James has a company called Costa Rica Patrol. I wrote to him asking about his self-defense classes and also to see if he would come to our house, advise us on our household security measures. He is coming… looking forward to hearing what he says.

In this video, he is teaching the Belen fuerza pública [FWAIR-sa, strong; POO-blee-kah, public] [which is, by the way, the only armed force in the country] some pretty standard techniques. Seems they are graduated from the Escuela Nacional de Policía [s-QUAY-la, school; nah-see-oh-NALL, national; day, of; poe-lee-SEE-ah, police] without knowing ANY of this stuff! Glad James is around… get over here to Escazú!!!

You can see a couple more videos here.

And my friend Laurie was standing in line yesterday (in line? what a surprise!)… well, I’ll let her tell it:

As usual, some of my best opportunities for practicing Spanish occur while standing in line at the caja [KAH-ha, cash register]. Mostly I seem to get a lot of great listening practice because there’s always at least one woman in the line with me who decides, after a VERY brief discussion, that my Spanish is muy [MOO-ee: say it fast, rhymes with buoy, very], bueno [BWAY-no, good].

Yesterday the very talkative and interesting Tica standing behind me in the line informed me, after asking where I am from, that she would not want to live in the U.S. Her reason?

"En Costa Rica tenemos ladrones, pero en estados unidos hay bombas."*

"In Costa Rica, we have thieves, but in the U.S. there are bombs."

Interesting, I thought, that this was her reaction to learning that I was from the United States (the state of Maine, no less, a fairly peaceful place).

Still seconding that emotion…

*En [In, in]
tenemos [ten-A-mohs, we have]
ladrones [la-DRONE-ace, thieves]
pero [PAIR-oh, but]
estados unidos [ay (rhymes with hay) -STAH-dohs, states; oo-KNEE-dohs, united]
hay [aye like the pirates say, there are]
bombas [BOME (rhymes with tome)-bahss…]


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