Los Pollitos – The Little Chickens

•July 31, 2008 • Leave a Comment

We have finally – after many years of saying eventually – gotten chickens on the property – now officially a farm!   After extensive research on the Internet and plenty of interviews with local farmers, we started off by building a chicken shack out of what else:- recycles scrap building materials of course!

And then the biggest preoccupation was the rooster.  Could one have egg laying hens without a rooster that sings before dawn?  That was the big question we have been investigating – attempting to limit the 4 am sounds of a happy rooster – or worse – 1 am, 2 am, 3 am 4 am and 5 am – an unsynchronized rooster!

Sara and her chicks

Don’t laugh – as the dysfunctional rooster is a fairly common issue around these parts!  So we put out a reward to any locals who would be able to help us find a rooster that does his thing with all the hens – but would be able to refrain from singing while we were still sleeping.  Our research has concluded that there are no mute roosters – at least not that anyone knows of.  So we’ve taken the plunge – and acquired a bunch of young and medium sized hens with one happy rooster.

They are still too young to sing or lay – but for now the chicken experience has proven to be a blessing for the kids – Sara in particular.  She is fascinated and thrilled at spending as much time as possible chasing them, picking them up and feeding them.

Here is one for you

Here is one for you

Chicken care is fairly easy – we think so far. Just feed them feed concentrate (available at the pet store), corn, leftovers or just about anything, change the water, let then run out in the day time, keep the shack clean – and collect the eggs of course! Eventually within a few weeks, the goal is to have lots of fresh eggs everyday.  There is a world of a difference between a fresh egg – and the ones we buy in the store…all the difference in the world.  And that is why we now have chickens!!

The beach

•July 2, 2008 • 1 Comment

Manny, Maya and Sara went to the beach this morning while Emmanuelle was working hard…..

Another relaxing Sunday afternoon

•June 29, 2008 • Leave a Comment

We were able to enjoy a relaxing Sunday afternoon.  Manuel stayed in bad until 1 pm, Emmanuelle and Maya played cards.  When Mauel got up, he made a rockin feta-sundried tomatoe – olive pasta sauce for lunch.

And that was it the whole day!  Sara was cool and we wentout to dinner at La Peco nera.

The cove at Punta Uva

We’ve moved…new location for Life In Punta Uva

•June 29, 2008 • Leave a Comment

After over 1 year of non activity on our blog, we have decided to move the format to the standard blogging format.  The original Life in Punta Uva blog was created before we were aware of the concept of blogs.  Yet it also involved direct web page creation from an HTML editor to create – thus extending the time to write and format images as well as limiting other family members from directly participating.

Life In Punta Uva

We hope that by adopting this new format, we will be encouraged to write more often and include entries from Emmanuelle and Maya – who has recently discovered the world of the Internet.

A Year Later

•March 1, 2007 • 1 Comment

It is absolutely amazing how time flies faster and faster as you get older! It seems like just yesterday that Sara Star came into this world.

Sara in SinkThis past year has been characterized as a redefining year for all of us.  Sara’s challenging few weeks after her birth and her Muscular Dystrophy diagnosis have imposed the greatest physical, mental, psychological and spiritual challenges to our lives – yet a bit more than a year later, we each find ourselves, happier, stronger, healthier and certainly more positive on life than ever before.  Life has a way to teach us lessons and guide us – if we are willing to open up – in the hardest ways sometimes – but that may be what it takes.

At the beach Manuel and Sara in the water Sara Maya with her science project

After Sara’s birth – and having been informed of her condition and most doctors telling us there was little hope for life after a few weeks or months at the most – we were forced to look outside the modern medical world for hope and perhaps answers.  What we (believe) have learned / discovered is that most if not all ailments that we come upon in life (genetics included) are caused over time (and sometimes generations) by unnatural products that we put into our bodies and surround ourselves with on a daily basis. Sara playing in the rain These include ANY processed foods or drinks, all household chemicals and of course polluted environments.  Any foods treated with pesticides, hormones, antibiotics or additives are in fact bad for us and introduce “poisons” to our bodies.  A common question I have always asked is “If we supposedly have the world’s most advanced medicine – then why do we have more sick people then ever?  Why is cancer on the rise?  Why is obesity on the rise? Hypertension?  Alzheimer’s?  Why are we having to take more and more pills?”  Sure we are living longer – but perhaps artificially? As a generation – we are not getting healthier – we are in fact getting less and less healthy- but the little pills help HIDE our effects better and better without ever curing us – and in time – making us sicker and weaker to combat the next “disease” that comes along our path.

Whether we like it or not, our bodies are constantly bombarded by bacteria and viruses and much more.  They are not the problem. It is not the virus that gets us sick – but rather our body’s weakened immune system – that is less able to naturally fight off the “intruders”.  If we were to think and practice “preventive” medicine as a healthcare concept – instead of combative (treating the symptoms) – then there would be less need for the healthcare industry as we know it.  Politicians today are scratching their heads on how to present a solution to our future’s healthcare problems.  The answer is oh so simple:  emphasize on KEEPING people HEALTHY – instead of trying to treat symptoms and beating diseases.  The problem with this approach – as unbelievably simple as it may seem – as that the healthcare INDUSTRY  would loose most of their profits.  It is not about our health – but rather that of the corporations which the healthcare industry is truly concerned about!!!!

Manuel Sara\'s Birthday The Pintos The Pintettes

So with that basic understanding, we have embarked on a journey of “natural life” for ourselves and most importantly for Sara.  Sara eats only natural and organic foods – NEVER packaged.  Forget the Gerber food.  Forget any powdered products.  She is not given any medications (unless absolutely essential – which in some cases – they are).   She is viewed by us in the most positive and normal way.  The results so far may speak for themselves.  The doctors simply call her “The Miracle of Punta Uva”.  This is a life long journey and personal “experiment” in which we can’t loose.  The text books tell us that there is NO CURE for Muscular Dystrophy.  We believe this to be untrue.  The human body is not meant to be sick.  The human body is able to combat and heal all disease – IF we allow it to do so – by providing it the most basic and natural environment it was meant to flourish in!  While there is no magic pill or treatment to HIDE the effects of MD, there may be a cure in the most simplistic way:  nature – balance and positive healthy living.

For Sara – and ourselves – we are constantly looking into other “alternative” medicine avenues and each time pleasantly surprised to learn of the power and benefits each offers.  Today, we actively practice natural health, nutrition, daily massage, reflexology and nothing but POSITIVE BELIEF and love.  For anyone who did not know her condition – Sara Star is a perfectly healthy and happy child!

Maya and Sara in the rain

Meet Sara Star

•April 1, 2006 • Leave a Comment

Sara StarSara Star was born in San Jose on February 17th, 2006. She came into our world a few weeks early and with all the complications of a premature baby. The morning after her birth, Sara Star was transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the San Jose Children’s Hospital where she spent her first 5 weeks fighting for her life. Admittedly, a very difficult period for all of us as life as we knew it – stopped – and took a different turn. We did not return to Punta Uva until Sara Star was released from the hospital.

Emmanuelle recovered very well from the C-Section and is now back to her usual form!

Emmanuelle holding Sara

During these difficult 5 weeks, Sara experienced a list of medical challenges – but at every turn, we were nothing but extremely impressed by the medical world in Costa Rica. We feel Sara received excellent care by the nurses, doctors and facilities – MUCH better than one can expect in most US facilities today! Maya was able to visit and meet her sister only 3 weeks after her birth. This was a very special and emotional experience for all of us – Maya in particular.

Maya meeting SaraLife in San Jose Anyone that has visited San Jose knows that it is not the world’s most desirable city. However, when given the opportunity to scratch the surface, there does exist a better city! We were fortunate to have several close friends in San Jose helps us tremendously as well as Emmanuelle’s mother, Josiane, who stayed with us the entire time. Maya missed school but spent many afternoons in the Sabana park riding her bicycle, horses and ponies, playing with her girlfriend Charlotte and going to amusement parks. We also took a few half day excursions to some of the local tropical gardens and volcanoes. I never thought this was possible, but we now know how to drive and get around in most of San Jose – where the streets have no name!

Emmanuelle feeding Sara at homeReturn to Life in Punta Uva Five weeks after Sara’s birth, she was discharged from the hospital and we wasted no time in returning to our little paradise. Manuel’s mother, Regine, also came in for a few days to celebrate and spend time with the rest of the family. Once Sara got out of the hospital and returned to the jungle, she completely improved and turned around. Today, she is progressing very well and showing improvements on a daily basis. Her parents are not getting much sleep at all and feeling like zombies – but that is normal – for a few months!

Maya and her new little sister Sara

The Big Sister For the past few years, Maya Soleil has been begging her parents for a little sister. Now that she is here, we have a very happy and proud big sister! Maya loves her little sister and takes excellent care of her. She helps us bathe her and now changes Sara’s diapers and feeds her all by herself.

…and The White Spot??? We are sure that there are a few of you just asking yourself one big important question since you’ve opened this page: ‘What is that white spot on Sara’s head?’ Answer: It is a piece of ordinary white paper, chewed on and compressed as a tiny ball and simply put on her forehead. The purpose is to stop the hiccups that babies so often have. How does it work? We have no clue – but it is an old Costa Rican grandmother’s cure – and it seems to work sometimes!

Tornadoes, Earthquakes and Hurricanes

•August 10, 2002 • Leave a Comment

BeforeWe haven’t written in the past 3 weeks because we went to Miami for 2 1/2 weeks to finalize certain issues and complete the transition to CR. Congratulations to Emmanuelle!! On July 29th, 2002, she was sworn in as a US citizen. Maya visited and played with her two best friends, Morgan and Jake, both of whom we expect to see in CR within the next few weeks! Manuel worked at the clinic.

During out absence, Life in Punta Uva was active. Apparently there was a 6.3 earthquake in northern Panama, which was strongly felt in Punta Uva. We are only a few miles from the Panamanian border!! The good news is that since we do not have any major infrastructure or skyscrapers, there was no significant damage anywhere!! Apparently, earthquakes ARE common here. In 1991, there was a 7+ earthquake in Limon that lifted the coral reef 5 feet above the water. To this day, when in Limon, one can see a fully exposed coral reef – now dead.

AfterMany people have been concerned for us about the risk of hurricanes. I know is hard to believe, but in Costa Rica, there are NO hurricanes! We are just below the hurricane belt and therefore NEVER see them. However, it is possible to get side effects from hurricanes, as the bands of rain can travel all the way down here. Wind-wise – we are fine!

The lack of hurricanes in a tropical world does not exempt us from a random powerful thunderstorms. While we were away, there was a powerful thunderstorm with leading winds almost as strong as a hurricane. The winds lasted about 15 minutes. The locals recall it being a quiet mid afternoon when all the sudden the wind picked up. Suddenly, all over town, the sound of trees cracking was heard all over. Some massive trees several hundred years old fell. Power and telephone lines mostly destroyed as well as the poles. Several houses smashed by fallen trees. The town was isolated for several days due the number of trees blocking road access. When we arrived back to Punta Uva, we could still see the efforts of people trying to get back to life. New poles had been put in place and most of the trees were being cut and removed. No one was severely injured as a result of the storm. Our rental house had some minor damage, but was overall OK.

Fallen treeOur property, however, was a victim of these rare, strong winds. We lost one of our three big trees on the building plateau as well as a number of other smaller trees. The good news is that this tree was the closest to where we plan to build the house, thus we are now safer for the future should another storm come. Had we had our house already built, it very well may have been smashed by the fallen tree!!!!! The more important news is that Big Tree itself – was spared.

Big TreeOtherwise, the road and the bridge are moving along. Hopefully, if the weather cooperates, we expect to be finished with the carving of the road within the next few days. Next step will be to bring over 100 MAC trucks of riverbed road and gravel to surface it…another massive job that we look forward to!!

We’ve had brainstorming sessions with Nicolas, our architect / developer. He’s a French guy who built a wonderful jungle lodge here some 10 years ago. We expect to have house plans drawn up within the next 2 weeks as well. Construction will begin as soon as the road is complete. We will, of course, update everyone with LOTS of pictures and updates.