29 May 2008

We've got wheels!

We received an email from Maritza yesterday morning with great news telling us Vinicio located a vehicle for us. He found a recently imported 1997 Jeep Cherokee in the Aduana (Customs) in Puerto Limon. The owner that brought it to Costa Rica couldn't afford the import taxes so he needed to sell it. If he had done a little investigating beforehand, he would have known the taxes can run anywhere from 40% to 70% of the value of the vehicle. This value is set and published by the Costa Rican Ministerio de Hacienda.

Vinicio had a mechanic check it out from top to bottom and they determined it's in very good condition. We gave him the "go ahead" to buy it for us this week and get it registered in the name of our S.A. (corporation).

So, the second item on the agenda, after we get their in July, will be to get car insurance. Of course the first item is to get insurance on the house. (It's covered under the builder's insurance policy until we take possession.)

It will be so nice to have our own transportation when we are in CR from now on. Rental cars were costing us anywhere from $450 to $700 per trip.

We don't have to have our Costa Rican residency to get a driver's license. If you already have a valid U.S. driver's license from any State, you don't even have to take a test. You just need a cursory medical exam for $20 USD, pay the license fees, get your picture taken and they issue the license on the spot. I hear it takes about 2 hours, start to finish, if you speak the language and can work your way through the paperwork.

That's all for now...

¡Pura Vida!

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26 May 2008

Construction Progress Report #7

We just received another update from Minor on the construction progress. There are just a few final touches to take care of in the coming days.

This past Saturday the cabinets were installed in the kitchen and bathroom. They also installed the baseboards. The exterior is now painted and the all the interior rooms have been painted as well.

Here is a picture of the front of the house. Vinicio is standing on the right, next to the roll-down security door which will cover the front door and side windows when we're not there. On the left side you can see the garage door. We elected to install a solid door instead of the more common wrought iron gates found on most Costa Rican garages. This offers a little more security for our extended absences.

Here is a picture of the rear of the house. You can see the two bedroom windows in this view.

They still need to install the interior doors, all the electrical fixtures, toilet, bathroom sink, closets and A/C. They also have some site prep work to do which will include the property access and fence.

We are still on track to be there on July 4th and we are so excited that our daughter Jenny will join us there on July 10th. She is planning on staying in Costa Rica for an undetermined period of time to study more Spanish and if she has the opportunity, she would like to do some volunteer work. This will be a wonderful opportunity for her.

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19 May 2008

Did you know this?

Yesterday a close friend of mine forwarded an email to me about those rolls of food wrapping product we all use and I just had to share this with all of my readers.

"I've been using aluminum foil for more years than I care to remember. Great stuff, but sometimes it can be a pain. You know, like when you are in the middle of doing something and you try to pull some foil out and the roll comes out of the box. Then you have to put the roll back in the box and start over. The darn roll always comes out at the wrong time.

Well, I would like to share this with you. Yesterday I went to throw out an empty Reynolds foil box and for some reason I turned it and looked at the end of the box. And written on the end it said, "Press here to lock end". Right there on the end of the box is a tab to lock the roll in place. How long has this little locking tab been there? I then looked at a generic brand of aluminum foil and it had one, too. I then looked at a box of Saran wrap and it had one too! I can't count the number of times the Saran warp roll has jumped out when I was trying to cover something up.

I'm sharing this with my friends that did not know this. If you all ready know this, delete this message and don't e-mail me and make me feel dumber than I already feel. If you didn't know this, e-mail me and let me know so I won't feel so dumb.

I hope I'm not the only person that didn't know about this."

Here is my response to my friend:

"Okay, I have to admit I didn't know this either! I went to the pantry after supper this evening to get foil to wrap up the leftovers and sure enough, the Glad Wrap, Saran Wrap, Reynolds Aluminum, Waxed Paper and some off brand foil all have the tabs to lock the roll. I showed the roll to John and asked him if he knew this and he didn't either. We both feel so dumb, right along with you. How did we get to be almost 60 years old and not know this?

Wait until I share this with my family. Let's see how many of them already knew this. I'll let you know."

Within 5 minutes of sending this to the family, 2 of the adult children admitted they didn't know this either. I think this must be some sort of conspiracy to make the general public feel ignorant. How long has the packaging industry been doing this? Did it just start this year, have they been secretly putting these tabs on boxes for years? I wonder.....

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