Steve, Tropical Living area not important : LUSENET : CountrySide Family : One Thread


Don't even bother answering my previous questions, it's not important.

I have some idea as to where I am going to explore. I was just looking to get some inside info. if you happened to of been in the areas that I am interested in (Belize, Honduras, Southern Mexico and Costa Rica).

Had also considered going on down farther south to South America, guess it is pretty wide open, now that I think about it. Been getting newsletters from several of these places and checking out web sites and such.

-- BC (, August 16, 2002


BC , If I was to move to a Tropical place again I'd probably go to Costa Rica.I know nothing about it except I had a friend that went suffing there every year and I spoke with some guy who has a son with a rice farm down there . I was told the attitude was good toward Americans .There's a book call : Along the Gringo Trail. It gives information on customs of people , , if the police are known to harras outsiders , food cost , inexpensive places to sleep at . It's made for back packing tourist on a small budget. And until you actually move to a place , you have to be a tourist to check out if it's where you think you want to live .One thing to realize ,although customs vari in different places ,people are basicly the same everywhere you go . Racist attitudes are not just an American custom . We have a Klu Klux Klan attitude in The U.S. that makes it so non-whites are basicly not accetped in dominantly white rural areas. I'm part Sicilian ( Italian ), I have a slightly darker skin type than my neighbors here in Tennessee.Before I lived here I thought I was the typical white American , who tans well . I'm known by most of my nieghbors as the Sand igger .I left out the N as to not repeat the ignorance of the people I live near. Because of the laziness of them to use the other 99% of their brain , they think I'm an Arab. Right now in the U.S. , it's not a good time to be mistaken for an Arab. When I explained to one of my neighbors my dads father was 5 th generation American of British decent , he asked what country is that .I said England . He than asked what language do they speak in England ? So if this type of logic can exist in a super power country like the U. S. just think what it might be in a third world country. They have the same racial superiority complex, only your the minoity now .( I'm assuming your white ) . Their are areas of Costa Rica that have what I call , U.S, strong holds . An American neighborhood , where there are enough U.S. or white European citizens to feel a secure , I'm not alone , feeling. Now I'm known to pick places to live where I'm the only outsider in the area . I guess you can call it , the bad side of the tracks . I like to get full unsheltered experiences and live where most outsiders probably wouldn't feel comfortable with the social surroundings . I've dealt with kkk type attitudes where I went , had razor sharp machetes pointed in my face with the threat of being hacked to pieces , a few times .But I wouldn't leave . Than I heard this song on the radio. down there with the words : R. O .C. K. in the USA, R. O .C. K. in the USA, R. O .C. K. in the USA, hey , hey Rockin in the USA , That was it , I was heading home to the USA to go play me some good ol Rock -n- Roll and put a band together. . I like the challange of accomplishing things that have low odds of succeeding . I believe it's not only where you get to , that makes one successful , it's enjoying the ride there .Finding a place on your own is the best way to get to where your suppose to be .

-- SM Steve (, August 17, 2002.

Steve, know what you mean.....only, me being raised Irish Catholic, I've had some lively discussions here in the "Bible Belt". Not for the Irish part, but for the faith I was raised on. Is religion such a big factor on the islands too?

-- Annie (, August 17, 2002.

You know, I've been really lucky. Having a bit darker complexion as well, I _have_ experianced some predjudism (I recall being called a half breed, for instance), but veeeery, veeeery little, overall. It certainly is around, that's for sure. I'm not exactly sure why, this IS Missouri. But I live sort of close to a large college town, so attitudes are pretty accepting in general, maybe that's it. We humans can be such egoish, self destructive sorts, can't we? (shaking head...) I know a gal who is of partial asian decent, and shortly after 9/11, when she was heavy with child, she got harassed in a grocery store parking lot. Mostly verbal, but it was escalating, the cops broke it up....but how scarey.

-- Patty (, August 17, 2002.

Thanks for the info and the book info., will look it up. I am very much aware of prejudice (both open and behind your back) from living on the border and traveling in Mexico for many years. Most of the open prejudice can be overcome in my experience with a little time and honest conversation/interest in the area. I've had experiences with tourist visa, work permits and such.

I was raised without prejudice and it was initally hard to understand it, but have learned and deal with it as best as I can. One of my first experiences was during a flight layover in Guam, where we were met with anti-American protests.

Anyway, am wanting to see how my interest in homesteading will play with the local, now that I know a lot more and can appreciate some aspect of the culture a lot more.

-- BC (, August 17, 2002.

I actually went out to lunch today with my tias (aunts) from Mexico. They speak worse English than my Spanish, which is baaaaaad! My father didn't join us, so I really had to dig ( "como say dece'? say, no say? Ahhhhh si, si! Enteande'!" *And obviously, no way can I spell it!* ;-)....funny how quick it comes back though, of course there was still quite a bit of miming, lol. My aunt Lucy is soooo tiny, never fails to shock me when I first hug her. :-) They (I'm refering to these aunts, but come to think of it my entire family!) are somewhat puzzled by me. They used to always buy me "girlie" gifts.....but this time the gave me John Deere boots, heehee, and yippee!

-- Patty (, August 17, 2002.

Patty,, can "we" see a pic of you on the John Deer booots ?????? PLwwweeeeeeeeeessssswwwwwww ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! !

-- Stan (satanswelp@hell.nets), August 17, 2002.

Harumph......veeeeeeery funny, Stan. How come you turned into the welp? Oh, and no. :-) (I didn't even know John Deere MADE boots, sort of a waste of money, I'll bet.)

-- Patty (, August 17, 2002.

Annie , Now that you mention it I remember there was what I jokingly called church wars back than .Churches had very loud PA systems to amplify the micropones the preaches used so they could be loud enough so the whole neighborhood could here the sermon .It was like the pentacosta church competeing with the baptista church and vise versa , with the aim of trying to recruit followers by being louder than the other .And forcing non church goers to feel they couldn't escape from church , it was loud and the preaches would be sreaming. Back then I wasn't fully aware of churches being different . I thought a Christian was a Christian. Funny how even people of the same faith can build a bridge and fine tune a way to see themselves as being different .Some people would have church services out of a different person house.They didn't yell but were soft spoken .Once they asked to have it at my house , I'm always willing to try something different , so I said yes .I don't no what branch of Christians they were . I didn't really go to church then and I still don't . I used to sometimes stay outside the gate of a home church service to hear the singing and beautiful guitar and quatro ( a four string guitar ) playing . It was very hypnotic . I had a friend who was a Franciscan monk , I went to the monestary a few times that was on alot of acres . He was deeply into horticulture and showed me the 300 citrus trees he bought and planted , wild weeds that could be cooked and tasted like spinach , medicinal herbs and what they can be used for . Funny thing about him was we talk for hours many different times about different things in life , but I don't remember ever talking about religion with him.

Signora Patty , ustead media Latina , o toda ? Yo halblo espanol mucho malo .Yo no inteinde mucho ., poquito solo . example : Me gusta pollo y rojo con habatuelas y tostonis . Las norches yo comida sopa de pollo y platanos . I hope I didn't accidently get my cuss words confused and added in there . I've always been a slow learner . I ,m just starting to get the hang of speaking english and that's the only languange I really know ? I 've always had trouble with using masculine or feminine terms , which is done in speaking spanish .The only time I get to use the spanish language now , which I forgot most of what I've learned , is when for some reason I have dreams that are totaly in spanish , and I understand everything someone saying and I'm speaking fluently in spanish. And I wake up and I'm still half in the dream saying something in spanish , . That puzzles me cause I was never able to speak spanish fluetly. And my dreams have me wondering who has the pillow case with the aztec symbol

-- SM Steve (, August 17, 2002.

Oh my gosh Steve, you too? I took French in high school and let's just say I was stuggling trying to learn it. But at night I would wake up my sister, with me rambling on in speaking french! I thought I was the only weird one! :) I suppose deep in my mind I was getting it, but during the day it got lost somewhere.

I bet those preacher "wars" were interesting. :) Glad they don't do that here with all the small churches we have! I'd have to wear ear plugs all day. I too was nieve about different christian religions as a kid. My mom was raised babtist, my dad catholic, but neither one of them made a big deal about it to us kids. Sometimes I wish I was still that nieve about thinking all denominations were the same and got along. Wishful thinking.

-- Annie (, August 18, 2002.

I'd throw in my TexMex but that might just add more confusion. Steve, did you write down any of the herbs used at the monestary or ever thought about it? Those are things of which I have an interest. One of the local favorites (at least to some) is the use of mesquite beans as a natural milk shake and the Indians use a small seed from the mint family as a unique type of "desert jello" which recent research has shown to be an almost perfect balance (depending on who decides these types of things) of essential oils, similar to olive oil in composition.

-- BC (, August 18, 2002.

Steve, I'm half....and half Irish. It's not very pretty when I lose my temper, fiery, yikes. Sounds like a yummy dinner. I guess I understand it better than I speak it, my father thinks in both languages and often isn't even aware he is speaking Spanish to me and that I'm responding in English. If someone else is there, who doesn't understand, sometimes I'll correct him, (Hey Daaaaad, yer speaking Spanish again!) but mostly, I just let it go. Kinda funny. :-)

Annie, I was raised Catholic as well. No offence, but I think I'm still recovering, I think the guilt may be here for the duration. I'm funnin' with ya, K? ;-) regards the monk, I know many who are 'religious', but it's wonderful to be friends with a truely spiritual person, no matter the faith. Just my opinion.

-- Patty (, August 18, 2002.

Hey Patty, no sweat! I don't attend anymore. Am way past the organized part of religion and the Catholic church wrote the book on the subject. Remember the no meat on friday's? hee hee And I hated fish when I was young...peanut butter sandwiches here. Although I still have the veil I use to wear to church as a little girl. Remember women covering their heads in church? If you don't, then I'm revealing my age!!! Yikes. :)

-- Annie (, August 18, 2002.

BC , it was in 1982 and 83' that I visited this monk. He left the area for a higher position of head monk and was transfered to his birthplace ,an island in the Caribean that was French speaking.It might have been St. Martin I'm not sure. The only herbs I remember , one in english is called leaf of life I forgot the spanish name . I 've seen it in the U. states as a house plant .It has a leathery leaf that if you break it off the plant, it'll start to grow roots right out of the leaf. It's used for ear aches , which I never get, but kids sometimes do. I had some American friends who 's son was crying from an ear ache when I arrived for a visit .So I went out around there place and was able to find some growing , (wild ) .You bring water to a boil and turn the flame off. Then drop the leaves in the water .Wait for it to cool to just being warm , then have the person ly on their side with the hurt ear facing up , and ring out the juice of the leaf so it drips into the ear canal. It works within 5 minutes to totaly relieve the pain .Another was guanabana leaf. It's a fruit tree that has these big green fruits that have inch long soft spikes,the flesh of the fruit is white and has black oval seeds in it . The leaf is used in tea ,for insomnia .Citrus leaves are suppose to be good for headaches. Theres a minty type of plant it looks like it's in the family of Lantana.Made into tea for colds and put in a tub of hot water and bathe in it . There was a corse type of grass that had a green flower spike with white on it , and was good for people who had kidney problems. I was shown more , but it's hard to remember things by name, in spanish and close to 20 years ago. ..Where did all the time go?...Juice of young coconut is good to keep the bladder and kidneys clean , always be around a place where you can pee when needed, when drinking young coconut .It makes you have to go quite often....I was a good coconut tree climber, I love young un ripe coconuts, it has a thin flesh inside that's like a slimy jello consistency. Yum-my ! . I've climbed trees so high , I was stuck in one for an hour cause it was higher than I thought and didn't realize it til when I got to the top and looked down .Even the locals wouldn't have climbed that tree, which left it full with coconuts . I couldn't resist the challange and sometimes it was needed to prove that you weren't a soft gringo .. The coconuts were worth the climb . . Wild yams , were good for hormone balance in women, called : Name , and pronounced someting like nyammy.They were abundent in season and can grow wild to be 3 ft. long in healthy compost type soil.They were a favorite , bland tasting , but high in calcium and a staple food .And one thing I found strange for medicine was a black shinny bird with bright yellow eyes called : Chongo. It has crow like habits and about the size of a blue jay and makes a lot of noise. It's made in soup when a person is real sick and having trouble healing. It's the last resort , if it don't heal you nothing will, was the local attidue toward Chongo. Not all of these was told to me by the monk , other people , the old ones , had alot of info that was getting lost ,but the new young er generation was starting to find interest and document stuff in writing , mostly in spanish . I figure by now there must be books on these subjects. Alot of people in the 80's who were interested in this stuff were college kids into traditional ways .

-- SM Steve (, August 18, 2002.

Try being schooled by Catholic nuns for seven years . You learn how to laugh without makeing sound , real quick...And if you have trouble learning you get hit , which sends an adrenalin rush to the brain and suddenly you remember what you were taught and can answer the questain you were asked .. And your sent there to get a better education than you might recieve in public school so you can make more money with the better education . But your raised with the morals that sharing is good, money isn't everything and be kind to everyone .. When you think of it ,the nuns own nothing and live in a place they don't own. And all work together as one and share . It's Spiritual Communism.

-- SM Steve (, August 18, 2002.

I was seriously thinking of becoming a nun when I was quite young! You know, good catholic girl and all that. :) Steve, I also went to catholic schools until 7th grade, then on to jr. high. I had never heard kids cuss before and couldn't believe how "worldly" the kids in jr. high were. Boy, was I sheltered. :) At the catholic schools, we had to eat everything on our plates at lunch (the nuns were watching) and they served instant mashed potatoes almost every day. I couldn't stand them, but had to eat them. It took me years before I'd try mash potatoes, the real ones. I thought they all tasted like the instant ones. Funny, the goofy things that stick with ya, huh?

-- Annie (, August 18, 2002.

Annie, your close to my area do you want a hog that's ready for butching, I can't feed it no longer .

-- SM Steve (, August 18, 2002.

Thanks for the info Steve. I can relate to the green coconuts, as I used to have them all the time I was in Vietnam.

The people writting down the old ways may or may not be helpful, I'm finding that there is very little about this in many countries. Also, there appears to be more of an interest by the pharmacuetical companies lately, they seem to have figured out ways to market these items and control them.

Then there is the fact that this is a person's livelyhood in many areas, so they will not readily share the good plants with you, which is understandable.

-- BC (, August 18, 2002.

BC, I'm betting that Costa Rica would be one of those countries that has people that are into herbal medicines and organic fruit farms.And a lot of knowlege on the subject is probably floating around down there . If you go there , look for people who look like Hippies , they usually know alot about local medicinal herbs ,where ever they are .On the Freedom Self reliance forum is JOJ. You probably have seen his post before . He's posted a few times how he's been to Central America, I think he's been going there for years and still goes every year. That board is not in the active list on Lusenet but it's on the inactice list . I bet if you start a new post there asking about info on Central America , he'd respond to your post with some very useful info .He checks out the forum regularly .I'd even like to hear what he has to say. One day I plan to make a visit to that area .I'm still thinking about going up north first.I've never seen Alaska and although it's probably a tourist trap by now, I still want to spend a winter in a place where it feels like the Earth sleeps and is covered with snow . It never sleeps in the tropical rain forrest. And it gets real loud at night with bugs , night birds, and frogs who sing til dawn.A light sprinkle of rain, and all the critters get even louder .

-- SM Steve (, August 18, 2002.

Annie, no veil myself. ;-) We went to a "new age" Catholic church...sounds odd, but the music was really good! I do remember veils, from my fathers side. My grandmother always wore white silk, and black lace, including veil. She was forever mourning, when I knew her. I remember how powerful feeling she was, certainly a matriarch, but cranky! LOL And, that the only word she could say in English was, 'peanutbutter'....not phonetically correct. On my Irish Catholic side was my other grandmother, mother of 12, dyed brazen red hair, perhaps five feet tall, and huge bossoms. She loved everyone, a fabulous lady.

Hey Steve, I should read more closely, but I actually used to have a Aztec sheet set, a can't even remember how I came by it! Looooong gone now. I have Aztec calenders, my father says I have Aztec blood, mixed with maurading Spaniards......he's got an ego, my father. Still don't think chicken soup and bananas sound good!

-- Patty (, August 19, 2002.

....I take that back, she said 'money', as well. Funny what you remember, isn't it? She said peanutbutter like, pee-no-booter. And money like, Monet'. Funny. :-)

-- Patty (, August 19, 2002.

Patty , the reason I mentioned the Aztec designs .. Some nights back , as I went to sleep , a few minutes after I laid my head on the pillow and was just entering dream world , I saw Aztec symbols in my head. It's not something I think about , so my only guess was someone on the forum who I'm socializing with must have something to do with these symbols....I wasn't going to ask , but I was curious to see if it , some how might have been projected in some strange way through someone from here....I've had a few type of coincidences on the forum and since I believe things aren't a coincedent and they happen for a reason, I chanced sounding foolish. I don't feel comfortable talking about other coincedents on a public forum because alot of people view them who never post, and something tells me it's not the right place because of that. .... As far as people now thinking I eat bananas in my chicken soup, I don't have strange eating habits, well not too strange. They are green bananas called Plantains in english , and they are fried to the cosistency of french fried potatoes , but taste much better .I thought it funny , that some may picture me dipping yellow bananas in my chicken soup.

-- SM Steve (, August 20, 2002.

Been looking into Costa Rica a bit too. From what I've seen so far, it's not as easy to immigrate there compared to the US and they are talking about tightening up the rules some more. But there are many Americans down there. Your passport is good for 3 months. At that point you only need to leave for 72 hours and you're good for another 3 months. It's very common to just take a little vacation in Panama or Nicaragua.

For it's location, it's a very stable nation. I see the Libertarian party is doing a whole lot better there than in the US. The average family of 4 lives fairly well on $400 a month.

An english weekly paper is online at

I'd like to hear first-hand experiences if anyone's spent time down there.

-- Dave (, August 24, 2002.

" they think I'm an Arab. Right now in the U.S. , it's not a good time to be mistaken for an Arab. When I explained to one of my neighbors my dads father was 5 th generation American of British decent , he asked what country is that.I said England . He than asked what language do they speak in England ?"

LOL Steve. I'll never cease to be amazed by idiots like that.

-- Dave (, August 24, 2002.

Dave , thanks for the link on costa rica. As far as the idiots round here. There are some highly intelligent hillbillies in these parts. Some whom I've made good friends with . Than there are others who I believe nursed on a bottle of corn whiskey the first 2 years of their infant life , instead of mothers or cows milk .

-- SM Steve (, August 24, 2002.

Hey!!!!!!!! Corn's good for ya! Full of vitamins when, uh, processed.....Makes ya grow up to be big and strong. Sheesh, you yanks don't know anything. :)

-- Annie (, August 24, 2002.

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