Culture again. That is what children do. Yes, our hills in Monteverde can be a challenge for an octogenarian like myself. But as I have discovered, adding a small electric motor and battery to my bike makes going up hill as easy as going down. Three values in our culture, I think, explain our addiction to the automobile and why that addiction is the last thing car lovers want to think about. Convenience: Cars give us greater freedom. Fill the tank and we are off to the city or beach with the family on an impulse.
No bus schedules to consult.
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Comfort: Role up the window, set the temperature control, put on the radio, and enjoy the scenery. Speed: Step on the gas. The only limitations are traffic jams, bumps in the road, speeding tickets, and pesky walkers and bikers getting in the way. If, as the saying goes, actions speak louder than words, we would have to conclude that having a personal car is a higher priority than the world we are leaving to our grandchildren.
We are affluent. We have the money. Why not spend it on a car? I would call this a serious moral dilemma. Survival of our species is dependent on humanity learning to live in harmony with nature. When the car was invented over a hundred years ago it was powered by either an electric motor and batteries or a gas motor. In time the latter won because of its superior range. Is there any hope? Fortunately science and technology give humanity new options and hope for a promising future if we move forward quickly. Technologies such as solar panels, smart grids, and batteries make it possible for renewable sources—solar, wind, hydro, and tidal— to meet our energy needs.
And improvements are being made almost daily. Sustainable energy along with improved motors and batteries can eliminate the need for dirty fuel, a phenomenal innovation. This has the potential to revolutionize all forms of transportation, public and private. At present only the rich can afford the price tag. Manufacturing of EVs on a commercial scale and creating the necessary infrastructure, such as charging stations and services, are the present challenges.
Convenience, comfort, and speed based on clean energy at a competitive price is in sight. So the game is over for fossil fuels. Country after country is passing legislation to stimulate the transition, with Norway leading the way. We are lagging behind in leading the way to a bright new future. Until EVs become readily available, the adoption of simpler modes of mobility, particularly in Monteverde, including the electric bike and the electric golf cart, move us in the right direction. These EVs have a twenty to fifty mile range without recharging, can climb the steepest hills, use only rain water for their batteries, and with few moving parts are easy to maintain.
With my electric bike I get my exercise, and with my electric car I transport my family. I love to slow down as I pass a walker and invite them to hop on. Few decline, but all say thank you. Tourists and I get acquainted. All are winners. If you are not a walker, you can explore electric bikes or electric golf carts. Information is available from present users. You can carpool or initiate ride-sharing groups. A few people are already having success with solar panels.
Even with the new regulations of ICE the future of solar is bright. You can find out some developments from me. At the moment we are waiting for the leadership of the Belmar Hotel, Los Pinos Hotel and the MV Institute to determine the best provider and get on board. There are about 35 business to choose from. Getting the right one is important. Letters to and contact with politicians in support of stimulus legislation for renewable energy and electric transport will help. Phone numbers of Diputados in Puntarenas: Laura Garro.
Fax Karla Prendes. Fax In summary, thanks to science and technology the future for a shift to renewable energy and electric mobility is bright. The choice is ours. So the moral dilemma is this. Do we wait for change to come, knowing that it may not come in time and it may not be what is really good for us, or do we make personal changes now?
The ultimate question will be can we learn to live in harmony with nature, even through all the upheavals and trials humanity will face. No parece haber forma de frenar esta tendencia. Es nuestra vaca sagrada. Las presas y los congestionamientos no parecen disminuir su popularidad.
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De nuevo, la cultura. Es conveniente: Los autos nos dan mayor libertad. Llene el tanque y ya puede irse a la ciudad o a la playa con la familia cuando quiera. No hay que consultar los horarios del bus. Nosotros tenemos el dinero. Me encanta darle aventones a personas que pasan caminando.
Pocos dicen que no, pero todos me lo agradecen. De esta forma, todos ganamos. Hay unos 35 proveedores de donde escoger. What follows is a little photo vignette of the stroll Susie made this morning to the other side of the impassible chasm in the road, to pay bills and pick up a few things after the hurricane. She finds repetition useful sometimes in order to penetrate my thick skull. I get it now. Bob 77 six days ago is going along for Coke and other necessities.
I do have time for a quick cup of coffee and a boiled egg such a luxury, being able to cook again. I need to pay my Caja too, after all. Besides, nothing like looking for yourself to see how things are going and getting good information especially in situations like this. Good information is priceless these days. If we find him he might could give us a lift the rest of the way to the bank and the Mega-Super?
So off we go. I hardly ever wear hats. I reflected 3 seconds, unlocked the door, went back in and got my hat. Chasm looms in the near distance. One hundred lb. Susie surveys the Chasm; Bob and Tarcicio sp? Backhoe vigorously on the job. Susie peers into the muddy jungle leading to the Mighty Maquina, 50 meters downstream from The Chasm…. Where friendly helpful folks from the Municipalidad helped us down the mudslide, across the puente…. Of course your intrepid photojournalist made it as far as the pictures go too, and even up into the sun, the dry road and the flat sidewalk just beyond.
But no further just right now, please.
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Susie was already far gone, out of sight; Bob was even farther off. Bob walked the extra mile clear into Sta. Bob and Susie got here in the mids, when this was still pretty much the exclusive preserve of pioneers. A lot has changed since Easier on the neck, which has been aching. My pack with its water bag inside made a comfy pillow. Two days ago, I was hauling 5-gallon water jugs uphill. But yesterday, the hill up to the meeting house was also a bit of a problem for me. Half my life ago, believe it or not, I used to hike 60 miles, off-trail and over steep passes, above timberline, by compass the Sierra Nevada are 3-D enough to make such navigation easy and fun.
Now my lack of stamina appalls me sometimes enough to change my habits? I suspect those puppies are shot, my friends. But, so far at least, no ticker problems, gracias a dios….
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A bit light in the skin and head trying to continue walking today, is all. I felt just fine lying down. Rest and a knowledge of my limits are all I need, mostly, I think. People and police passed by; I waved to them from my comfortable reclining position on the sidewalk. The dirt was fine — 4 days of it already in these tough old pants.
More friendly Muni people summoned friendly Cruz Roja to confirm as I was pretty sure myself that my blood pressure and glucose were fine. I suspected my blood oxygen might be low, but I was wrong; it was fine too. It is about as easy for him to block that flow of people and supplies as it was for the road to block the river. Seriously folks, that path is getting muddier and slipperier hourly. The road is expected to be passable very soon in any case, even tomorrow, most likely, according to Paco. Ticos, are you ever getting it done. Hats off to you.
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I sat for another 15 minutes. Martha Campbell nearly my age, and born here and companero came up the path going from Monteverde to Sta. I mentioned that the police might not want them to be able to return. She noted that the policeman was no longer here, and it occurred to one or both of us that this was probably the time to go home if I was going, which was where I and the Cruz Roja knew I belonged. So, back down into the mud. Why am I not wearing boots? I notice in the last couple years that I have passed hopefully with grace into the realm of those Seniors who occasionally get a helping hand.
Furthur On, then. One more nice rest at Bajo Tigre, lying in the soft grass this time, and then I was home. I worried a little about leaving Susie back there. But it was not in the cards for me to go back and help her across the Mighty Maquina today. Caja paid, oatmeal in hand. But then what about Bob? Susie and I were still on the porch talking when Bob came back. He had located and purchased not only his 2-litre Cokes, but. Paco came back too, and mentioned that police had been forbidding anyone at all to cross the Mighty Maquina since day one, which is also before the Miracle of the Manifestation of the pounds of pig food on our side of the river.
Also, that he was heading right back into Sta. Elena and of course would be glad to pay my caja for me and also find me a usb keyboard if one was to be found anywhere in the zone. He had to wait forever with his number in hand as one always does in the Banco Nacional and then another hour when his number came up and the system came down, but that caja got paid. I do have to translate this Spanish keyboard into English, but I have taken a little Spanish, and I know that right paren really means left paren, for example.
Chicken noodle soup now warms my comfortable though formerly somewhat chilly frame. At two am on Thursday morning I tried to detect where each of the sounds of rain came from — windows, skylight, roof, river. They were able to crawl out with their young son Matias. At the same time in Cuajiniquil, the river overflowed. Many boats filled with water and then smashed to pieces in the current. Sometime that morning, the La Presa bridge in Guacimal washed out.
This has been a wet rainy season in Monteverde. Between Monteverde Day 19 April and the end of September, over two meters of rain had fallen. In September, some intense storms went beyond the capacity of our culverts. Roads turned to streams. People swept water out of their houses and repaired leaks in their roofs. Nate began to pound Costa Rica on Wednesday 4 October. The local emergency commission was meeting at the muni when I passed by on Wednesday.
Most of Costa Rica was on red alert. Thursday schools throughout the country were closed. Thursday morning, when everything else in the country had been cancelled, I had a meeting at the dairy plant with the head of sustainability at Sigma Alimentos. It had taken him 8 hours to get here from San Jose. Thursday, we hunkered down in our homes, texting to check in on each other. Electricity went out, then the landlines.
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As night fell, cellphones went out. Rain continued to fall hard. It was cozy by my wood stove. Friday morning seemed especially quiet. Monteverde was wrapped in clouds. The rain gauge held mm. Over 11 inches more.
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Twenty-two inches in two days. The cabin where David Rodriguez was living was gone. All had been evacuated ahead of time. A chasm separated us from Cerro Plano and Santa Elena. People picked up supplies at Whole Foods where Pax and Claudia made lists of what people were taking, letting us pay later. Word spread about a community meeting at 11 am. Others said it was at noon. Water systems were out, but clear water flowed from new springs and in the ditches along the side of the road. An especially pretty spring gushed out from below the path below the Trostles driveway. Most gathered at eleven at Monteverde Centro.
Maricella Solis, logistical whiz, was the member of the local Emergency Commission in charge. Earlier that morning she had shouted with members of the commission on the other side of the Maquina, agreeing to meet again at noon so that we could throw them a message with a rock. At the meeting, we pulled together information and questions for those on the other side. We wrote our names on a list, whether we had enough food for 24 hours, if we urgently needed any medications. A mini-commission of volunteers was formed. We agreed to meet again at 3 pm at the Institute.
No roads were open from Santa Elena to the pan am highway. A big landslide on the trocha blocked our way to San Luis. San Luis was also cut off from Santa Elena, many staying in the Centro Comunitario or one of the schools. At home at I heard a landslide. The 3 pm meeting was packed and started very promptly. Maricella rushed in with her green hard hat to report that the commission had been attending to other emergencies and so she and Jorge Torres had crossed the quebrada to find them in Santa Elena.
She and others shared information: A landslide came down into the Porras house and more might come down. Pass at your own risk. ICT is trying to help tourists evacuate. Two Brazilians were especially eager to go. Still no way to go. Drinking water was available at the Bosque and the dairy pant and some farms with their own springs. Use the water from ditches for toilets and bathing. Water is also available from the rainwater catchment tanks at the new teacher house. Joe had milk for those that needed it. Check on your neighbors. Did anyone need a little solar light Luci Light?
Soon some sections of the roads would not be passable as springs would erupt. Saturday the sun made us squint, it was bright. Only 4. I started looking for the landslide that those of us in the Bajo had heard the day before. There it was. The side of the office opposite the porch was half exposed. Indeed, there were cracks in the soil on the porch side. The office will go any time. Orange flagging is serving as caution tape. Hiking toward cell phone signal, I run into Sabine outside the new teacher house.
People are crossing the Maquina over a log. Farther down the road, word is spreading that the police are mandating we all evacuate. I now understand why people would resist evacuation orders. The meeting started early, as the mandate was provoking much discussion. Names of priority people to evacuate were on the white board… including older people, those with medical needs and those that live near the river. My name was up there. I was assured it was because of the river, not my age. There were landslides above the Cascada that had caused water to pool and another landslide could come down.
Better to go while the sun was out and the bomberos were there to help. Some of the or so people in Monteverde went right home to gather things to go. We have our basic needs: food and water. We agreed to meet at 3 to organize community kitchens and other basic needs for those staying.
Medicines were distributed. Lists of needs taken. I give away more Luci Lights. I request a visit from Olman Quesada, architect of our house — and member of the emergency commission most qualified to evaluate the safety of our house. The Saturday afternoon meeting is smaller, and darker.
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Sarah Juliusson brought food as well. We take stock of who is here by neighborhood, who has left, who has food. We are concerned about security. Only walking is possible across the bridge over the Cuecha. People volunteer to work on roads, water. Requests are put in for food for animals, especially cows. Joe says he will be giving away good milk for people, spoiled for animals. I reiterate my request for a visit from Olman.
We disperse to our homes.
Sunday morning was partly cloudy. My cell phone had signal. I paid my cell phone bill which would have expired that day. Thanks to neighbors who encouraged him, Olman arrived and we traipsed on the hillside below the house. We saw new landslides on the office side, but nothing problematic below the house. He said if it were his house, he would stay…. Gratefully, I have many generous offers of places to go to choose from.
Carol Evans called as Olman and I were in the woods. The road was open to Puntarenas! The trocha was still blocked. All the rumors about people dying in San Luis were false. All are well. Turn off the switch at the meter! People gathered at the meetinghouse for singing and meeting for worship. How can I keep from singing? Lucky advised us on how to use the minimum amount of water to effectively flush our toilets. Sue Gabrielson, the school director, asked people to seek for financial support for the school as this storm is hitting school families hard.
There would be vacation camp for any kids in the community at the school from A break for parents. Tim Lietzke congratulated us on already meeting our goal of cutting the number of internal combustion vehicles in half. I announced that the definition of yoga is finding the calm within the storm and that all are welcome at practice.
Many wrote notes on appeal letters. A team of Red Cross people were coming to evaluate the risks and needs on Monday. Electricity came on as we met. No one needed a community kitchen yet. Animal food had been delivered by pulley. Work was happening on the water lines. Jose Luis reported that there was discussion of fixing the Maquina road in the next few days by either putting the culverts back in place and filling with rock or maybe with a Bailey bridge. Either would be a temporary solution. We feel very, very fortunate. No one in our isolated community has been hurt.
We are comfortable and united. Others in Central America have not been so lucky. Most, but not all, now have water, electricity, landlines, internet. We can wash our hair and our clothes. Not worry about more food going bad. Not worry about our families elsewhere worrying about us. A helicopter is just leaving now. Soon I will go to the meetinghouse to teach my yoga class and then go to the afternoon community meeting. This has been a reset. As the new normal evolves, certain things have not changed: the beauty of the natural world around us, the warmth and unity of our community.
I have pondered the difference, and especially the meaning of the latter. Being silent seems clear enough—to stop talking, and perhaps also to stop thinking, and thus to stay attentively open to what is. Entering into the silence is another matter. First, it seems necessary to acknowledge that the one entering into the silence must have been either out of the silence beforehand or not consciously there. Being silent is the preliminary step to entering into the silence.
The silence is what was before all we know was, before the unfolding of the creation from the quantum dimension, beyond time and space. Taken as such, to enter into the silence is to enter the primordial, undifferentiated state of pure Being, if only briefly, leaving behind, as it were, our contingent beings. Toward a reexamination of the economic history of Tokugawa Japan, — The Journal of Economic History, 33 3 , The Meiji Restoration and Modernization.
Columbia University. Archivado desde el original el 14 de octubre de Consultado el 3 de septiembre de The Brookings Institution. The World Economy: Historical Statistics. Archivado desde el original el 8 de junio de Consultado el 20 de septiembre de Nikkei Asian Review. Archivado desde el original el 8 de diciembre de Consultado el 5 de diciembre de Monetary policy, deflation, and economic history: lessons for the Bank of Japan.
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