Friday, January 16, 2009

Where in the World are the Kittels?

January 2009

As the new year begins and the mystery of the days ahead lie before us, I have been inspired to join the ranks of bloggers worldwide. My purpose is to provide a site where friends, family, and voyeurs can peruse the thoughts and photos of the Kittels as they explore life in Costa Rica and beyond. You can live vicariously through us, or use this information to inspire you to take off in a new direction for you and your family. Live your dreams! Life is what happens to us while we are busy making other plans.

And I need some relief in my email inbox so I can write my book! Does that make sense? No, it does not. Too bad I did not think to start this endeavor before I mailed my holiday greetings to everyone I know so I could inform them! Alas.

As this post begins, we are a family of 7. Hannah has been left behind to study and row at Georgetown. Andy, Kelly, Christiana, Micah, Isaiah, and Bella are along for the ride. We are living at the West end of Playa Conchal in Guanacaste. The older three kids attend the Country Day School and Bella is at a Spanish speaking pre-school, Educarte. She is watching Blues Clues in Spanish as I type. I am glancing out the open doors to the palm trees waving over the blue pool, the exact shade of the sea which lies in my view beyond. It is 82 degrees, sunny, as always. The papagayo winds are blowing in this season, el verano. It is summer here and the local kids are out of school from Christmas to February, their summer vacation. Our kids follow the American school calendar.

Happy New Year. As the gloom and doom of the world economy trickle into our weekly English newspapers, the Tico Times and the Beach Times, with an occasional read of the Tamarindo News and The Guanacaste Journal, we feel the far reaching effects of the consequences of these actions. We receive emails and holiday letters from friends beginning to report on their personal experiences with a plunging job market and stock portfolios. Folks who had thought of visiting us have chosen to hunker down and count their pennies instead. It is my sincere hope that next week's inauguration of Obama will start to improve the situation. The sad thing is that we are relying on some of the same crooks who got us in this mess to get us out!

I just finished reading Dreams From my Father by Obama and would highly recommend it if you are interested in knowing more about our next President. I am inspired and encouraged by the quality of this man's thoughts and experiences. It is unprecedented in the history of our nation. And now that he is to be the one, we can return to our homeland with a renewed sense of pride not felt in many years now. We can only live on bananas for so long.

So, this is the Alpha message. Future posts will include photos of our adventures, and I will try to post a photo pronto of a very cool walking stick I discovered on my clothespin bag this morning. We are wildlife enthusiasts so there will be that. And have become sea turtle watchers, walking the beaches day and night, so stay tuned for more turtle lore. And then there are the myriad details of living life in the banana belt with its political, economic, and social adventures. And the continuing adventures of anglophiles trying to communicate in Espanol. And the unique aspects of having this adventure that is reminiscent of our Peace Corps days in Jamaica but with the addition of four children. And a marriage of 20 years. And our big dog, Duncan, who has gone loco over coconuts. And our annoying cat ChiChi who came with the house and thinks she is the head bitch because she was here first, tho I definitely have her beat there. And adventures with the online translator! All of Bella's school email announcements are in Spanish. The latest one informed us that children who arrive for the first day of school, which was yesterday, with their school fees not paid in full would be sent home with the death penalty, which is why she is now watching Las Pistas de Blue. Though why it is not Azul I don't know. And stay tuned for the hopeful return of our truck, the Black Panther, which was impounded at the Nicaraguan border in November and we are still trying to get it back.

Welcome aboard!

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