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Costa Rica Kaleidoscope
written by the Bards of Paradise
edited by Greg Bascom and Robin Kazmier

The authors are a group of resident writers whose first language is English. They have all published books, columns, articles or newsletters designed to unlock the sweet and sunny as well as the sour and dark mysterious subtleties of Costa Rican culture.

The owner of Rainforest Dreams B&B is one of the Bards of Paradise.

Available for purchase in the Rainforest Dreams B&B gift shop as well as on

Your hostess at Rain Forest Dreams is a writer with many publications to her credit. Most recently, her work appears in an anthology, Costa Rica Kaleidoscope under her pen name of Carol McCool.

Expat anthology paints ‘Costa Rica Kaleidoscope’
The Tico Times , 
Friday, January 27, 2012 -
By Kate Galante

Written by a group of expat writers who call themselves “The Bards of Paradise,” the book is, according to the introduction, “a map for all to follow to discover the treasure that is Costa Rica.” And indeed, the book includes a number of valuable articles providing such a perspective. 
... Equally good, because they impart such a vivid picture of life in the campo, are Carol McCool’s stories “Six Rivers to Cross,” which teaches us, given Tico paucity of information and Gringo assumptions, all the things that can go wrong, and “Terror in Escazú,” where, it turns out, monkeys are not always endearing. Best are accounts of her Sunrise Mountain Farm, in which, as a rootless expat, she poignantly asks, “Will I find a place where I can plant my fence post and watch it spread its roots and branches?” 

...“Costa Rica Kaleidoscope” is an excellent book...well worth the purchase.


More than a guidebook, beyond a collection of traveler’s stories, Costa RIca Kaleidoscope is a unique panorama of cultural journeys undertaken by expats who live and love Costa Rica every day. I found myself alternatively laughing and crying, but most of all, unable to put the book down until I’d read it cover to cover. Filled with honest—sometimes brutal, frequently inspiring—perspectives on life on this little isthmus we call home, Costa Rica Kaleidoscope is a gem that should find its way into the bookshelves of expats, would-be expats and those with a persistent “what if?” itching in the backs of their minds.

Wendi Patrick Raven
Former editor, Costa Rica Outdoors


Many Flavors of Life in Costa Rica,
February 22, 2012
By Joanna Biggar
This review is from:
Costa Rica Kaleidoscope (Kindle Edition)

The long and short of this wonderful read, written and compiled by ex-pats living in Costa Rica, is that it offers great insight into an alluring country. From "shorts," -- Lenny Karpman's ruminations of being the only human at home with his menagerie of dogs and rescued wildlife, or Michael Crump's lyrical account of watching exotic birds with morning coffee -- to "longs," including Carol McCool's riveting account of life on a Sunrise Mountain Farm, and Greg Bascom's three-parter documenting his love-life through successive visits to beautiful Playa Manuel Antonio (from first wife, to lover, to second wife), these pieces offer a tasty sampling of Tico life. I particularly liked the "call and response" effect of three pieces beginning with Robin Kazimer's gripping "River Crossing," which describes coaxing a reluctant teen-age volunteer onto a small horse to cross a raging river in a storm to bring in the cocoa crop, followed by later making the crossing herself when conditions were much worse. Jo Short responds in the next piece, "Buses and Horses," where she addresses the courageous Kazimer's fear of riding on city buses. Kazimer answers in kind in "Response," explaining her discomfort with buses versus her ease in crossing swollen rivers on a dilapidated horse. From wilds to cities to recipes to tropical gardens, there is something for everyone to enjoy who is interested in tales from the ex-pat perspective on Tico life.
Joanna Biggar

Joanna Biggar is a teacher, writer and traveler whose special places of the heart include the California coast and the south of France.... She has taught journalism, creative writing, personal essay and travel writing since 1994 in many venues...