sábado, 14 de enero de 2017

Improvements | Pros | Costa Rica | La Platina and others

4.  Costa Rica and Emma

     La La Land, movies, Emma Stone, Costa Rica, what do they have in common?  Awesome and genius marketing campaign.  

3.  Another Pro:  Schools and Education in Costa Rica

     Definitely, education is one of the highest points in Costa Rica.  Needless to say that literacy rate is very high.  According to Wikipedia, it is a 97.8%, which is pretty good for a Central American country.  

     School is run by the Ministry of Public Education.  Schooling in Costa Rica is divided in three cycles, pre-school, elementary, and high school.  There are public and private schools.  Moreover, the school year usually starts in February and ends in December.  Other schools follow the  "American school year calendar," meaning that school starts in September.  These are usually the most expensive and upscale private schools, such as Pan-American, Country Day, and Lincoln. 

     Next Monday, most schools go in session and there will be thousands of students in their white and blue uniforms (grade and high school) or light blue for pre-school on the streets.

Image Credit:  http://www.mep.go.cr/

     My siblings have been very busy getting ready all the school supplies as well as school uniforms. All this brings back memories of my school days.

    I still remember dearly my beautiful lunchbox and school bag.  I found similar pictures on Pinterest.

I still taste the "Gerber", sandwiches, and cookies that my mom would pack for my snacks.

Image Credit: http://javasahagun.com/producto/gerber

Oh, and my books, I think that is why I love reading.  I learned how to love reading when I was in grade school (because I never went to pre-school, it was OK back in those days).

     Anyway, my favorite books were "....Mamá amasa la masa" and "See Spot run."  You might remember them too.  If not, I added some pics from Pinterest too:

    In first grade, I loved my abacus.  I bet children now have no idea what they are, but there are some that call them the first computers.  :)

     Here is a pic:  

Oh, my, I didn't like my regular school shoes that much, so from time to time I would wear my Sunday shoes hoping that my mom wouldn't notice.  They were a little like these ones:

     School.....an important step in our lives.  Blessings to all students, may you all have a very successful 2017 school year with good scores and high in values.  


2. La Platina Bridge      

     Well, folks, as we all know Costa Rica has been blessed from all flanks.  However, two maladies are corroding our country, corruption and lack of planning/organization.  A very clear example of this is  “La Platina.”

     La Platina has become a joke throughout Costa Rica. Well, you might ask yourselves, what isn’t a joke in Costa Rica anyway.  This is the land of “pura vida.”   "Pura Vida"  is part of our culture since it is the way we deal with what is unclear or impossible to solve.  Everything becomes a joke to deal with life and have a little fun. 

     "La platina" was a part of a bridge, a metal plate.  This bridge goes over the Virilla River, so it is known as the Rio Virilla Bridge.   This bridge is part of a highway called “General Cañas” which connects Alajuela (where the SJO airport is) and San Jose, the capital city.  About 100000 vehicles pass over this bridge every day.   These “repairs”  were happening almost on a continuous basis and it delayed traffic immensely. And so they years passed, presidents came and went, and still no permanent repair for "la platina."         Repairs never done properly though money was being drained trying to “fix” this bridge.

     Lots of memes and videos were made to make fun of it.  In my opinion, the funniest was a video from 2009 entitled “Hitler y la platina.”  It has captions in Spanish though only the people with the background knowledge of what "la platina" is would understand it.
     The creator of this video is a very inventive young man, Edson Brizuela who, as almost all Costa Ricans or expats living in Costa Rica, suffered from humongous traffic jams due to the “repairs.”

      These memes can also give you an idea of what we Costa Ricans have been dealing with for about a decade.  There is an article in a Costa Rican newspaper where you can read the funniest memes about “la platina”.  They are in Spanish.  Here I translated a few of them for you:

Platina Bridge in the Year 2113

Gonna dance on the famous La Platina Bridge

Michelle, you're not going to believe this!  I went to La Platina!

     Well, dear readers, you might ask yourselves, why are you talking about “la platina” in the “Improvements” section?

     Well,  our President  Luis Guillermo Solís is dedicating a big portion of his term to solve what past presidents never cared about.  Thus, he is building a new bridge.  Ta Ta!!!!!   Awesome!!!

     Now, of course there are still delays, traffic jams, etc. since there is construction going on over there.  However, now it is for real.  This is a great engineering feat.  Hurrah for Costa Rica!  Hurrah!

Feel free to copy and re-post this content or the graphics, but please do link back and reference this blog.  Thanks!

1. El ICE de Costa Rica:  Tesoro y Orgullo Nacional

Hoy en la mañana iba escuchando la radio y el reportero estaba hablando del ICE.  Muchas veces me he quejado por el mal servicio, etc., del ICE.  Sin embargo, también hay que ver la parte buena.  Eso me hizo recordar el excelente plan Duo que venden con Internet y teléfono.  Es decir, hay que verlo como la historia del vaso medio lleno o medio vacío.  El reportero dijo cosas que me hincharon el pecho de orgullo, cosas que yo no sabía y comparto algunas de ellas con ustedes.

1-Gracias al ICE hay teléfono e internet en las partes más recónditas del país.
2-Gracias al ICE el servicio es relativamente barato.
3-Gracias al ICE el país cumplió muchos días utilizando energías limpias.  Incluso en Francia se hizo un homenaje por dichos esfuerzos.

Hasta que se me puso la carne de gallina.  Que orgullo!

4-  Además, el ICE también ha hecho una super represa. 

Y así numerosos éxitos.  Felicitaciones ICE, empresa que nos enorgullece inmensamente!

                  1. Costa Rica, ICE:  National Treasure and Pride

     I was listening to the radio in the morning and the commentator was talking about ICE, Costa Rican Institute of Electricity.    I have complained about ICE many times, basically about bad service, etc.  However, we have to see the good points too.  They have an excellent Duo package, Internet and phone.  In other words, it is like the half full / half empty glass.    The commentator said many things about ICE, and all of them made me prouder of being Costa Rican.  Here I share a few of them:

1-Thanks to ICE, we have phone and Internet service almost everywhere in Costa Rica.
2-Thanks to ICE those services are relatively inexpensive.
3-Thanks to ICE the country  has used clean energies for numerous days.  Even France honored Costa Rica.  See picture above.
4-Furthermore, thanks to ICE now we have a super power plant called Reventazon (see video above).

Congratulations ICE, you make us super proud!