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What Costa Rica taught me about motherhood, whether I like it or not

A Costa Rican mother might run around town with her baby in her arms, while a Gringa might be more relaxed about letting her baby play in the dirt. It’s all summed up by the common phrase cada loco con su tema: every nut has his own pet subject. It’s especially true for parents, who are crazy with love.

Who’s on first? Misadventures in language-land

“Who's on First,” the famous dialogue by Bud Abbott and Lou Costello about baseball players with funny names, was first used in 1938 and...

Learning Costa Rica Spanish : A truly Crappy Language Lesson

It’s not pretty, that’s for sure, but if you’re going to speak Spanish long enough to get a flat tire, or deal with significant bureaucratic trámites, or watch sports of any kind, or navigate the workplace, you’re going to hear it.

Picnic marks 55 years of family traditions

"The picnic is really important because it is the only event where most of the U.S. citizens here in Costa Rica get together. We would love to keep up this tradition forever, but it will depend on the support we can get."

Roommates: a strange concept for Ticos, but are we missing out?

Like many Costa Ricans, I’m a bit of a clean freak. This extends from the constant showering and brushing of teeth to the curious sleep disorder I experience when I know that there are dirty dishes on the sink. I was concerned that this might pose a challenge in having a roommate. I was concerned that others might not understand my strong and healthy relationship with Lysol.

The cure for grumbling expats: un granito de arena

I have lived in the same house for more than 10 years, but I have traveled quite a distance in that time. I have trouble channeling the college student who devoured the country with a ridiculous grin, unable to believe her good fortune, staring in rapture out of bus windows, listening wide-eyed to howler monkeys at night and thinking they were lions, making bioluminescent footprints on a deserted beach, getting lost, being found. Somewhere along the way I moved from “Will you LOOK at THIS?” to “Oh, yeah – that’s amazing, isn’t it?”

Costa Rica takes New York: Gala evening supports new expat mentoring program

The gala’s title, “De Verde a Gris,” reflects the idea that Costa Ricans who move to New York must leave the green of their homeland for the gray of their new surroundings. For one evening at least, the music, food and art of Costa Rica lit up a small corner of a big city.

Shall I compare thee to … a monkey with a plastic banana?

Más incómodo que dormir con la suegra: more uncomfortable than sleeping with your mother-in-law. Err, enough said.

The bird who rules Costa Rica, and the language of rain

Costa Rica may have only two seasons, those they don’t mess around; they come and go with panache, like divas given a dull script but determined to bring it to life through sheer force of will. Check out our twice-monthly "Maeology" column.

On tweeting and twitteando: Should we resist when languages change?

In English, I'm a crotchety old-school grump. I am an editor and a former English teacher, and happily embody the worst qualities of both, brandishing a red pen and waging a warring battle against change. In Spanish, I have no such loyalties. I have the tone deafness of the second-language learner.

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