The tremors under my office chair, all the way over here on the other side of the valley from the epicenter, have finally subsided. We had one – a long one – at 3am Monday morning, but it'd been several days since the one before that. Thank goodness! Those tremors are unnerving. I'm sure the survivors near Poás are grateful the aftershocks are mostly gone. They have enough to deal with. I imagine freedom from the anxiety over an immediate repeat performance is welcome.

Recovery and reconstruction are underway. The area will be affected for years to come. Muddy waters have killed the life in the Sarapiqui River. No fish, no fowl… The electrical plant there is in disrepair. (Most of Costa Rica's electricity is water-generated.) Strawberry fields have been decimated, leaving workers with no income. Cows and other livestock have been killed and injured. The death toll is at 23. The homeless at over 2,000.

You can make donations for earthquake victims from outside Costa Rica via Western Union. You are donating to the Cruz Roja (literally Red Cross, er, Cross Red). Tell Western Union it's for "Cruz Roja, EARTHQUAKERELIEF CR". It is a free transaction. Thank you, A.M. Costa Rica!

Two articles in a weekly newspaper here, the Tico Times*, moved me to tears this morning. Hope, spirituality, gratitude. Pardon the platitude but an earthquake ain't nothing compared to these forces.

The first article is about Ana Cambronero, 41, who lost her husband and three teenage children when the soda her family owned collapsed down the mountainside 19 days ago. Today she is staying with relatives and helping unemployed victims find jobs. She believes God spared her so she could help others recover. Where does God find people like this?

"The day I married Francisco, a new chapter of my life began… and yesterday at the funeral (Jan 15), that chapter ended. I now have to start a new chapter, in which I can express God's love by helping others."

The other is a letter from a gringo couple who was staying at the La Paz Peace Lodge. I've asked for permission to reprint the letter and I will if they grant that. (Who wouldn't want to be famous for 15 minutes on A Broad In Costa Rica?)

We've been busy looking for a new place to live, hopefully someplace we can operate as a small b&b. Or lease an up and running b&b, small hotel. The response has been so good we are encouraged – the right place is out there. Somewhere. If our future unfolds like our past, God only knows where we'll end up. So far, we've considered almost 15 properties. And so far, there's been that One Little Glitch in the way of actually packing up and signing a lease. But, hey, Rome wasn't built in a day.

The other new development is my discovery of EFT. I've done a few workshops here with a woman named Margot Diskin. EFT = Emotional Freedom Technique and go ahead, laugh. The name is completely over-the-top new-agey and ridiculous. It does, however, accurately describe exactly what EFT is and does. I am wild for it and am on the path to becoming a whatever it's called when you help people do this for themselves. Facilitator? See, I'm new at it.

Before we moved to Costa Rica, I was investigating acupuncture colleges** in the U.S. The plan was for me to go when we got back from here after a year. God laughs when we make plans, no question. Since there is no acupuncture school here*** and I don't really want to do massage (although I may go to school for that, too, since the training would definitely help), this is the next best thing. Actually, in some ways, I believe it might be better.

If you have any doubt that emotional energy can clog you up, watch What The Bleep? If you've never seen What The Bleep?, it is not to be missed. If I were God, it would be required viewing.

This morning, we are headed back to migración to get the stamps for the boys' passports so they can leave the country**** and to get our drivers' licenses renewed. They expired a year ago. Yeah, procrastination are us. We have a big day ahead of us, hours in line waiting for estampillas [stamps]. Oooh, be still my heart! Pray for short lines. Thank you.

*This newspaper charges 600 colones (about $1) for a local newsprint copy, it wants $4 for the pdf online version. That's outrageous if you ask me. So far, no one has. It's why I have a blog.

**I met all those people in the photo when we visited the school in late 2005. Very nice to see them graduated!!!

***There is a woman who does have a school but she does not respond to emails. She did once and even added me to her contact list on one of those Facebook-wanna-be sites. If I could find her and her class, I'd sign up. There is also a man in Zapote who teaches a series of classes and I took several during our first year here. But it's all in Spanish and I missed understanding at least half of it… I will start his class again when it starts up next.

****This should make a good post… Bureaucracy in Costa Rica is always a good time.

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