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Getting a Life in Costa Rica

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

One of the things Mark and I hoped to find in Costa Rica was a happy social life. While I have really dear friends in the Fresno area, I spent a shockingly small percent of my time with them. It is embarrassing to think about the number of invitations I said no to because I knew I would be working late or on the weekend. I was in a vicious cycle. I would work like crazy thinking that if I just got ahead, I could finally find some work-life balance. I would ignore the warning signals my body gave me that I needed to rest thinking I could just push through. I worked sick thinking I would rest later. I did this until I got so sick, I couldn't continue often landing back in the hospital. Then, I would be behind at work, so I would go right back to working around the clock. It is really easy for me to set a list of goals and focus on completing tasks to the exclusion of everything else. I still have my lists - don't judge, it's a process! I have been determined not to let to do lists get in the way of what is really important.

We have made some really great friends! Jonn Ham was one of our first friends in Costa Rica. When we met him over video chat as a potential real estate agent, he correctly predicted that we would become good friends! He helped us purchase the perfect lot and handled everything for us because we could not come to Costa Rica for the closing. Since meeting him, we have got to know his lovely wife Natalia. Jonn introduced to Donald Monge as a potential builder. We knew that he would build us an amazing house. He reminds me a lot of my dad. First, they share a name. Second, my dad didn't simply build cabinets or do woodwork - he was an artist. I could tell Donald Monge was not just an excellent builder and civil engineer - he too was an artist. Donald Monge's wife Nela took our project over the finish line. She handled all of the decorating transforming our house into a home. The six of us have had some fun times together! Jonn and Natalia had us over for a fun game night that included dance lessons for me! So fun!

Our Portasol Living Community is absolutely amazing! The community is beautiful with the ocean views, jungle, rivers, waterfalls, and wildlife. We are so blessed that the community of people is just as beautiful!

Our first friends in the community are our neighbors Tim and Burt. We actually "met" them on Facebook prior to our arrival. We have a lot in common and really enjoy hanging out with them. They have been also been so generous in helping us navigate the country with helpful tips on where to find things and provided references for reputable service providers.

Tim started a walking group in the community. We walk early Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The walking group helped us get to know our neighbor Kate who is one of the nicest people ever! On one of our walks, he drove down to the guardhouse for a walk along the river. After the walk, we drove Kate home and she invited us in for a cup of coffee. It was so nice to be able to say yes. In my old life, I would have had to hurry to our next scheduled activity. It is awesome to have the ability to sit, enjoy the view, and enjoy the company.

Burt and Tim invited us to an amazing dinner. Portasol Living Community resident and friend Eddie also happens to be a personal chef. He prepared the entree and appetizer. Mark was obsessed with the meat filled potatoes with chipotle sauce. The fresh caught tuna was amazing. I made the salad and tossed it to soon because I was really enjoying the wine. Kate made the beautiful cookies. I am so thankful for such amazing friends.

We enjoyed our evening with Eddie so much that we had him prepare an amazing meal when our good friend visited. We had the potatoes again, of course! We had mahi mahi with shrimp and veggies as an entree. The dessert was tres leche with strawberries. Everything tasted better than it looks.

A Halloween party was co-hosted by Kate & Michael and Burt & Tim. Sadly, I couldn't make it because I had a terrible sinus infection, but Mark awkwardly represented. We had a couples costume planned. I was going to wear all green - my dress, my hair, my makeup and Mark wore a T-shirt that said "ENVY." Get it, green was with envy. Mark went solo in his ENVY shirt and had a blast. It was pot luck, so everyone brought their best dishes. There was singing and dancing. I can't wait until next year.

We missed the Eclipse Brunch (of course there was an Eclipse Brunch!) because we were in the United States. The photos and commentary were hilarious!

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