Monday, January 31, 2011

Chapter 34 - The Cleanup Crew

           We have a great cleanup crew in Costa Rica.  This is a frequent sighting of vultures along the sides of the roads.  This isn’t one or two, but a whole gaggle of vultures.  It is a good thing because any road kill would create a massive bacteria situation if they weren’t so efficient.  I call them a gaggle because that’s what a large group of geese is, and I am not sure of the proper name for a large group of those birds. (According to Google, a group of vultures is called a Wake --Mel).
            The streets in the towns and cities have a “gaggle” of clean-up crews, too.  We often see people with brooms and bins out on the streets cleaning the debris out of the gutters.  This is a very good thing too.  It gives some employment to people and keeps the streets remarkably tidy.  It isn’t like Mexico.  I have seen garbage in volumes in the streets and roadways in Mexico.
            Costa Rica is extremely sensitive to green and clean.  They have one of the best garbage pickup systems I have ever seen.  We get a big truck pick-up three times a week.  There are cast iron baskets on a standard in front of most homes.  If they don’t have this facility, they place their plastic wrapped garbage by the street and the garbage men lift it into the truck. You can always tell where somebody does their grocery shopping by the colour bag in which they dispose of their garbage. This collection service costs $6.00 monthly to the home owner. 
            One other thing we noticed this morning on the way home from church.  A lot of new road signs have been erected, and that is something I have been hoping for since we arrived.  That will help to direct us to the different locations.  We have at times been miserably turned around and lost all sense of direction for the sake of a few road signs.  The cities aren’t good about street signs yet, and they have the oddest way of directing a person to a location.  In fact I have heard stories about using a building location that isn`t there any more as a guide post.  They have just become so accustomed to using this term that they keep using it even if the building is absent.  I guess the cleanup crew got it erased and picked up before the general population knew anything about it.
            Another thing one must be wary of with directions.  The people here are so friendly and want to help that they will direct you to a location whether they know where it is or not.  We experienced this early in our time here.  We asked one older lady if she could direct us to the Banco National.  She used body language, but we could tell it was some distance to the right and around a couple of corners.  We looked up the street the other way, and saw the big sign of the bank about half a block up the street in the opposite direction.  We must beware of too much help.

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