Apr 21, 2009

We have returned to Hastings, Michigan, USA, and it is cold and wet. Next year, God willing, we will stay in Bello Oriente a while longer. I can use the extra time in Costa Rica for planting trees and flowers.
In addition to planting fruit trees and ornamental flowers (bougainvillea, etc) I was able to secure a dozen protected Ronron seedlings and transplanted some Poro seedlings from the jungle down below. Both will become forest giants and are supposed to grow about one meter per year.

My rainwater collection system is a huge success, so I will continue to expand it. It supplies us with extremely soft water for our electrical water heating showerhead, and will eventually store enough water to flush our toilets automatically.

Right now, the single 50-gallon storage tank isn't big enough for toilet flushing so we carry pails of water from the overflow tank on the other side of the house for flushing. I have 3 plastic tanks and one steel drum to hook up next year. A political glitch keeps us from having enough pressure in the public water system to reach beyond the half-way point of our driveway, so we fill bottles for drinking and cooking. The good side is that we have become very aware of the amount of water it takes to perform various tasks and conserve out of necessity rather than out of environmental enthusiasm.

Flushing toilets with drinking water now seems so irresponsible.


Tummynut said...

Hi. I found your blog by accident, but am so glad I did. On a whim, I typed in "Bello Oriente, Costa Rica" into google and yours was the first result. I lived in Bello Oriente for two months during the summer of 1998, when I was 17 years old. I came there as a volunteer with the community health / cultural exchange program "Amigos de las Americas". I had a fantastic experience and still remember many people fondly from the town. It sounds like Bello Oriente is better known (perhaps more built up?) than when I was there (I am not surprised that you wanted to retire there; I am, however, quite surprised that you knew where to look!). I would love to talk to you about what Bello Oriente is like now, and pass on a 'hello' to some non-forgotten friends. I can be reached at matthewpeiken@hotmail.com

with warm wishes,

Lorenzo said...

Hola Tomas,
I am surprised that you do not use a 12DCV pump to lift your water.I could not get along without one at my cabin in Alaska. Lorenzo

el grillo said...

My limited Spanish prevents me from exploring outside of my comfort zone, and I needed to raise the water 20-meters to the tanks above the stairs. I opted for a pump to transfer the public drinking water from a tank down in the jungle.