Our “Doctor” Makes Housecalls AND Mows Our Grass


Mario is our gardener. Today he told me about a popular natural remedy for a sour stomach – or refreshing drink – that is common among the Ticos.

It’s called mozote… good for the gut! And we need all the gut help we can get.

… mozote – a mucilaginous plant* – is also highly beneficial for intestinal health. It’s like an emollient for your insides! The locals make a drink from it and enjoy it regularly to maintain intestinal health!

Making mozote

Mario chopped off a couple of small branches from a small Guacimo tree. Other websites suggest different names for the plant used to make mozote… but Pura Vida… in Guacimo de Atenas, it’s gonna be branches from the Guacimo tree.

He then took his knife to shave the bark from the branch. Once he had eight strips of bark he took them to a nearby rock and used another smaller rock to smash the shavings. He emphasized that it should be a small tree.

The idea is to put the shavings in a large container, add water, and refrigerate. He said to wash my hands and massage the shavings. After a few squeezes the water turned into a thick liquid.  Others say use the branches themselves after the bark is removed.

After refrigeration, Mario said a few hours – others say overnight,  pour the concoction into a bottle – making sure I don’t get any “trash” into the bottle and ENJOY.

“Enjoy” is not a word I would use… it’s totally tasteless! I guess adding some fruit juice or a little sugar would make it refreshing…

On the other hand, tasteless would be a good thing if using mozote as a natural remedy for stomach upset.




Deja Vu! Old Post Revisited!
Are You a Pecker or a Toucher?

Do you hunt and peck when you type or are you a touch typist? I’m a toucher, but not very proficient. My wife is an excellent typist and gets a real kick out of proofreading my stuff because of all the typos. I often forget to spell check and hit publish and then go back and correct things (sometimes).

There’s an interesting post at Freakonomics about the merits of the Dvorak keyboard and the QWERTY keyboard. The Dvorak keyboard was designed to make typing for efficient and replace the QWERTY keyboard which allegedly was created to slow down typists to prevent key jams on manual typewriters.

Sounds like emotions run high.

But then another commenter (saharvetes) linked to this furious letter to the editor that appeared in the next issue of Reason. Randy Cassingham, who wrote the letter, also wrote a book called The Dvorak Keyboard in 1986.

One of the commenters is proficient in both. The old pat your head/rub your stomach deal times ten I would think.

Costa Rica Inflation Hits Home


Inflation Rate in Costa Rica averaged 15.16 percent from 1977 until 2016, reaching an all time high of 108.89 percent in September of 1982 and a record low of -1.20 percent in November of 2015.

Inflation in Costa Rica is tricky. In the U.S. it usually means prices simply increase.
In Costa Rica, it’s likely that the price will stay the same, or slightly increase, but the quantity of goods is reduced.
The rag rug is an excellent example.
Both rugs cost 1.5 mil (about $3.00) from a street vendor. The one on the left was purchased four years ago. The one on the right – last week.

I’ve noticed that packaging such as cans and bottles become smaller too. In the U.S. retailers demand that packaging remain consistent because of transportation and warehousing issues as well as shelf-space allocation.

Not so in Costa Rica. A store will just stop carrying the larger size and slot whatever they are sent. This is true with the big box stores as well as the mom-and-pop stores.

Inflation can pull the rug out from under you in Costa Rica!



Our car has been sensored.

The other day it refused to start. Battery was strong, full of gas, was not over-heated, but no go.

I tried it multiple times without any luck.

I had installed a new remote door opener so I blamed that. I hitched a ride to the shop that installed it and after a long discussion was convinced that the remote he installed was not to blame. I called my mechanic and he picked me up and we went to the car still sitting in the parking lot.

Of course, it started like it was brand new – ON THE FIRST TRY.

I headed home and made it the whole way without a glitch. A little later, I took off in the car and within a few minutes it stalled.  After waiting a few minutes it started! This was repeated many times.

Very mysterious.

Long story a little shorter, Freddy, my mechanic, diagnosed it as either a bad crankshaft sensor or a bad camshaft sensor.

He was right. Both sensors needed to be replaced. From time of first problem to time of it being fixed: seven days. Four of them we were without a car.

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