Have you heard of Blooms Ladies Club Costa Rica?
I love following Irina and Jim Just’s blog, called “Just Costa Rica, living la Pura Vida” because they both always have interesting things to say in their blog.
In all my years selling property in Costa Rica, I rarely saw a couple retire in Costa Rica one day and feel totally comfortable with their new home country the next day. Few expats are able to “mingle” so easily in their new environment as Irina and Jim. I’d like you to learn from them.
With Irina Just’s permission, I am publishing her last blog about the Blooms ladies Club in Costa Rica. This expat blub is just another way Irina found to meet new people and to enjoy her retirement in Costa Rica. FYI, Blooms is not an old ladies club, they’re just a bunch of women enjoying themselves.
Thanks, Irina for allowing me to use your blog to show newcomer expats another way of mingling and enjoy living in Costa Rica.
When and where
On the last Tuesday of every month, the female English-speaking community of the Valle Central gets together in the morning for “Kaffeeklatsch”. The location of these events rotates.
Requirements for voluntarily hosting these “Bloom where you’re planted” events are minimal:
* Have a big enough space to hold at least 30 women, with enough chairs to seat them.
* Provide assorted beverages and tableware (guests bring the food – either savory or sweet).
* Send the men off to either park the cars or disappear until noon.
This group of about 200 Blooms Ladies Club includes
- South Africans,
- as well as several English-speaking Ticas.
Blooms ladies Club is not a formal organization – there are no dues, membership fees, or any obligations to attend events. In fact, you don’t even have to RSVP when the e-mail invitations and reminders are sent out. There’s no board, no secretary, no minutes – just name tags brought by one of the women and sign-up sheets if and when you want to get on the mailing list.
I didn’t want to get involved in any formal, structured organization again, but getting together with expats, networking and sharing information, and meeting lots of new people was something I was interested in and when my new neighbor Jennifer invited me to the January Blooms event the day we moved in, I eagerly accepted. Since then I’ve been to three Blooms gatherings and hosted one myself last month.
In fascinating places
I’ve seen fascinating places, among them a huge plantation home . . .
. . . a coffee farm with a restaurant . . .
. . . and an elegant villa with a swimming pool in a gated community.
Each different, each lovely, and each owned by a Gringa.
Everyone thought I was brave when I raised my hand at the March gathering, volunteering to host the April event since as a newcomer I was just barely beginning to “bud.” But for me, nothing could be easier since hosting parties of any size seems to be in my blood. And for this one, I didn’t even have to bake or cook. Just gather up every chair we own and hope for good weather, especially no wind so we could leave all the doors open and move easily between the house and the veranda.
Sometimes, if the host so chooses, there is a theme to these events. One woman invited a chiropractor to demonstrate his craft (his wife Pamela is an active Bloomer).
Another suggested a clothes exchange: bring five items of good, useable, clean clothing that you just don’t want any longer, for whatever reason, and pick out five items in return from the clothes-filled room. I came away with a fab dress and a lovely skirt.
I chose art as a topic since I had quickly realized that many of the women were themselves, artists, working in various media including glass mosaic; jewelry and clothing design; photography; painting of all sorts, style, and subject; and dance. I knew many would ask me about our art collection, especially my father’s work in and around our house and guest house (the sculpture garden is especially intriguing).
With art as a theme, I could talk about my dad’s work and then introduce other artists and have them show a sampling of their work. Sort of a “show and tell.” It was a hit!
The event was highlighted by a rehearsal of “One Billion Rising” – a dance event we are currently putting together for May 25 in downtown Grecia, led by Pamela, an accomplished dancer . . .
Usually, these gatherings are over at noon, at the latest. The Blooms Ladies Club at my house on April 30 lasted well into 1:00 PM, with some not wanting to leave even then. We agreed there will be a “Part II” to the “art” theme, next in one of the artist’s homes.
I feel very privileged to have been so warmly welcomed into this group of caring women and plan to attend each Blooms Day event, if possible.
If you are interested in joining the Blooms, contact
One Billion Rising! May 25 info – Pamela Hopkins
Blooms Membership – Joan Dewar
Irina Just –
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I DO want to remind our readers that we appreciate any referrals you can send us. Also, please remember the GoDutch Realty agents when you talk about your home in Costa Rica, we appreciate it.