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The Good Stuff - May 2024

Updated: May 16


Welcome to the second issue! In addition to smiles drawn in the sand, rain, and frogs, a few other good things around here are:


The woman in pink who repeatedly picks up bags and bags of trash from Flamingo Beach during her walks.

All the great food! It is a foodie’s paradise with so many delicious food opportunities between Flamingo and Potrero.

The first monkey camera has been installed for the six month study in Surfside. The first monkey bridge from these efforts should be up soon!

Street repairs have begun in Surfside! Now, that is something to smile about.


From Jeff G. to the Surfside community for the tremendous response to the needs of local wildlife, from monkey bridge studies to donating and volunteering at Monkey Park to save the sanctuary from wildfires.  Thank you to each person who contributed, volunteered time, or donated money.


A huge thank you from the community to Jeff G. for his coordination efforts!

From Dee R. to Bonnie B. and Jeanne & James B. for care of a baby bird!




Yours truly on May 17. I'm the only person in the area who was born in May!



Up next month, a haiku writing contest! A haiku is a poem written in three lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables, often containing “season” words. Haikus contain a “twist” that can be playful, contradictory, unexpected, profound, funny, etc. The haiku focuses on a single moment of time, right now.

Here are examples:

An old silent pond

A frog jumps into the pond-

Splash! Silence again     Matsuo Bashō

I would go with you

On that trek up Cold Mountain

But who’d feed the cat? Jo Podvin

You must use the following season words in your haiku: “sudden shower.” All will be published next month and I will pick a winner. Have fun!

Spanish and English welcome!


This month’s Spanish phrase is: ¡qué chiva! In Costa Rica, this is a colloquial expression indicating that a thing or situation is of magnificent quality. It can be used for nearly anything (like this flower and butterfly). If you see something wonderful say, QUE CHIVA!!


Karen Cerdas graciously agreed to be our first neighbor spotlight and to answer some of my questions.


Karen is Costa Rican. She was born in Cartago and has lived in Potrero, Surf Side for eight years with her husband, two daughters, and her dog ​​Gema.


Karen teaches Spanish at Idiomas de Colores, a program that she created with friend and colleague Erika Araya. In this program, they teach the language, culture, and traditions of Costa Rica.


Karen is a Social Worker, and she currently also works in the non-profit Association ACCAI, which she co-founded with Erika Araya. They help young people to successfully complete high school, by tutoring them in mathematics, English, physics-mathematics, and Spanish. The young people in the community also receive art and sports. The program is completely free. Karen says, “nuestra meta es que los jóvenes permanezcan estudiando y se alejan de actividades delictivas” (their goal is for young people to stay in school and stay away from criminal activities).


Karen says that she loves this community “porque es un lugar hermoso, con los más hermosos atardeceres, vivir cerca del mar es un sueño hecho realidad, además que la gente es muy amable y le gusta ayudar a los demás” (because it is a beautiful place, with the most beautiful sunsets, living near the ocean is a dream come true, plus the people are very kind and like to help others).


Karen expressed gratitude “por llegar a este lugar, que es un paraíso, donde coincidimos muchas personas de diferentes partes del mundo, amando el mismo lugar” (for arriving at this place, which is a paradise, where many people from different parts of the world meet, loving the same place).


Karen is happy “porque me encanta lo que hago” (she loves what she does) and “me encanta enseñar un poco de lo que es vivir en Costa Rica y cómo hablamos aquí” (she loves teaching a little about what it is like to live in Costa Rica and how we talk here).


She says she is grateful for the opportunity to help young people achieve their goals and to have a better quality of life.


Karen, this community is  grateful for your good heart!

PET PHOTOS (how can we not?)

Say hello to these good boys, Ferdinand (parti) and Cousteau (apricot). They are Potrero's foremost Poodle experts at living life to the fullest. They know a good nap when they see one.

“Because of the dog's joyfulness, our own is increased. It is no small gift. It is not the least reason why we should honor as well as love the dog of our own life, and the dog down the street, and all the dogs not yet born. What would the world be like without music or rivers or the green and tender grass? What would this world be like without dogs?”

- Mary Oliver


The Merriam-Webster dictionary’s synonyms for joy include delight, gaiety, and bliss. Joy is more immediate than happiness; it is what you rejoice in right now, in the moment.


One of the benefits of joy is that it can lead to more joy. Research shows that when we feel a little spark of joy, we pay more attention to the positive things around us; we are on the look-out for more joy! And people who experience more joy, tend to have better ability to bounce back from difficulties.


What brings joy is different for each person. To discover what brings YOU joy, you might ask yourself these questions:


  • What do I  love?


  • What am I curious about?


  • What is my favorite part of my day?


  • What did I love to do as a child?



Send me pet photos, birthdays, anniversaries, feel good sightings or stories, what brings you joy. Spread the good stuff around. Oh, and don't forget to send me your haikus!


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