Feeding the birds is big. Hal built a bird feeder the other day from fallen bamboo down by the river on our 40 acre finca [FEEN-kah, farm]. Well, not "our" finca but we have the run of the place. We put fruit on it every am, but so far, birds only eye it suspiciously. Except the first morning when a HUGE teal bird sat on it… but they will come.

We got the idea from our visit to Nicholas Chalet. Every morning, they load up their homemade bird feeder with ripe bananas and the birds flock to it! Every shape, every color – it’s quite thrilling. As long as our local fauna aren’t picky about the architecture, they will soon be chowing down at our little Camille’s de Pájaro de la Costa Rica!

We have no TV here. We are moving mid-April to another house (a big house) one mountain over and we’ll have cable there – ohmygod, I can’t wait. Don’t tell the boys I said that. In the meantime, we do other things. Imagine that. Like while Hal was building the bird feeder, Mo was making his own spear. Took his own pocket knife and sharpened the business end. Took palm fronds to make the fletching, holding it on with duct tape. I  have a feeling this use is not in the
book… That’s my boy.

The medical care here is cheap and good. I had a mammogram the other day (sorry, no photos) for only $24. An ultra sound for $22. And an electrocardiogram stress test for $185. They were all professionally done in a timely manner. That’s right: no waiting.

And very thorough. The smiling sweet-faced mammogram techie said, "Sigue tranquilo (remain calm), y no dolor (no pain)." I believe her because I want to. She grasps my pitiful bosom with both hands, lays it out on the freezing cold glass, pulls every inch of it and the attached chest wall underneath the x-ray eyeball. Then she lowers the top glass, gettin’ everything ready for Mash Mode. See? You don’t need an actual photo.

She presses the Mash button for far too long and, when I begin to sob, she reminds me – she is no longer smiling – to "Sigue tranquilo!" I want to kill her, but I can’t reach her. Then she steps behind the wall and, just before she takes the photo, she commands, "NO Respira! NO cambia de postura!" [Don’t breathe, don’t move!] Like I could. She presses the Mash button one final time – if I could move or breathe, I would have screamed in agony – and takes the shot. Repeat other side.

Shaking and cold, I wait in the little room until the photos are processed to make sure they are good and we don’t have to do this again. I begin to pray. God listens, the photos are good. Excellent, actually. I have magnificent breasts! I’m inspired, and vow to begin exercising immediately so the rest of my body will match. I could start by walking up and down some of the mountains around here.

The next medical adventure is to have my eyes done. This event costs $5,000 in Miami. I can’t justify that, even if I could afford it. Unless I get older. Don’t know el precio here, but it’s on my list to find out. There will be photos, particularly afterward. You won’t know me when I get back to Key West: I will be 51, thin, strong and young looking with magnificent breasts. I’ll get to work on that first thing in the morning.

Pero, hoy, la mama de mi esposo esta aqui!
[But, today, my mother in law is here!] We haven’t done much sight-seeing, except for the Arenal volcano. That alone is worth a trip to Costa Rica. So breathtaking is the Arenal, that the first time we saw it alive and in person, we almost ran off the road! It is astonishing. Today, we are off to tour the town.

Hasta mañana, Saratica

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