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The Ten Things I Have Learned As an Ex-Pat in Costa Rica

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  • alexandra lancaster
    (There are many more but these are the highlights): 1)Patience is more than a virtue here. It is necessary in order to be happy here 2) Resourcefulness:
    Message 1 of 5 , Sep 2, 2004
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      (There are many more but these are the highlights): 1)Patience is more than a virtue here. It is necessary in order to be happy here 2) Resourcefulness: because I love it here I have found ways to "make do", to "create", and to substitute (while working in the kitchen,) that I never would have learned had I not moved here 13 years ago 3)Awareness: because life moves slower here I have learned to look at the faces of people, at the roadside stand of flowers, at the landscape, and find new perception. 4)Through frustration and hardship, at times, I have learned to stick things out. The borders are close together here and I have learned to confront life because it is closer to me than any other place I have lived 5)Listening. Spanish is not my native language. Therefore I have trained my inner ear, the one that not only listens to words, but listens to the meaning behind words...the hearing "eye". Thus communication for me has changed and deepened. 6) Affection: In the States,
      where my life was more hurried and more anonymous, I drew back from people more. The Costa Ricans have taught me it is ok to pause, to hug, to touch with kindness in a way I would have feared doing in the States. This affection is a tonic for me in my village, San Isidro de Heredia...that I crave when I am feeling down. Go buy a cauliflower and get a hug and a quick joke from the vendors. 7)Letting go: A few years ago I stopped harping about things like Potholes, long lines, a lack of things I thought I needed to have here in order to be happy: now I try to focus on what I can change and I leave the potholes alone and stare at the small houses, people walking, the far mountains. 8) Mystery: The occult and peculiar nature of a culture that I will never fully understand: I have come to more or less (!) realize that it is this very mysterious quality that gives the country its charm. I believe I will never come to grips with some of the attitudes here and I no longer try. This
      is turn has engendered the next item 9)Humour. The Costa Ricans have great humour and wit, which is accessed of course through their language, so I don't catch it all. But I try to understand with my heart and thus I laugh with them and sometimes we are laughing about the same thing. 10)My priorities. When I visited for two months in the States recently, and observed how life has become there, I came back to Costa Rica and saw what has become important to me here: Clean air, love in its myriad manifestations, a lifestyle less spent on pursuing money, family life (my employees on the finca, I came to realize, are my nuclear family, and I missed them intensely...more than I might have known had I not left for a while), good health (which the U.S. cannot give me since I am one of the great Un-insurables in the U.S. , quiet time apart from the bustle that one becomes accustomed to in a society like the U.S. where upper class people barely even raise their own children. Every
      Ex-Pat here will have his or her own list. Hopefully, there is something to be gleaned from all.

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    • Paul Mitchell
      Oh Alexandra, What an inspiring post you have given us. I hope that our CRLers will savor it and take it to heart. It sounds a lot like where I would like to
      Message 2 of 5 , Sep 2, 2004
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        Oh Alexandra,

        What an inspiring post you
        have given us. I hope that
        our CRLers will savor it and
        take it to heart.

        It sounds a lot like where I
        would like to 'be' without
        having a way to put it into
        words until I read your post.

        I hope that our moderatrix
        will have the forsight to put
        your post into the archives
        where it may serve as inspi-
        ration to other CRLers who
        come along later.

        Thanx very much for your
        observations.

        Paul M.
        ==
      • alexandra lancaster
        EDITTED TO REMOVE PIGGYBACKING. In a continuum, I am still learning. I appreciate your kind words. I am reading now an autobiography by a famous
        Message 3 of 5 , Sep 2, 2004
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          EDITTED TO REMOVE PIGGYBACKING.

          In a continuum, I am still learning. I appreciate your kind words. I am reading now an autobiography by a famous man....and his words, humble and heartfelt, inspired me to write this list. As a bibliophile, I have seen time and again how reading germinates in us producing insights that blossom into inspiration for others. Again thank you with the utmost humbleness. alexandra lancaster san isidro de heredia costa rica
        • inner_wisdoms
          EDITED TO REMOVE PIGGYBACKING Thanks Alexandra. As I was reading, I thought: I hope she puts down Humour! And you did.:-) In my opinion, the key to enjoying
          Message 4 of 5 , Sep 3, 2004
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            EDITED TO REMOVE PIGGYBACKING


            Thanks Alexandra.

            As I was reading, I thought: I hope she puts down Humour!
            And you did.:-)
            In my opinion, the key to enjoying life here is having a sense of
            humor. It keeps it all in perspective.

            Suzanne
            www.innerwisdoms.com
          • Perrodelagua2@aol.com
            ... Yes, and gratitude - immense gratitude. Every day. How lucky we are. [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            Message 5 of 5 , Sep 3, 2004
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              > As I was reading, I thought: I hope she puts down Humour!
              >
              Yes, and gratitude - immense gratitude. Every day. How lucky we are.




              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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