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jklewis

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I don't think it necessarily a bad thing that kids "have" to attend a local public school. After all, in addition to the subjects they learn in school, it also gives them a language and cultural education. Parents can always fill in any gaps at home.

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Eleanor I didn't mean that is was 'bad' that they had to attend the local school, more that they had no choice in the matter. Parents must be willing and able to work with their children, whatever place they call home. They could have opted to pay for a private school, of course, but had no funds for this.

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For the record, homeschooling is illegal in CR. I've homeschooled the last 4 years & have kept my kids "out of the system" so far. I say "so far" because I'm friends with a family who lived in Jaco & while there a disgrunted employee turned them in to PANI for homeschooling. Their daughter now attends the local school to prevent further consequences (beyond the gov't agency's interference in their lives).

I've lived heree 9 years. I didn't know that home schooling was against the law, and I know a lot about this place! - in reply to the guy in Arenal, I, like him are tired of extending a hand in friendship, and pulling back a bloody stump!

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I've lived heree 9 years. I didn't know that home schooling was against the law, and I know a lot about this place! - in reply to the guy in Arenal, I, like him are tired of extending a hand in friendship, and pulling back a bloody stump!

Yes that can be discouraging and we don't have nine hands so unlike cats, er... wait, well you get it, I'm sure.

 

But that having been said, the Forums are here to help newbies with their questions, and so there is often repeated offers of the same or similar information that we oldbies lnow as old-hat from before. But it's not old-hat for the next newbie along who hasn't yet heard about it. So we forge on.

 

It does continue to amaze me, the combined wealth of knowledge, experience, and information there is on the Forums, for the offering. And even we 'oldbees' occasionally learn new things from each other. And if we momentarily tire of nipped knuckles, we can temporarily withdraw our hand of helpfulness and let the other Forums members take a turn to provide answers to the newbies.

 

So I encourage you to have patience with these newbies and to recall back to when you and the others of us here on the Forums were at that 'starting gate' waiting to rush off to tiiquicia. And we, too, had on rose-colored glasses back at the beginning -And some glasses were rather more tinted than others'.

 

Anyway as long as the Forums exist we will have newbies, so let's just settle in for the duration and hope we can be helpful to at least some of them. If the help is not accepted by this or that one, well, another newbie will be along in a minute or two looking for help.

 

[End of Motivational Rant for this time!]

 

Cheers!

 

Paul M.

==

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Nice to see my wife on and showing her feisty side.

 

I do appreciate all the advice and I'm listening. Please don't think I've stopped listening to any of you.

 

Most of you are talking from your own experience and it is a fool who does not learn from the mistakes of others. So please continue to tell me how things have gone wrong for you and what to look out for. What you wish you had known and what you know better now.

 

I doubt anyone moving to another country really has any idea what they are moving into. In the end we want change and from our research Costa Rica was the place we could agree upon as having the things we wanted. It doesn't make it less challenging to move or that will somehow have magically an easier time than any of you did.

 

It's hard to move. It's harder to move to another country.

 

As I said before, I think that ARCR is a great resource and I wish I'd found it sooner. I didn't. Mea Culpa.

 

But I'm here now and I've told you where we stand, that won't change. Help us make the best of our situation. :-)

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For the record, homeschooling is illegal in CR. I've homeschooled the last 4 years & have kept my kids "out of the system" so far. I say "so far" because I'm friends with a family who lived in Jaco & while there a disgrunted employee turned them in to PANI for homeschooling. Their daughter now attends the local school to prevent further consequences (beyond the gov't agency's interference in their lives).

 

Thank you very much for letting us know this. It's something we didn't know and it's very important to us.

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I think you are in for surprises, some good, and some bad. The excitement of it all might seem appealing for awhile.

 

As much as person might complain about the political situation in the US, you're in for rude surprises if you think it's better in CR. The good news is that so far the current "lady" Presidenta hasn't yet been accused of corruption or bribery, and that makes her rather unique, so far. Is she actually accomplishing anything useful so far...? Many would say no, although that's not entirely her fault. The legislators often behave with less ability than a middle school student council in the US, really!

 

I don't think that anyone should assume that years of research will teach them more than they will know after they've been in CR for 2-3 months.

 

I think those of us with on-the-ground experience could come up with quite a list of situations one will encounter in CR that provide a good test of whether you think it's a good fit. How do you react to...

 

1. Seeing all the bars on windows and doors-people living in "jails".

2. Driving, or riding in a car in San Jose, and on curvy mountain roads in the rain and fog.

3. Dealing with the bank, or any government agency, and their "strange" requirements that seem to change based on whoever is sitting before you.

4. Getting a CR driver's license

5. Not being very good at speaking Spanish

6. "Gringo pricing" on anything that doesn't have a posted price, from rentals to bread.

7. Waitstaff that may take 15-40 minutes to bring your food, but will also let you sit at your table for hours, if that's what you want to do.

8. Buying good food, from places or people who may not keep things as clean as the Health Dept in New York.

9. The neighborhood dogs that bark most of the night, and the owner doesn't care.

10. Being the only "Gringo" on a bus, or in a restaurant.

11. Being on a quiet road or beach where there's no medical help, police, or gas station within an hour's drive

12. The fiesta next door with loud music until well after midnight.

13. The motos... too many things to list.

14. People walking and sitting IN the road, that is already too narrow for two cars to pass.

15. Standing in a line for 1-3 hours.

16. Salsa dancing!

 

...

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I have no desire whatsoever to debate politics in CR versus politics in the US, but I agree with ciclista in that anyone trying to escape the political situation in the US will be disappointed to find the same dynamics/issues/realities exist in CR.

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Wow, the OP was asking about pura vida and an English speaking realtor..........he got his question answered, I believe...........but, then we all get taken to task because we dared to venture suggestions that might help a newbie........but, thanks anyway, they're from New York, don't speak Spanish, have no clue about laws in this foreign land, or customs or traditions, or any other damn thing........so, I say let 'em come on down, jump in with both feet, get caught breaking laws, get turned in because they will find that the pura vida Ticos don't care for their attitude..........and, I really do hope she stays away.

 

who said i don't speak spanish? i'm not fluent, but i get by. I can read everything but am not so confident speaking yet. That will change. your handle is appropriate at least. I don't know anything about "your" customs or traditions? Laws? I read more books last week than you have in your entire life. I'm really not in the mood to be bad word!ed with so don't dangle the toy in front of me. usenet flaming is an old hobby.

 

why the are you so afraid? live your life. i have made many promising acquaintances while here. I assume you aren't one of them.

 

I assume that because we are US citizens we are allowed to homeschool. If not, we'll go off the grid. So what? Is correspondence school illegal? How about private tutors?

 

I also read that homebirths are illegal- can anyone attest to this? I had my 2 babies at home. I'm a doula. There appears to be one homebirth midwife and one doula in the country.

 

Always rock the boat. As long as you're smarter than everyone else you have nothing to be afraid of. Enjoy your sheltered, unadventurous life.

A

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I'm afraid that you are in for a big surprise. Costa Rica does not care how smart you are. You will never be able to change a thing here. Better hope the boat has a life vest.

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Oh my, Aggie. You're in for some rough times in CR.

 

You will get far worse treatment from a smiling Tico than you get/perceive from some people in this forum. And if you respond then, as you have here... it's going to be very frustrating for you. That person at the CR bank, who is being ridiculous and uncaring...who seems mostly interested in getting rid of you by telling you what you want to hear, while knowing that you're not going to get what you want...

 

Like I said before, how you react to things like that will have a lot to do with whether or not you become one of those "happiest people on earth" that the CR tourism folks like to talk about. Tranquilo.

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I think you are in for surprises, some good, and some bad. The excitement of it all might seem appealing for awhile.

 

As much as person might complain about the political situation in the US, you're in for rude surprises if you think it's better in CR. The good news is that so far the current "lady" Presidenta hasn't yet been accused of corruption or bribery, and that makes her rather unique, so far. Is she actually accomplishing anything useful so far...? Many would say no, although that's not entirely her fault. The legislators often behave with less ability than a middle school student council in the US, really!

 

I don't think that anyone should assume that years of research will teach them more than they will know after they've been in CR for 2-3 months.

 

I think those of us with on-the-ground experience could come up with quite a list of situations one will encounter in CR that provide a good test of whether you think it's a good fit. How do you react to...

 

I bolded the one statement with which I most sincerely agree with and find relavent. We are moving into a rental first... and the true test comes from the first 6 months in CR.

 

But the list looks like a fun game so I'll answer them:

 

1. Seeing all the bars on windows and doors-people living in "jails".

 

Seen it before. Lived in it. I grew up in DC and where I grew up I was the minority. Bars on windows and doors were normal and it was not safe (unlike most of CR).

 

2. Driving, or riding in a car in San Jose, and on curvy mountain roads in the rain and fog.

 

I lived in Michigan for 10 years, and have driven on dirt roads in white out conditions, in pour rain so hard that you couldn't get the wipers to move fast enough to clear your vision. Mountain driving will be new to me and I'm curious how I'll adapt to they styles required of it. I once drove across the country and got a crash course in mountain driving but it's all forgotten by now.

 

3. Dealing with the bank, or any government agency, and their "strange" requirements that seem to change based on whoever is sitting before you.

 

I never expect anything different.

 

4. Getting a CR driver's license

 

Tell me more about this one. I haven't heard much about the license requirements.

 

5. Not being very good at speaking Spanish

 

This will be hard for me. As an extrovert I will want to talk with people and I expect my kids will learn Spanish much faster than I will. I can only guess what I'll be hearing by the time they reach their teens. I plan to take immersion courses but nothing compensates for a late start in a language.

 

6. "Gringo pricing" on anything that doesn't have a posted price, from rentals to bread.

 

I've experienced this on my business trip and I've learned from that experience how to get tico prices for things. I know there will be times I'll have to pay for being the Gringo, but I also know there are times I wont.

 

7. Waitstaff that may take 15-40 minutes to bring your food, but will also let you sit at your table for hours, if that's what you want to do.

 

Until the kids are older we probably won't be eating out. When we do, we'll probably treasure the time together.

 

8. Buying good food, from places or people who may not keep things as clean as the Health Dept in New York.

 

I've worked food services. The Health Dept doesn't mean much, IMO. Answering the question, though, I'm not adverse to it. It won't bother me.

 

9. The neighborhood dogs that bark most of the night, and the owner doesn't care.

 

It is what it is. If I can't change it why would I worry about it?

 

10. Being the only "Gringo" on a bus, or in a restaurant.

 

Like I said earlier, I have a lot of experience being the Gringo minority growing up in DC. I was the only Gringo in my school of 400. This doesn't bother me.

 

11. Being on a quiet road or beach where there's no medical help, police, or gas station within an hour's drive

 

Not my cup of tea, but I'm sure my wife will love it.

 

12. The fiesta next door with loud music until well after midnight.

 

We have that here. Not really a change.

 

13. The motos... too many things to list.

 

I'm familiar with US motorcycle culture. No idea what it's like in Costa Rica.

 

14. People walking and sitting IN the road, that is already too narrow for two cars to pass.

 

Where else are they going to walk?

 

15. Standing in a line for 1-3 hours.

 

Not fun, but required. I've certainly done longer waits. When our youngest was born they didn't assign him an SSN. I had to wait in line for 6 hours. I did meet some very nice people that day.

 

16. Salsa dancing!

 

 

Salsa dancing. Oh well. No way we're moving down there now. ;-)

 

 

 

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I think you are in for surprises, some good, and some bad. The excitement of it all might seem appealing for awhile.

 

As much as person might complain about the political situation in the US, you're in for rude surprises if you think it's better in CR. The good news is that so far the current "lady" Presidenta hasn't yet been accused of corruption or bribery, and that makes her rather unique, so far. Is she actually accomplishing anything useful so far...? Many would say no, although that's not entirely her fault. The legislators often behave with less ability than a middle school student council in the US, really!

 

I don't think that anyone should assume that years of research will teach them more than they will know after they've been in CR for 2-3 months.

 

I think those of us with on-the-ground experience could come up with quite a list of situations one will encounter in CR that provide a good test of whether you think it's a good fit. How do you react to...

 

1. Seeing all the bars on windows and doors-people living in "jails".

2. Driving, or riding in a car in San Jose, and on curvy mountain roads in the rain and fog.

3. Dealing with the bank, or any government agency, and their "strange" requirements that seem to change based on whoever is sitting before you.

4. Getting a CR driver's license

5. Not being very good at speaking Spanish

6. "Gringo pricing" on anything that doesn't have a posted price, from rentals to bread.

7. Waitstaff that may take 15-40 minutes to bring your food, but will also let you sit at your table for hours, if that's what you want to do.

8. Buying good food, from places or people who may not keep things as clean as the Health Dept in New York.

9. The neighborhood dogs that bark most of the night, and the owner doesn't care.

10. Being the only "Gringo" on a bus, or in a restaurant.

11. Being on a quiet road or beach where there's no medical help, police, or gas station within an hour's drive

12. The fiesta next door with loud music until well after midnight.

13. The motos... too many things to list.

14. People walking and sitting IN the road, that is already too narrow for two cars to pass.

15. Standing in a line for 1-3 hours.

16. Salsa dancing!

 

...

 

i am fine with all of those things except for the dogs. I suppose that's why it's good we have a nice large backyard.

I find even San Jose charming. The toothless guy who sells the clay animal pipes is awesome. The guy in the park who picked up a pigeon and handed him to my son was awesome. The maintenance guy at the park who let them take turns spraying the hose all over the place was awesome. I think this is an awesome country. You can try to change my mind, but I think it would be narrow-minded of anyone to try to stop us from renting a house for a year. What's the point of that? Isn't this supposed to be a supportive environment? I am only back because I got several very nice PMs. I guess not all gringos are bad.

 

Finally, I am referring to Civil Rights which are no longer existent in the USA, not nuisances. Real erosion of rights, human dignity. Give me good old-fashioned corruption any day but the society is closed there. The USA is done. If you thought Black October was bad, you ain't seen nothing yet to quote some singer i am too young to remember. 9/11 was the event that put fear into the country. then the patriot act, a misnomer, The bush administration. The phony wars. Dick cheney. RFID. Blood from Newborn screening going to the army (yeah we got around that one too by having the kids in a pool in the living room). Electronic medical records. The bailout. Torture justification. Evangelical christians.

 

If i see any of *those* things around, I will just buy the island in tonga I was eyeing. Yes, I am serious. We are fearless. How about "good luck" instead of the nastiness? What's wrong with jumping in with both feet? Why do something halfheartedly? The time is right for us.

 

I never thought that an association created to help people move to costa rica, educate them and help them become residents and citizens would be so rude.

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I never thought that an association created to help people move to costa rica, educate them and help them become residents and citizens would be so rude.

 

Don't confuse the association with the forum.

 

 

 

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