Wednesday, August 27, 2008


As a continuation of last weeks filming, we headed up to an african theme park called Africa Mia in Liberia, about 4 hours from San Jose. A long trip for half a day of filming, but the group was fun and I got my fill of Spanish slang from these boys....yes, I was the only girl. We saw a lot of animals...and it was so much better than the zoo. I really felt like I could have been on an African Safari...not that I know what that feels like (yet!) but it must be something like this....they told us Liberia has a very similar climate so they can replicate home for these animals. The giraffes were my favorite! They are just so big....and graceful....they dont walk, they saunter.We were in two trucks and drove right in by them, they are so cool. They knew their names, and they knew they we had food in the they were in our face!Look at the tounge on Toby...... Here Marco puts down the camera for a minute so he can feed the giraffes too....this is one reason why he needs me, the camera assistant!! I told him I am ready for any job in the future.We were in an open field with some animals I dont know the name of ...elk ...antelope?
Duh! Yes, I know the zebras....They were awesome to watch upclose. I need a high end camera, (or just be still so it doesnt blur!) but I still love this shot with mine. Here is Andres thinking he's cool driving the Land Rover....Monkeys were everywhere along the river, it was cool because many of them had little babies on their backs just jumping from tree to tree, hanging only with their tails. They are so cute!
I never realized how much I love the feathers of an ostrich..hmmmmmm? I love this pic with the duck and ostrich. I know I cut the head off, but Im still learning. is the head...are you satisfied? Had to take the picture of the infamous "CAMEL TOE" Suprisingly, Andres said its the same in Spanish....
And on the ride home we stopped for bathroom and drink break and I actually got to see my first this is not the best picture...but can you spot the toucans in this tree? This is using my 10x zoom. I saw them fly into the tree and got a good look, sorry its not that good for you:(
Here the Habitat crew: Andres, me and Marco

Friday, August 22, 2008

INBio Parque

Im so glad that I work in the communications department! There are so many fun projects going on and I want be involved.... The two jobs that really fascinate me are Diana's (the graphic designer) and Marco's (the videographer). So if they every need help (or even if they don't) I am always volunteering....that is why I am here after all! Thursday we left in the morning for INBio Parque. A natural reserve just 20 minutes outside of San Jose. Marco is shooting a PSA (public service announcement) and the goal was to get good footage of animals in their habitat.....and then in the video relate that back to people around the world...everyone deserves a decent habitat. A brilliant idea, I think! Right up my alley with the animals too!
My title on this type of trip is officially "camera assistant"...I love that!
Here is the team!
This was taken in the kids petting farm, and I had to lay down on my stomach (a little too close to some goat shit) and Marco and Diana were on their knees.
Ok but seriously...we walked all over the park and Marco got some really good these 2 tortugas about to get busy. Did you know that the underside of the female turtle is flat, but the male's is curved (concave) he can hop on top of shown in the action shot below. Just a little Discovery channel tidbit for you.
I am really starting to respect ants. Ernesto's dad has always called them "hard workers" and so he would never kill them when they are in his house?? Whaa? Now, I don't want them in my house, but they are really fascinating to watch. Here are my favorite "workers" which I have shown you before....but there were just so many.....and the trail goes all the way up a tree where they are collecting the leaves that are 5x there size.
I won;'t bother showing you the picture, but another group of ants were digging a hole (or habitat?) and carrying up big balls of dirt. They know to walk back to a certain point and drop it so it doesn't fall back in the whole...and there is no resting, they turn right back around and go down for the next piece. Diana and I studied them for a while.
I think this was the biggest iguana I have ever seen.....and I've never seen an orange one either.
Diana took this great close up and notice the orange "beard" hanging down...they shake that when they want to mark their territory.
There were also a ton of gorgeous plants & flowers.
and bugs....i love this shot of the praying mantis
and there was a Mariposa farm too......They had this maze of The Shining. We each ran through it to see if we would get lost.Im getting closer and closer to my Discovery/Travel Channel job everyday. We didn't get all the animal shots we needed so next week we are going to Liberia!! Did I ever tell you that I am really happy here?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


When I got home from work the other day, Neto said he had something funny to show me! I had no idea that what he was about to share with me would be making me laugh the whole weekend. take a look:
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(if you didnt see Ernesto and I dancing in that one, click HERE)
It was all downhill from there. Immediately I went to the JIBJAB website and created this one:

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I called my whole family on skype and actually watched their faces as they watched the video. We were all laughing our asses off! I couldn't stop. Hmmmm, who else can I make a video for??..hmmm 3 guys. Well there are just 3 guys in my office. I added Steve, our director, Andres and Marco. When I showed it to Diana, we were crying.
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We decided it would be perfect to start our weekly dept. meeting with this video. I told Steve at Carla's party Saturday night that I wanted to start off the meeting with a funny video starring him....and he got a little concerned. Diana & I assured him that it was nothing incriminating and he was still scepticle....but we did convince him!
I didn't want the girls in my office to feel left out, so I found this video featuring 5 people:

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Take a look at JIBJAB!

Monday, August 18, 2008

First and Last Catering Job!

Not a good weekend for sleep, but it was fun! Saturday was the debut of our catering service. One of my co-worker's (and a very good friend of Kate's) Carla was turning 40 on Saturday and the party was also celebrating her engagement to Erik. We had Friday off work for Mothers Day! (I love you Mommy!) We were at the central market at 8am to do some of the shopping. Breakfast was priority, and as you can see, we were the early birds....the first customers! I am on a mission for this Panama straw hat....I finally found the perfect one at the market, but didn't buy it because #1 it was too smalland #2 it was almost $60.....hell no! The Panama Hat actually comes from Ecuador where the toquilla palm leaf grows. (it was commercialized in Panama at the time the Panama Canal was build...hence the name) The palms are shredded into fiber straws, woven by hand, shaped, bleached, sun dried and trimmed into what is perhaps the finest hat...ok that is a lot of work.....but I get annoyed with Costa Rica prices sometimes....are we not in Latin America?? Im going to Honduras next week, so I will wait and get it there. Im determined to get a deal! (NOT a gringa price)

I found myself annoyed with prices again Friday night when we went to Taj Mahal to eat dinner. Ok yes, its the only Indian restaurant in San Jose, and YES it is good as HELL...but $20 per dish? come ooooooooooon!!!!!!!!! yep! we paid it! But, damn them with that monopoly...
I can't patronize Taj Mahal everytime I feel like Indian. Im going to beg Smita to bring me some of my favorite Indian packets when she comes. After dinner, we needed more drinks to unwind...we had spent a good part of the day in the kitchen preparing for the catering job. Mas Tequila was pretty packed. We pulled up to the bar and ordered a few cervezas.
We stayed for the first set of the 80's cover band.......Oh haven't seen cheese until you see it covered with a Spanish accent!! Pretty entertaining though! The next early start to the vege market and then IN THE KITCHEN ALL DAY! We had music playing and lots of laughing...not too much stressing thank God! We timed it pretty well! My line for the day was..."Are you sure we need to make ALL this food?" "Boy that's a lot of sausage?" and Kates line was "IT'S FOR 50 PEOPLE!" We recruited Diana....she rolled meatballs for 2 hours!!!
We finally took our SHOW over to Carla's kitchen and did the finally prepping.Ahhhhh, finally we were able to put on our dresses and have some drinks! It was a nice spread, I must say.....but we definately over estimated the amount of food. We don't quite have the formula down.......because we are not caterers!! (ps. Ernesto did un-tuck his shirt...if you were wondering...doesn't look like him, does it?)
Carla and Erik are Brasilian, and Erik is a musician, so needless to say, lots of music and dancing.
It was so sweet, he sang a song to Carla....ahhhh I wish I could understand Portuguese. ...and she suprised him with a ring inside the engagment cake. It was awesome!
I think the Brazilians were to busy dancing to eat.....we had some major left overs. It couldn't have been the food quality!!! I promise, this is the last time Ill say it Kate... "ITS FOR 50 PEOPLE!" (you know im kidding!) Anyhoo, we have dinner prepared for the next few days! Which is perfect because lately I have been feeling that my life is revolving too much around food....what are we making for dinner and needing to go shopping for food. I love to eat and I love it to be good food, but this is not what I want to do every night, and I dont want all of my budget to go for food. My priorites here in Costa Rica are: Habitat, Spanish, dancing, exercising, and traveling.....just to get that straight!! Pura Vida!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

My First Earthquake....WOW!

"Sismo de 6 grados sacude la Zona Sur" dice La Nacion.
So I was sitting at my desk at work was about 4:45pm, when all of a sudden my desk started SWAYING....not shaking. It was very weird and the first few seconds I just thought it was construction, but when a lady ran by my desk freaking out I knew it was more. Everyone started getting up and talking. I jumped up and down and said "wow, that was my first earthquake!" ...."Yes? what did you think?"
I liked it! That was cool!
The local newspaper said it was a 6 on the richter scale....whatever that means.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My first Habitat build in Costa Rica!

What a great day! My co-worker Andres organized a build day at one of our sites in San Carlos. (2.5 hours from San Jose) I walked to my office in the morning, I was walking fast because I was supposed to be there at 7a and it was 8 after when I arrived. Not one car was in the parking lot and no bus waiting for us. I called Andres and he said he would be there in 2 minutes. I thought it was unlikely that the bus would have actually left on time, but I just sat on the bench waiting and laughed to myself. This would never happen in the U.S. Can you imagine your office planned a field trip and not even one person (including the bus) was there on time? Most people would be there early to make sure they didn’t miss the bus. Ha! This country is full of Ernestos! (I don’t mind it either, like the other night when we were cooking for some friends who were coming over….I was so glad none of them showed up on time…we weren’t ready.) During the ride to the site, we passed through a town with this beautiful white church. Sorry thats all I know about was pretty and huge.I had seen pictures of the build site and I thought it was even cuter in person. There will be 70 families living in this row of colorful houses. 3 rooms and a bathroom. They will each have a yard, and be tought to garden. The idea is that the neighborhood is self sustaining. Not just creating the environment, but teaching them to how make a future with it. Here is one of them closer up.It was really hot, and the task at hand was to transfer this huge pile of rocks to the floor of one of the houses (and from there, they will pour a cement floor) Andres gives me a thubs up!Gloves would have been a great thing to take with me, and I know Kate has them somewhere in the house, but I couldn't find them. So, as you can imagine, I have some blisters...5 to be exact. Now, Im not complaning....Im just saying......
After an hour of shoveling and hauling I challenged Andres. "I bet I can fill up my wheelbarrow faster that you" ...just for shits and giggles. He was scared, but accepted the challenge. So someone yelled GO and we went at it...... We had a cheering (and laughing) audienceSomeone finally felt sorry for me and yelled stop, .....and then we compared. There was no way I was going to catch him....but it's not THAT MUCH more, right?
No need for the gym yesterday, I sweat about 1 gallon of water and my upper body is a bit sore....a definite cross-fit workout! For Lunch we walked to a little outdoor pizzeria, and on the way a guy selling papayas.
I love all the vivid colors in this shot.The pizzeria was in the middle of nowhere! It was a "hotel" with cabinas too. Close enough to the Arenal volcano and far enough away from....anything else! Here is the build team (minus 2) as we wait for our naturales (juice) y pizza.


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