29 November 2013

Thanksgiving evening

Last year when I had written
“Thanksgiving evening: Sharmila Roy and myself sitting by ourselves with champagne facing the imposing visage of the Arenal volcano in the dark night and catching up on our life…
When visiting our traditional family involves a trip to the doctor for a malaria shot, invariably “family” takes a larger meaning in life. And for the last twenty years “family” has mostly meant the friends that we made in our journey thru multiple countries, states, cities, jobs….
To all those friends, we say Thanks!!Thanks for making the journey so enjoyable that we have seldom cared about the destination!!!
… rarely did I realize that exactly a year later, literally on the same day – Thanksgiving evening – Sharmila and I will be at the exact same spot at the exact same resort facing exactly the same imposing visage of Arenal – except this time with two of our best friends who have truly made the journey so enjoyable!!!

28 November 2013

Sugarcane harvesting

Learnt something new from our local friend Jorge. We were driving thru dirt roads into the countryside where we saw cantaloupe farming. First time in my life. But the more interesting part was how they were harvesting their sugarcane.

The simply set the fields on fire!!! Evidently the leaves of sugarcane are very sharp. Making it difficult to harvest by hand. And sugarcane fields have a lot of rats. Which invariably brings a lot of snakes. So, they just go ahead and set their sugarcane fields on fire!

What I did not know is that while everything else gets burnt, the sugarcane bark is thick enough that nothing happens to the sugarcane itself!!!

But now the sugarcane has to be transported and processed within 24 hours. The sugarcane is unharmed but very warm which will set in motion the fermentation process soon.

So, I asked Jorge “what happens if the farmer gets delayed, for whatever reason”
Jorge: “Oh! They make alcohol”

That was a simple solution!!! 🙂

I am quite sure in India though, I have seen farmers harvesting sugarcane with sharp sickles in their hands. I think Costa Rican farmers are too lazy 🙂

28 November 2013


Maiden adventure in ATV!!! After all the rain and slippery slopes, these vehicles grew a mind of their own 🙂 Half the time we drove them, the other half of the time , they drove by themselves 🙂