Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Lithuania ETIAS Requirements for Costa Rican Citizens

If you have ever thought of traveling to Lithuania from Costa Rica, you have probably looked for information about travel requirements to this European country. Lithuania is a country that requires all individuals visiting from Costa Rica to meet certain travel requirements. These requirements are generally the same across the board for all individuals. People involved in financial trading, for instance, in areas like banks and forex (or forex prekyba as it is called in Lithuania), however, have to pay attention to the amount of money they carry with them. This is because the currency restrictions require individuals to declare their funds at the point of entry. Other than that, most of the other requirements are in line with most European countries. Here are the Lithuanian travel requirements for Costa Rican citizens.

Travel Documents and Visa Requirements

Lithuania has various requirements depending on the period you intend to stay in the country. A valid passport and travel documents used must be valid for up to 3 months after the end of the stay. For those who will be visiting for short periods of less than 90 days, a visa exemption is applied. The visits must, however, be done within 180 days, otherwise, a Schengen visa will be required. Costa Ricans visiting Lithuania for more than 90 days will be required to have a Schengen visa. As for now, the ETIAS is not required of Costa Rican national but starting from 2021, this authorization will be mandatory. An ETIAS has different terms and conditions compared to a Schengen visa. The ETIAS will, for instance, be usable for a longer period of up to 5 years. The entry times for ETIAS holders of Costa Rican origin will also be unlimited.


Customs and Currency Regulations

The customs regulations of Lithuania are quite common to those of other countries of the world. Some of the items that are illegal in most countries are also restricted in Lithuania. Weapons, drugs and other items that are considered dangerous or illegal are not allowed in the country. For things like guns, however, special passes that are mandatory in Europe might be required in the most necessary situations. Common recreation food and drinks like alcohol, cigarettes, and wines among other things are also subject to Lithuanian laws. All people arriving in Lithuania directly from non-European Union will be limited to a liter of alcohol or 2 liters of wine or champagne. Tobacco and cigarettes will also be allowed as long as the net weight does not exceed 250 grams.

As for valuable goods and currency requirements, Lithuania only permits souvenirs and amber exports of a value not more than 1000 Euros. There are tight restrictions on cultural items exports and visitors will not be able to enter the country with such items. There is a tax provision for transporting valuables which is applied depending on the age of the age of the artwork. If you are traveling with more than 10,000 Euro either in cash or check form, you will be required to declare it at the point of entry. If you are traveling with only a one-way ticket, you will not be permitted into the country if you cannot prove that you can buy a return ticket.

Apart from the above-mentioned requirements, there are no other conditions provided for Costa Rican nationals traveling to Lithuania.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Costa Rican Places 4th in Great Wall of China Marathon

Costa Rica News – Tica Laura Figueroa came in fourth place in the overall female category of the demanding Great Wall Marathon in China. She completed the 42 kilometers in just 4 hours, 40 minutes and 5 seconds.

It’s a race known as one of the most difficult in the world due to the fact that the athletes must face steep climbs and descents with changing altimetry. There are also 5,164 steps, some so high you can’t run them rather you have to climb them using your hands to help.

Her performance also got her the position of best Latin American in the competition as well as 21st place overall, when including male and female athletes. In the female category, she followed South African Maria Marincowitz, Dutch Angelina Van Adrichem, and Russian Olga Baranova.

She is thrilled to claim a medal for her country and thanks her coach and the group she trains with. She referred to the marathon as “quite an experience” and encourages all those who love to run to make it to this race to live a completely different experience.

Repairs to Costa Rica’s Reventazón Hydroelectric Plant Under Review

Costa Rica News – Aresep is investigating the advances at the Reventazón hydroelectric plant.

It sent a delegation to visit to supervise and collect information regarding the progress made there on work meant to fix a leak as well as make an estimate of when operations could resume.

The focus of the tour was to calculate the level of progress so far in order to be able to estimate the restart date. Aresep similarly monitors all investment projects in the electricity sector.

The inauguration of the plant was on September 16, 2016. A crack and other damage was found causing the plant to close on February 15. It was originally thought that the repairs would take just three months.

But as we all know a 3 month project normally takes at least double in Costa Rica.

The severity of the crack forced ICE to extend the repair period. This was necessary to guarantee the safety of structures and useful life of the plant as well as the wellbeing of the communities in the area.

Unlimited Whatsapp in Costa Rica

Costa Rica News – Telefónica, which uses the Movistar Costa Rica brand, made changes to its prepaid service offer. The new packages include unlimited messaging in the WhatsApp application.

Movistar has great offers these days, for both its prepaid and postpaid customers. Postpaid users will be able to watch the World Cup 2018 on their mobile phones. Prepaid packages offer additional data for consumption. The plans range from ¢2,000 and ¢5,900.

Packages also offer a certain number of minutes for calls and number of SMS messages. Also added are minutes for calls to any mobile network in the country and Movistar networks in Nicaragua, the US, and Canada.

These offers follow the elimination of the tariff regulation on mobile telephony and mobile Internet, which happened in October. At that time, ICE launched postpaid plans with free WhatApp and Waze.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Magical Matryoshka Doll

A Matryoshka doll is a treasure of Russia. The Matryoshka is a beautiful doll commonly made from wood or metals. It consists of a large doll in the artistic rendition of popular saints, political leaders and artists.
It opens in half to reveal similar dolls that are smaller upon each opening. There are many variations and a black box from China that held a grain of rice in the middle, was the first known inspiration.

Vasily Zvyozdochkin is credited with being the first craftsman to carve this doll in Russia in 1890. Sergey Malyutin is the first artist to paint the design. The inspiration is from another Asian creation, a Japanese doll in the shape of Buddha. The doll won a bronze award in 1900 at a world fair in Paris, France and became widely popularized. The design and craftsmanship has become a modern day part of traditional Russia.

Tourists flock to buy a piece of the culture, and the Matryoshka doll is a popular souvenir choice.

A Matryoshka doll set is most commonly made from one piece of wood. The wood comes from different types of trees such as alder, aspen, birch and Tilia. Alder wood is a type of birch and is heavily associated in Magic with the planet Venus. The wood is sacred to many gods and goddess including Aphrodite and Odin. Birch wood is believed to drive away evil spirits and the tree itself commonly springs up after wildfire. Aspen trees make a whispering noise when the wind blows. Tilia wood is great for carving!

Russian Fairy Tales

Since many of the Matryoshka dolls are made to symbolize emotions I want to share with you some beloved fairytales of Russia. Fairytales are a great way to share cultural stories that everyone experienced history and magic of the time. Maybe one day, you will happen upon a Matryoshka doll as I have and you may already know what the face means, the stories behind it and the energy absorbed into the wood. This way you will really feel the Matryoshka magic.

Baba –Yaga

In Slavic legend, the Baba-Yaga is a hideous old woman. Her name itself means mother or old woman, just like the Russian Matryoshka. She is mischievous, helping those she takes a liking to and then hurting those she does not like. She lives in the magical forest. A magical forest is found in the center of a large forest clearing, usually deep within the woods. She has come to earn many representations because she is so mysterious.


Kolobok is a yellow spherical being that resembles a smile. He has a round yellow face and many variations. The Kolobok, which is a traditional Russian sweet dish becomes alive and escapes. On the road he meets several animals who want to eat him. He deceives each one by singing a clever song. This fairytale can be compared to that of the American gingerbread man.

Vasilisa The Beautiful

A merchant had a beautiful daughter named Vasilisa. When she is eight years old her mother becomes fatally ill. As a last gift, she presents Vasilisa with a wooden doll and instructions to feed and give it drinks when she needs its help. The doll will than come alive and help her with what she needs. So, as soon as she dies the girl cannot wait and starts to give the doll food and drink. The doll comes to life and comforts Vasilisa.

The father marries again and this time the woman is wicked and only cares for her two daughters (much like the American Cinderella.) The doll helps Vasilisa to perform the many chores given to her by the evil stepmother. When Vasilisa’s father has to leave faraway for work, she is in even more trouble. The stepmother sells the house and moves them deep into the woods.

The light in the house goes out and there are no candles left. Vasilisa is sent to go recover some light. She happens upon the hut of Baba-Yaga.

Baba Yaga tells her she must earn the light and sets her to tasks. The doll helps her to complete the task as she happens upon three riders on horses, each one representing the day, night and the sun, the doll tells her how to get through the trials.

Baba Yaga blesses Vasilisa and gives her a lantern made from a coal. Yet when she comes into her home she learns her step family has become cursed. No candles or light will burn. The skull’s embers come to life burning down the house and everyone in it except for Vasilisa. Vasilisa than buries the skull in the forest and leaves into the city.

By Deanna Jaxine Stinson

Halo Paranormal Investigations – HPI International.

The Ashes of Time, the Fire of Attention

“Time is the substance I am made of. Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger which destroys me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire.”
Jorge Luis Borges

A primary feature of deeper meditative states is the ending of time. Not physical time, as measured by the clock, but the experience of time. That is, psychological time, which moves from the past through the present into the future.

When time ends, becoming ceases. There is only what is, unfolding. At the same time (pardon pun), the first separation in man, between death and life, ends. When psychological time ends, there is no separation whatsoever.

Time is not a distinct property of the universe, but it is a fundamental feature of thought, which is based on separation and memory. So what are physicists referring to when they speak of space-time?

They are referring, whether they realize it or not, to the entire, seamless fabric of the universe as it unfolds—energy, matter, space and time. “The arrow of time” is simply the unfurling of energy/matter/space, a unitary process that has a beginning, but perhaps, no end.

Is the Big Bang constantly being recapitulated in the universe and with life on earth? When death and life are seen as they are, as a single movement, is there only perpetual beginning? If so, then time as we experience it is indeed a tremendous illusion.

When astronomers look through the Hubble at an extremely distant galaxy, say five billion light years away, they often say that it took five billion years for the light from that galaxy to reach us. But the earth didn’t exist five billion years ago, so that makes no sense.

What looking back in time through our telescopes actually demonstrates is that all light that ever existed and all events that ever happened are present in the present moment. The only thing that does not exist is the future, which is yet to unfold.

The “block theory” of the universe, on the other hand, holds that everything is written, not just the past and the present, but the future as well. This idea, which is widely held by physicists and philosophers, is the antithesis of what I’m proposing is the actuality.

To my mind, the universe is in a constant state of creation, and that what we think of as its beginning was just a macrocosmic event that gave rise to an infinite number and series of microcosmic events. When we live with actuality of death, there is simply perpetual beginning with each moment in the present, which holds all that is occurring and ever occurred.

However, nearly all of us nearly all of the time are prisoners of our experience of time. Freedom, to my mind, is the experiencing of life as it is actually unfolding in the present, without time. Not only the experiencing, but also creatively participating in that unfolding.

This is where the contradiction between thought and consciousness comes in. To paraphrase Borges, thought-time is the substance I am made of. Thought-time is a river that sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger that destroys me, but I am the tiger.

Thought-time is not a fire that consumes me however, but the ashes that are suffocating me. The ‘me’ is time. And I am the ashes of time. The fire that consumes the ‘me’ and frees one from thought-time is attention, which brings awareness beyond thought-time.

Therefore completely, undividedly watching the movement of thought-time in the mirror of nature, there is awareness without time, without thought.

So when there is the total negation of thought-time in undivided observation, is the brain synonymous with the mind of the universe in meditation? Find out for yourself.

Martin LeFevre

Friday, May 18, 2018

When Will Costa Rica Improve Its Recycling Programs?

Costa Rica News – Costa Rica is not a good example of waste management. We generate 4,000 tons of waste per day and 1,000 of that ends up deposited in rivers, vacant lots and roads. Just 264 tons, 6.6% of the total, arrives at recycling collection centers to be processed.

Still, that 6.6% is a step in the right direction. In 2014, the figure was 1.26%. The goal for this year is to get it up to 8% and then 15% by 2021, according to the Municipal Development and Advisory Institute.

Today, being World Recycling Day, there will be talks and campaigns throughout the country about collecting waste and recycling.

The IFAM facilities in Moravia is hosting the VI National Recycling Meeting. There will be lectures and conferences given to the representatives of local governments as well as cultural presentations. Innovative initiatives like Ecolones, that encourage responsible recycling, will be presented.

Today is also a chance to recycle in front of the central offices of INS in San José as well as at the INS headquarters in Limón. They will accept plastic, aluminum, glass, tin, tetrabrik, paper, cardboard, newspapers and magazines, electronics (monitors, cpu, keyboards, phones) and appliances. Batteries and fluorescents will not be accepted.