Arenal Report

September 7, 2011

A recent social event on the east side of the lake turned perilous recently, but several attendees, including especially Natalie McDonald, saved the day, according to Judy Reisman. If there were ever another “Survivor” program, Natalie would win, Judy says. 

A few ladies were invited to Nancy Holzheimer’s house for a luncheon to welcome back Anne Truhlar and an appreciation of Natalie’s many talents and helpfulness. Unfortunately, as Jean Priest was driving up the long, steep, muddy, rain-slick driveway, her car skidded and ended up half pitched over a deep drop-off. Fortunately, some barbed wire prevented the car from rolling down the slope. 

Before the car could be freed, a lot of brush and branches had to be cut out from under it. A rescue team consisting of Rusty Holzheimer, Ed Woods and Anne quickly assembled to provide the necessary machetes, chains and other supplies. But the outstanding hero of the day was the intrepid and resourceful Natalie (who, among her many accomplishments, runs her own organic farm, makes goat cheese, yogurt, jams and sausage as well as other products, and hosts elegant gourmet Italian dinners featuring her produce). Natalie actually climbed under the car to do the dirty work – and it was very dirty! All ended well, with the two guests of honor displaying their rough-and-ready Costa Rican bona fides. 

“Medicinal trees of the native tropical forest is a subject dear to my heart,” writes Roberta Ward Smiley in her blog of Aug. 24 on the La Reserva Forest Foundation website at lrff.org. Titling the blog Dr. Feelgood’s Green Pharmacy, Roberta gives a fascinating review of some of the medicinal uses of Costa Rican forest resources, mostly through the use of excellent photos. 

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