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About Kamran

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  1. Thank you all very much again. I found the comments addressing how to find "like-minded" people for building a community of friends most helpful. I am partial to cooler climate in the Central Valley. Currently, I live in Atenas, which is a farming community. I need to find an area which is very close to nature, close to a university town, and higher altitude for cooler climate, I am not sure of such combination exists, but I will keep searching.
  2. I would like input from others, and perhaps more from those who already written. Let me thank you for sharing your experience and giving me advice. However, most of you focused on one issue--what should a "gringo" expect from the Ticos culture and how should he act to be accepted at some point in the future. This is my fourth visit to the country and this is not the first "foreign" country I have visited or lived in. The U.S. is my adopted country. I arrived there 41 years ago speaking very little English. But I had relatively very little problem getting "inside" the American society. The act that my English was poor did not bar me from meeting Americans, becoming friends with them, to date, to work, to study. In fact, that is how I learned English good enough to serve on editorial boards. I am confident that I can learn--and in fact I have been learning--Spanish well. It is only a matter of time. My question is a little different from issue of how to integrate into a new culture--Ticos or any other. Here it is in a compact form. Can someone of with the type of interests and background find a community here in Central Valley? For example, can I find others who would be interested or involved in helping to resolve the ecological/environmental crisis the world face. Please note: they can be anybody, any nationality, gender, race, age, education level, etc. Can I hope to find book clubs form to study philosophy, science, social science, international politics? Can I find others interested in ending the suffering of animals, domesticated or wild? In the U.S. I belong to the Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy, Center for Biological DIversity, to name a few organizations. I have lunch with friends (academic or not) who care about similar issues. I have a yoga group, mediation group, gym bodies, etc. Can I find the same activities here? I hope I have defined my question better and may benefit from any insight you may want to share with me. Answers to such questions matter to me very much. They help me decide whether Costa Rica--as beautiful as it is--is right for me. Thank you very much.
  3. As some of you might know, I have now been living in Costa Rica for a short while trying to see if it can be my new home. I came here primarily for nature, although I also like the generally nice Tico people. However, to may dismay, I am finding out that it is rather difficult to find a "community of like-minded people" here. I am writing to get your input as I try to figure this out myself. I am a retired academic who taught and researched social science and policy for 30 years at the University of California (Berkeley) and State University of New York (Brooklyn). I am also an ecological socialist--someone who believes that our social organization should primarily be based on solidarity and harmony, not only within and between nations but also with nature. I meditate, practice yoga, read, write, like to invite friends over for good conversation food, wine, and a laugh. However, in my short stay here so far, I am finding that the Ticos I know keep mostly to themselves. They are polite, helpful but not social, at least not with "gringos." Last night, I went to dinner with another "gringo" and four Ticos and almost the entire time, they talked among themselves and the two of us talked to each other. Ever since I have been here, I have invited people over for dinner every weekend. Only one couple, a Tico family with whom I stayed for 6 weeks last year, returned the favor. I have an extensive social network in the U.S. and indeed in several other countries. So, I think I am not entirely misjudging the situation here in Costa Rica--it seems rather difficult to built a community of the type that I am interested in. I would be gratified if anyone could shed more light on this issue. What is your experience like? Have you succeeded in forming a community of your choice? If so, what is it like? If not, what were the hurdles? Thank you.
  4. Last week, I took several bags of recyclable materials to the center near Cruz Rojo in Atenas. The gate was open. I walked in and left the stuff there--there were workers breaking up glass bottles, etc. So, it seemed back in operation. Except, I found the gate closed for several days--but it was open again today--the Independence Day. I am not sure what is going on there!
  5. Just in response to the last post, anyone who knows of a good quality house with an open architecture with a hectare of land, privacy, in higher altitude (1100+ meters) please let me know. Alternatively, anyone who knows of a good lot with about a hectare of land in a similar situation as above, please write as well. I understand a good quality house can be built on a $600 m2. Thank you.
  6. With some advice from the forum participants, I am now in the process of searching for a lot near Atenas. In preparation for that day when i finally fine one or more candidates, I ma writing to ask how one appraise the quality of a lot. Are there engineers that can help determine of the land is in good enough shape to build a house on? How about legal help for title search and the purchase process. How about the bargaining process? I would appreciate any information, including names of experts I would need to recruit to help me in this process. Any information about their costs would be nice as well.
  7. Thank you all for the helpful information provided. Using your suggestions, I have just begun meeting with realtors. The reason I am looking for a lot and not a house is that I had twice bought and had to remodel homes in the U.S. I like open architectural forms and most house are built as rooms. I also like better quality materials, etc. So, it is difficult to find a house that I like. Also, I understand that it is more economical to built your own house than buy one already built. Still, I will look at houses that a are in locations I prefer--more secluded, close to untouched nature, at higher altitudes (900+ meters).
  8. I now convinced to try living here in CR. Anyone can suggest how to about getting good help with locating a large lot near Antenas?
  9. Kamran

    Vegan Diet, Need Help

    Where is a good place to buy spices, such as fenegreek and dill weed?
  10. Kamran

    Dengue Fever

    I now live in Atenas, so I can add more information. Yes, there is a serious epidemic of Dengue Fever here. The driver who picked me up from the airport had contracted Dengue and was taken to the hospital. There he learned that on an average day 240 people with Dengue were treated there. That is a large number. Later, I learned that a maid in the house I used to live last year is also sick with Dengue. So, there is much more Dengue Fever out there that is reported publicly. And, transmission is easy because lower-income Ticos neither have the preparedness nor the means to protect themselves.
  11. I am still not clear; can I still recycle in Atenas or not? I live in Hacienda Atenas. Thanks for any helpful response.
  12. Could you provide contact information for Mr. Pacheco (phone number, email, address)? I am also not familiar with the lay of the land (I still live in California) so I am not sure where Sabana Park or Casa Canada are. I need to make an eary appointment for the attorney to help me file my paper ASAP. Thank you very much.
  13. Last fall I hired an immigration lawyer upon recommendation from a Tica friend. The lawyer is good in many ways. But she is not very good at communicating either the administrative course of applying for a "retiree" status or telling me exactly how much I should pay her! So, unexpected things happen and she quotes different fees that I should pay. So far, I have collected all my documents that now need to be translated and then filed in San Jose. I like to know my options if my current lawyer does not negotiate in good faith. Can anyone suggest a good lawyer near Atenas (where I will be after mid-August). I need to file my documents before mid-September. Thank you.
  14. Kamran

    Good Wine!

    Great suggestions, thank you all very much. I think there is enough out there for me to survive and, if I be still unhappy, I may go into importing great wine at reasonable prices.
  15. Kamran

    Good Wine!

    Thank you Ciclista and Art for your recommendations. I would not mind (in fact, I have to) travel to SJ from time to time to shop for other things. So, any suggestions of where to go for a good selection of wines would be appreciated. In California, I prefer Merlos, Pino Noir and some very good mixes of grapes from California and some French wines. I have tried some Chilean and Argentinian wines in California but found them by-an-large inferior. Perhaps there is more variety of them available in Costa Rica (as I know there is very little California or French wines there).

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