San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Arenal Report

Returning tomorrow for a few days in the LakeArenal area is Erin Van Rheenen, author of “Living Abroad in Costa Rica.” Erin will visit friends she made on previous trips and check out what’s new and good in life at our mountain lake. Besides, Erin has a new informational Web site of broader scope called “Miss Move Abroad” at Erin also is a travel columnist for the San Francisco Examiner.

Were Erin to arrive here on the second Wednesday of the month (maybe next trip), she would find something new at the Hotel La Carreta, namely Ed Rheames’ monthly meeting of the Arenal Computer Club. Ed’s meetings include an amazing number of diverse tips, hints, and instructions. Anticipating the November meetings, for example, Ed’s pre-meeting e-mail suggested a variety of helpful Web sites, particularly sources of security enhancement. One site offers a stolen computer alarm – free, unlike the computer. Another gives you software to trace and deactivate your stolen cell phone. For the non-paranoia-afflicted, there is a source listing more than 50 sites where you can legally download free e-books, plus a variety of other sites. One can learn a lot with computer guru Ed Rheames.

For those who read and write Spanish well, we have a new Web site called “Tilarán Cultural” at The site states (in Spanish), “We promote the cultural and artistic groups of the Tilarán zone.” One of the leaders is Juan Carlos Ruiz, the established fine artist whose work may be most readily seen at his gallery in Casa Delagua, alongside the highway at the Rio Piedras end of the lake. It’s a social networking site that one can join to learn about and discuss cultural matters with other members.

–Alex Murray


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