Costa Ricans visit Hood River County

A group of eight Costa Ricans are completing a month in Oregon with a week’s visit in Hood River, writes Peter Frothingham of Hood River, and a member of the Alliance for Progress.

The visitors and some of their hosts enjoyed a guided walking tour of the historic buildings in downtown Hood River, among many stops during their time in the area.

The tour was led by Carley Squyres, AmeriCorps intern, from the Hood River Museum. Following this event they visited the Hood River County Library.

Costa Rica and most other countries around the world do not have community libraries, according to Frothingham.

“Oregon is fortunate to be paired with Costa Rica. The partnership began through the Alliance for Progress initiated in the Kennedy Administration,” he said.

For more than 15 years there has been an adult cultural exchange between the two countries. Oregonians who host a Costa Rican have an opportunity to show off their community, practice or learn a little Spanish and learn firsthand about another culture. Those who host are eligible to visit Costa Rica for a month in January and February at low cost.

“They have a wonderful time visiting the entire country, including places and communities not seen by most tourists,” Frothingham said. There is also a student exchange with an even longer history. It began in 1986.

The Costa Ricans also visited Mount Hood, Lost Lake and Mid Valley Elementary School, took the Mount Hood Railroad to Parkdale, visited an alpaca farm and pressed apples into juice. Before arriving in Hood River they spent time with hosts in Portland, Seaside, Salem and Redmond.

Any one interested in hosting a Costa Rican or a couple in 2013 can contact Tim Foley at 541-399-2140 or Peter Frothingham at 541-354-3021.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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