily host to a dozen vultures.

The vulture tree

I had my first experience with howler monkeys.  Pre-dawn, these tiny creatures howl like giant vampires lusting to sink their teeth into human flesh.  I learned from the proprietor of our hotel that the monkeys resent human intrusion into their territory and take every opportunity to poop on cars or on people's beach towels left outdoors over railings.

Like the fauna, the flora was exotic.

I don't know its name, but I love it.

The Caribbean coast near Cahuita is the site of national forest that stretches to the horizon.

Our hotel proprietor, Marie-Claude, had a pet parrot that she worried about.  He was only half-wild -- he spent nights in the hotel in his cage with his food box.  He flew around freely during the day but couldn't be relied on to fend for himself in the wild.  He could say hello in English, French, Spanish and Dutch.  When we laughed at his antics, he laughed back at us, which made us laugh harder, and him harder, on and on...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Unleash the Genius of the American People

I appreciated the opportunity to see how others in the Americas live, as you'll see below.  We are wildly blessed in the United States, and I think it's because of the Judeo-Christian values the country was founded on, which most of our people have tried to live out.  God's respect for the individual as portrayed in the Bible is the source of our Constitutional freedoms, which unleashed the genius of the American people.  We need country-wide to practice those same values of work, generosity to those in need, and worship of Creator God to unleash our genius again.

The Caribbean from within the national park in Cahuita, Costa Rica. We saw white-faced and howler monkeys, an alligator, a boat-billed heron, raccoons and a black bird with yellow feet and bill that might have been a toucan.  Also some lovely butterflies.  We looked diligently for sloths but for some reason they never caught our eye.

Somebody parked a trailer and left it too long in Cahuita.

Typical Cahuita houses.  Colorful, minimal.