Uvita, Power Outage and More…

This morning our power went out just as we were getting ready to leave for Uvita, a small town about a 20 minute drive from us.  We were meeting up with our handyman at one of the three local Ferreterías (hardware stores). He was helping us buy concrete drainage gutters for our property.  He and a couple of his guys will install them for us.  As we were driving along the Pan American Highway toward Dominical, we noticed at least nine ICE trucks (ICE is the government power company).  The ICE workers were working on the power lines, so obviously, they had to shut off the power to do their work.  From the way things looked as we drove by, we figured that the power would be off for most of the day.  It amazed us that several of the workers were not wearing any protective gear like helmets or special gloves!  They like to live dangerously here, guess.

We arrived early for our meet up with our handyman, so we looked around for a hair place as Eddie needed a haircut and he didn’t trust me to do it!  We found a nice little place and the owner cut Eddie’s hair.  She did a fantastic job!

After buying the concrete drainage gutters, we decided to go to the bank.  The ATM is open 24/7, but we can only get the local currency from it.  We wanted to have some US dollars and to do that, we needed to go inside and see a teller.  The branch in Uvita is small. They are only open three days a week and close early (about 2:30 p.m.)  As you enter, the first door leads into a small foyer and then you have to press a button to activate the door into the metal detector.  It slides open and you step in one at a time.  A woman’s voice tells you to remove all metal objects from your pockets and to put them in a tray, except there is no tray.  You either hold your stuff in your hands or open you purse so the guard on the other side can see you and your stuff.  When the metal detector door slides open, the guard gives you a once over and in this particular branch, he tells you where to queue up. (The larger branches have a ticket machine.)  In this branch, there were two rows of chairs.  Only one person can see the teller at a time.  So, Eddie sat in the first row of chairs where the guard motioned him and I sat behind him.  There were two teller stations today, a regular one and one for special services, which is for the elderly, disabled or pregnant women. They get special treatment in Costa Rica and can jump ahead of the line.  The guard kept up with the special services line on who was next.  For the regular teller, it was who was in the chair closest to the end of the row.  When the next person went up to the teller, then everyone got up and moved a chair closer to the end (think musical chairs!).  We waited 20 minutes for Eddie to get up to the teller.  It didn’t take long for him to complete his transaction, but for some, it took a long time.  It was nice that the bank was air conditioned!

Afterwards, we stopped at a thrift store that I had noticed on our way to the hair place.  I bought three books for $1 each.  The proceeds from the store help buy food for the needy.  I was hoping to find some used kitchen things, but they didn’t have any.  They mostly had clothes and books.

When we returned to our place as we suspected earlier, the power was still out.  It didn’t come back on until 4:30.  Good thing we didn’t have anything urgent where we needed power to do it.  I was a good excuse to read my Kindle and for Eddie to play solitaire on his tablet.

Our caretaker, Lopez, has two pets – a dog named Lucas and a cat named Pacho.

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The only time we see Pacho is when he is hungry.  He jumps up on the window ledge and meows loudly.  We see Lucas at every meal.  He seems to know when I’m thinking about food!  He is like any other dog…he begs.  We suspect that Lopez doesn’t always feed his pets on a regular basis, which is not uncommon here.  Finally, we bought some cat food (which Lucas likes to eat, too) for “emergencies.”  Before we bought the cat food, we tried giving Lucas some left over french fries. He spit them out right away…not sure what to think of it all. I don’t think Lopez feeds him table scraps. Eddie decided to go find Pacho and try giving him a french fry.  Lucas followed along happily as he and Pacho get along really well. The cat loved them!  When Lucas saw Pacho eating the french fries, then he wanted some, too.  Go figure!

3 thoughts on “Uvita, Power Outage and More…

  1. What a fun day you had. Have been in banks like that.so different from here! Both Kal and I are enjoying your blog. Seems like you’re doing well with your Spanish.

  2. hey ellen the bank is open everyday, the sign you saw, says, for exchanging coins (moneda) to paper money they do this transactions only 3 days a week and until 2:30….ha ha…

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