My First Entry-Why Costa Rica was right for me

Published: March 2nd 2007
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Just me!Just me!Just me!

The happiest I´ve ever been
Firstly, I owe a special thanks to Greg Waxmonsky. I met him 3 years ago in Alexandria, VA, where I spent a summer waiting tables with him at Bertuccis Restaurant. While I haven't tried every job out there, I will go out on a limb and say waiting tables and being a salesman at a mattress store are probably the two worst ways to make a buck. I call them the mirage jobs, comparing them to the feeling of thinking you see water in the desert when you've gone thirsty for 2 weeks. With waiting, after you've spent 8 hours thoroughly demeaned by every anal retentive 3 ice cubes in my cup, not 2, forkaholic, you are nothing but hungry, and there is nothing but food all around you reminding you of what you could be doing if you weren't spending your time putting food in other people's stomaches! By the way, the word forkaholic is used to describe those guests who have a fork problem. These are the people who seem to coincidentally drop their eating tool during the most strenuous of times. Table 9 will not be getting their coke right now because the man at table 6, who decided to bathe in butter before coming to dinner this evening, has dropped his fork. I compare this job to selling mattresses because God forbid you come to work tired! Greg never seemed to see it this way. He found the good in everything. He had a sense of tranquilty about him and a general appreciation for each day. About the time we met, he had recently returned from a 6 month volunteer program through Habitat for Humanity in San Ramon, Costa Rica. He was borderline fluent in Spanish, could Salsa better than Tostitos, and walked with his head up ALWAYS. His friends always told me it was a Greg they had never seen before. One co-worker of ours said, " Greg left to Costa Rica as a shy guy, and he came back a lot happier and A LOT more confident." The truth is, I was envious of his ability to speak Spanish, and even more so, hold his own in conversations about other parts of the world. I am grateful for meeting and becoming friends with Greg because he made me feel that branching off on your own, taking chances, and exploring other cultures and ideas was not only do-able, but WELL WELL worth it. So here I am! I made the official move in late July of 2006 with one of my best friends and terrific business partners, Mike Patton. He and I have been through a lot of ups and downs, but by far, more ups. We have been helping each other with Spanish, adapting to the new culture, and finding our way around! We are currently renting a small house in the center of town, while we wait to build our homes in Magallanes, a mountain side a few minutes from town with spectacular views of the ocean. You can see what I´m talking about at our website, Adapting to a new culture and way of life should be a lot harder than it really is. The truth is, making mistakes here is nothing but fun. The people are extremely patient when it comes to your Spanish, and the per capita smile rate is significantly higher here than I ever saw in the United States. It´s common to see teenagers actually enjoying their parent´s company IN PUBLIC. San Ramon has given me a sense of tranquility that I´ve never imagined growing up in New York. I finally finally feel HAPPY.
Finally, I would like to thank a very special friend of mine, Andrew Mastrandonas. We became friends and shortly after business partners in October of 2006. He has taken on a mentor role for me as I continue to persue various goals in Costa Rica. He is walking evidence that honesty pays off, and that friendships come first, NOT MONEY. I feel like our company, CR Communities is 500 percent better off with him on the team. Thanks again Andrew!
I will try to update my blog once a week, for all of you who are considering making the move to Costa Rica, and hopefully San Ramon. I am happy to answer any questions. I will try to give as much information away as possible. I want to share this with other people. This town IS big enough for the rest of you!


10th March 2007

Great Start!
Great way to start your blog! Keep it up! Andrew
18th March 2007

random note.... I so completely envy the fact that you're a person who took the risk to up and move to a completely new environment. Just the other day I was telling someone that I wish I had the guts to do that. My dream is to live in Costa Rica so I guess I'll live vicariously through this blog for a bit. And I soooooo know what you mean by forkaholics. Everyone should have to work in the food industry for a few years to build some character.

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