Oct 22 2017

In the Mailbag-End of Life Issues, Living Close to Nature, a Tour Memory, and Making the Move to Costa Rica

emaildelivery-200pxWe always get lots of responses and questions from readers, both newsletter subscribers and on Facebook.

Folks particularly commented on the end of life articles in our last newsletter.

Bob B. wrote,


I wanted to thank you very much for addressing the ‘end of life’ information this month. I lost my wife of 48 years in December, and am working with a survivors support group now. I can tell you that no matter how much a couple or family thinks they have prepared, at the end, I at least was not prepared. I can not fully appreciate the additional difficulties that would be added by being in a different culture.

The  ‘end of life’  has so many things coming at you like water out of a firehose. Bless you for trying to call some attention to the various possible items…It would probably be helpful if you could suggest  several translators,  I am thinking English to Spanish, (more specifically Costa Rican Spanish and medical terms, which often are not obvious, and a team member fluent in both Costa Rican Spanish/culture and medical terminology could be a huge assistance.  I found that at the end things move fast, and you can’t call a time out!

Thanks, again, for bringing this forward.

Thanks, Bob, for your kind words. We appreciate it so much and are glad that you found our articles on end of life issues helpful. We will research Spanish/English translators and provide this information in an upcoming newsletter.

Regarding the body donation article, Marlene P. posted the following question on Facebook:

Excellent Information. If the paperwork us done for donation to medical, does the body stay in the home until death certicate is made? Does a private MD come to the home? How long would the body be in the home?

Judy Kerr, who wrote the article for us, responded:

When you sign up for body donation you are provided a card with multiple phone numbers on it to call at the time of death. The school will work with you in making this transition. A doctor must issue a death certificate for the deceased, then a team will come to transport the body to the medical school. This will happen as rapidly as possible, since any usable organs will be harvested for the living.

On another topic, Edie B. wrote,

Dear Paul and Gloria,

We have been reading your newsletters voraciously and taking in the advice Paul gave me on the phone…My question is, where is the wildlife? We have been studying climate, healthcare, culture, and all the other aspects of choosing one area over another in your newsletters gratefully but we have heard about people hearing monkeys outside their windows and hummingbirds and toucans in their gardens. Where are those places? Can you maybe do an article about that aspect of living in Costa Rica or a map? All the houses we have seen so far are pretty suburban. We would like to be on the edge of a Tico village near a town with amenities but still enjoy the rainforest. Have we set our sites to high? Thanks for the good work.

Hi Edie,

No, I don’t think you have set your sights too high. In fact, wildlife can be seen all over the country. not just in rural areas. When we lived about 10 minutes outside of the town of San Ramón, we had monkeys and toucans in the trees. When we lived at the Cabinas, also about 10 minutes outside of San Ramon, we saw an occasional sloth, lots of butterflies and birds, and even agoutis and coatis. Our friends in other towns like Grecia and San Isidro del General have had the same experiences. If you want monkeys, you would need to settle lower than 3,000 ft. elevation. Birds and butterflies are everywhere. You increase your chances of wildlife if you have some forest around you. But you don’t need to be way out in the country to enjoy the wildlife. As you explore different places to live, ask folks who live in those areas what wildlife can be seen there.

Hope this helps!


Mike D. wrote to us about a tour he took with us,

This is Mike from Portland, Maine with whom you met 3 years ago on my visit with you to take part in a tour of San Ramón. I was there for tour of the Central Valley, but It was a week or so before Paul launched his medical tours and I think I was the “trial run” so too speak as I saw several clinics and hospitals. At one point Paul opened a door in the waiting room of a hospital and several patients looked up, saw these two gringos staring at them, well Paul started speaking in Spanish and within  seconds he had those folks laughing as though he was Johnny Carson (does that show my age?) I really enjoyed my time with Paul that day, from the barbershop, to the local Red Cross office, to his car mechanic and his favorite little restaurant on the second floor of a building downtown San Ramon…I’m so happy for you guys following your dreams and living the life many others only wish they could have.

All the best too you both. Stay safe, stay healthy.

Mike D.

And finally, Linda R. wrote,

Hi. I want to thank you for your newsletter and let you know how helpful it has been for me. Several years back I started researching for a retirement destination for my husband and I. We did not want to stay in the States. Your newsletter helped with so much information that helped us. Two years ago we made our move here to Atenas. We couldn’t be more happy. Thank you for you dedication and time put into your newsletters.

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