House Building Planning, Shopping, Plastic Bag Weaving, Praying Mantis

We made contacts with various house builders, like the glass guy, the man who builds gates, the architect and general contractors. There are two main facets to Tico culture. Tico time, which means things happen and get done according to when people feel like it. Second is that Ticos are non-confrontational. If someone can't make a scheduled appointment then they won't call to say they can't make the appointment, instead they just won't show. We are beginning to experience some of this with getting the right people lined up to get our new house livable. At first I thought more than two months would be plenty of time to fix up the house. Now, I am setting the bar much lower and simply hope to have running water, electricity and some sort of make shift kitchen. Anything more than that would be wonderful, but I'm not counting on it.

We did the big monthly grocery shopping trip with the neighbors this week. I keep track of all of our expenses in the fabulous program called Neat Receipts. Our number one expense is food. I have watched the amount we spend on food increase with each passing month. This month I decided to lay out the recipes for the month and cut back on the amount of meat we eat. I was happy to see that we saved more than $200 compared to last month. While the imported American foods are here, they are very expensive. We will still purchase these items, but use more sparingly and less often.

woven plastic bag basketsI completed two plastic bag crafts. The first is a large basket. I used a coiling technique for this one, wrapping plastic "thread" around bundled plastic bags. It took dozens of bags to complete this project. The second item is a woven bag. I made a makeshift loom out of bamboo sticks to weave this bag. The handle was constructed by braiding bags together. The outcome was a bag just the right size for a bottle of wine. Now I am out of plastic bags and either need to be not so good about using our cloth shopping bags or put word out that I will take them off of people's hands.

Costa Rica praying mantisThis past week a Praying Mantis made herself comfortable inside our house. After the second or third day I found her crawling up and down a water bottle. It was neat to watch how she walked, seemingly testing out each new possible step before committing to the move forward. I got the camera out and recorded her for a while until it seemed she sensed I was there. After all of the back and forth motions, making sure the foot position was exactly right, she froze and cocked her eyes exactly at the camera. Now this alien looking creature and I were staring at each other. I recorded for a moment more then backed off to give her her space. The next day she was found on the floor with her feet tangled in an old spider's web. We untangled her and released her outside.