Tuesday, July 7, 2009

4th of July annual picnic

SOS, 4th of July picnic

This past Independance day picnic was a morning to reunite american expats in Costa Rica, to celebrate the 233rd year of of freedom.

Like every year many arrive to the national beer company to meet with friends they haven´t seen in a while, have a few hotdogs and beers for breakfast, they take the kids to have free ice cream and pop corn and enjoy the games and competitions.

However in recent years it seems that it has not changed for the better, many people were complaining this past 4th of July, stating that in such a short period of time, much of it was being used for talking too much on stage, mainly about data which not many were interested in knowing, most of us agree that the ceremony and the protocol is important and must be kept, but please keep it to a minimum.

To make things worse, people had to wait for hotdogs and beer for an hour during the time all this was happening, the only reason it seems, is that it is a way to save on expenses, although I believe a lot of items are donated.

Its been a long time since my first 4th of July picnic in 1970, I remember shaking hands with President Pepe Figueres at the american ambassadors house, the traditional oxcart ride for kids and adults around the ground that has been forgotten, the famous blueberry pie eating contest which was a favorite and has not been done in years, there is no cotton candy and no T shirts, free or for sale, except for some of the volunteers and no more free entrance.

Another big issue many can´t understand is how can a celebration be exclusively for american citizens and not their relatives or close friends that are acompanying them.
Do the organizers expect for us to enjoy a party alone or leave our children, wife, girlfriend or person who is with us at the entrance gate ?
This was never a problem until two years ago and makes no sense, it seems that instead of increasing the attendance they are trying to diminish it and this year it was very obvious, the attendance was a fraction of what it was in past years.

Three years ago the the picnic was canceled apparently because of lack of organization and help and according to some comments heard through the grape vine, the organizers were too tired to deal with it.
It seems they would ask for help with this large task of organizing a traditional celebration, I personally have offered to contribute in the board of directors and volunteering during several years but have had no response.
Lic.Gregory Kearney Lawson.
Attorney at Law/Real Estate Broker
Rohrmoser, San José

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