Today is Tomorrow--Manana Part II

Published: November 23rd 2007
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Another Sweet SunsetAnother Sweet SunsetAnother Sweet Sunset

Nataghia shot this beauty from our west door.

As many of our faithful blog readers already know we like our computer time, especially the internet. With the election, the Riders, the Canadian dollar making so many headlines and of course keeping in contact with all of our friends and family we find it difficult to let one day pass without going online. Now that we have the car it is much more convenient to make our way to the Internet Café. However, we are still longing for the convenience of having Internet at home.

On Friday November 9th after waiting one month for our Internet connection I visited I.C.E. the government run utility company and “inquired” about what was happening with the installation. After a phone call the nice woman, who spoke terrific English, told me that I would have to buy my own modem and then the installer would come. I replied that I would go and buy one as soon as I left so she could book me an appointment for as soon as possible. She told me he would be coming in the afternoon some day during the forthcoming week. No installer arrived and Nataghia was getting frustrated being forced to stay home in
Four X FourFour X FourFour X Four

We went for a tour with one of my adult students to look at some property. Thank God his Toyota Prada is an amazing vehicle. We drove over 500 meters of seemingly impassible terrain.
the afternoons everyday…something had to happen. Monday afternoon of this week I called and spoke to Lorena the nice lady who has been helping me and she told me she would call the installer and find out what happened and then call me back. I called back later that same afternoon and Lorena told me that she was getting the message manager of the installer so she had no news for me. I think we can all agree that it is a bad sign when a person is becoming friends with the customer service representative. She told me that she would keep trying him and that it would likely be installed tomorrow.

Tuesday after school I return home excited about the prospect of using the Internet without leaving the house. Unfortunately tomorrow did not work out. I call the I.C.E. office to touch base with my new friend Lorena. She is not in the office so I do my best to inquire in Spanish as to what is happening. The fellow helping me asks me to hold the line while he inquires on my behalf…ooops we must have been disconnected. I call back and speak to another fellow and
The Mountain ViewThe Mountain ViewThe Mountain View

The drive was worth of many unreal mountain views.
he promptly tells me that it will happen later that day or tomorrow. O.K., right on! Tomorrow or maybe even today we will have Internet I tell myself sarcastically as I head out to the gate to make sure it is closed and that the sign is still visible. As I return from the gate the phone rings. It is the installer!!!! He tells me he won’t make it this afternoon but he will be coming …you guessed it….TOMORROW!!!! Trying to pin him down I ask him at what time we should expect him and his response. “No se.” translation= I don’t know. As I type this it is 3:30 PM tomorrow. I am about to leave for home and maybe tomorrow will have finally arrived and I will post this from the comfort of our home.

Along with the local utilities company I have made another friend at Continental Airlines. When purchasing our airline tickets we pretty much knew we would have to change them at some point before the scheduled fly date of Nov. 19th. We understood that there would be a charge for changing our departure date. We wanted to wait as long as possible
Ocean ViewOcean ViewOcean View

Here is a shot of the ocean from one of the spots we stopped. The time of day was just a little too early for the money sunset shot.
because we didn’t want to have to pay for changes at a later date. Last week I called to make the change and surprise…
“I’m sorry sir you will have to use your ticket by the issue date.”
“Really”, I reply. “I called three times prior to buying my ticket to ensure that I could change the ticket.”
“It says right here in the ticket file that it must be used by issue date.” The agent replied I a deadpan voice.
“I was informed otherwise when I purchased the ticket. I was told once I used the first half of the ticket I could change the ticket and fly up to one year less a day from my first fly date.” I calmly informed the agent.
“Let me check again sir. Uhhhm…I’m sorry sir I can’t book anything past the ticket date.” She stated in a false tone.
“Please may I speak to your supervisor or whoever it is that would handle my concern?”
“Of course sir, one moment please.”
“Thank you.”
“Thank you for flying with Continental.”

I waited few moments and the supervisor provided the same dissatisfying response. However, I wasn’t going away easily. The supervisor
Owen and his BudsOwen and his BudsOwen and his Buds

Owen enjoyed his class trip and was happy to have lunch with his two favorite classmates Eduardo and Brandon.
gave me a spiel about how that is how it is in the industry and she would know she has been in the business twenty years. I’m not impressed with the statistic as it has no bearing on my situation and I pursue my case further. She didn’t want to fight and tried the next strategy in her attempt to get rid of me. Yes, she was offering to waive the change ticket fee but I would have to use the tickets sooner than later. I relented, accepted, and documented who I might contact during business hours to pursue the matter further. After hanging up I resigned myself to eating the ticket home and reflected on how and when we would return to Canada given the change in our scenario.

We are going to Nicaragua tomorrow. It is a long-weekend at the school and we must renew our visas by leaving the country. What happened? What does this have to do with the plane ticket? O.K. here it is…The Plan. While driving to school the next morning I was thinking about our plane ticket dilemma. Suddenly it occurred to me that a bus trip through Central America wouldn’t be
The Toboggan AguaThe Toboggan AguaThe Toboggan Agua

The water slide was short but fast and the landing area was a very warm pool.
such a bad idea. Our return tickets with TicaBus for our trip to Nicaragua cost $104. TicaBus is a high end bus company that has a route from Panama City, Panama to Tapachula, Mexico. They have movies, aircon colder than stands to reason, and the tickets are open. What a way to finish off our adventure! TicaBus to Mexico then ADO, a Mexican bus line, to Tijuana, Disneyland, up the West Coast to Seattle on the train, and then a final train ride to Williston, ND. I was still going to book the dates if the promise for no change fee was valid. I called on Monday afternoon and spoke to Continental Customer Care Agent Mrs. Friedel from Houston, my second new friend in customer service in one week. After hearing my explanation she quickly informed that I was correct and helped me change my tickets to our desired date. Hopefully when I get home we will have another happy ending and I will be submitting this entry from the comfort of our patio.

The past ten days have been somewhat of a blur. It is the final days of the school year and it has been busy with
An Amazing ViewAn Amazing ViewAn Amazing View

The volcano in the background was pretty impressive too.
exams and other administrative duties. This weekend included a four wheel drive excursion we will never forget and a trip to Yoko Agua Thermales. more on the four wheel drive fun on a later blog. It is related to the opportunity but the details will have to wait until a later date. Yoko is about a 2.5 hour bus ride North from Esparza at the base of the dormant Mirvalles Volcano. The main highlights of Yoko are the naturally heated pools and Jacuzzi tub. There is also a small but fast water slide, a restaurant, poolside bar, and a large green space to play futbal. The whole family joined Owen on his year-end class trip. It is turning out that the year end class trips will be a very inexpensive way of seeing more parts of Costa Rica. Of course one has to deal with the fact that traveling with 16 nine and ten year olds in not ideal. It was another terrific cultural experience for our family to say the least. It is amazing to see how things are so much the same in so many respects and so very different in many others. We stopped for a coffee
Naturally SpectacularNaturally SpectacularNaturally Spectacular

The perfect rainbow hung around for about an hour...
to go on the way home from a pretty decent day at the spa. Apparently coffee to go for some people is a hamburger and fries. Nobody seemed at all phased by the unilateral decision of one parent that held up the trip home by one hour. Not to worry the place had free internet so it worked out after all. However, by the time we got home it would have been nice to get that hour back.

To make life even more hectic this week I taught my adult English class on Monday night and Tuesday night. Putting in a 6 AM until 10:30 PM day was a flashback to sometime in my past and after two consecutive days combined with some warmer weather, it was about 30 degrees, I know that I can’t do that any more. At least not here…it is just too warm. Now I know why the people here move at the pace they do; it is because they are smart! Owen and Benjamin are too!! Owen scored 100% in his geography exam and Benjamin learned a new Spanish song in an hour. The Teacher Vanessa tells me Benjamin is the smartest boy she
Another Natural PhenomAnother Natural PhenomAnother Natural Phenom

Benjamin is always something to behold.
has met in her seven years at the school. She was floored when I told her that he wasn’t supposed to be with that group until 2009. Nataghia has been “busy” waiting for the I.C.E. man and planning our forthcoming adventures in Nicaragua and Navidad.

It gives me great pleasure to announce that we are connected and that I am about to post this entry from the comforts of our cozy chairs AT HOME!!!!! Off to Nicaragua to collect some more memories and learn more about ourselves and the world.


23rd November 2007

Thank You
Hi Guys, Thanks so much for your weekly journals - I have enjoyed reading them and look forward to each and every one. Dennis and I spent a very busy month on Wayne's Campaign and are looking forward to heading to Mexico on Thursday, November 29th for some rest and relaxation - also the cervaza! We will be away until March 15, 2008. We, too, will take our lap-top with us as we can not go a day without our e-mail and internet. Take care, Dennis and Sherry Webster
25th November 2007

Tomorrow could be next week, too!
I love the pictures. Owen and Benjamin are looking so much bigger already. Can't wait to see you guys! Only one month to Christmas. Hope you're having a ball in Nicaragua, which will probably be another cultural learning experience with their very different recent history.
27th November 2007

Learning Patients
Hello Dore-Nowlan Gang, what fun it is to read your blogs. I applaud your courage and envy your experiences, but not sure if i would have the patients to wait for everything. I think that being in that culture would be a true lesson in the Patients dept. Thanks for the pictures, what beautiful country it is out there. And seeing Tasja in her tank top was a bit hard to bear seeing as how it dipped to a wind chill of -29c this morning when I was walking to work, burrrrrrr..... Otherwise, all is well, Gaet is feeling great, he is back at work and loving it. We are pretty sure that he is in remission, so that is wonderful news, because we too have many travel plans yet to enjoy. Denise and Leo left for Arizona yesterday and they only return in late March, then Annette leaves on Dec. 9th and she will not be home until April. I am so happy for both of them, it is nice to be able to get away from the cold. Well I should get going, i want to start my Christmas baking. I already have the house all decorated and the carols blasting through the house, so "It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas" What are you doing for Christmas, do they celebrate it out there? Take care and again, thanks for keeping us posted. Love Gaet and Rita

Tot: 2.436s; Tpl: 0.143s; cc: 10; qc: 60; dbt: 0.0568s; 2; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 2; ; mem: 1.4mb