Recently I launched a new Facebook page focusing on the plight of the Playa Hermosa School, a very poor, grade 1-6 facility, serving the kids of our little community.  The purpose of the site was to keep our friends and neighbors aware of current and future plans as it related to improving the school. 

Today, one of our Boomers Offshore subscribers, decided to post a very pithy and (in my opinion) very antagonistic comment on my Facebook Wall for all the public to read.  Her initial post appeared to have nothing to do with the topic at hand other than her need to force me into some sort of confrontation.  Well it worked.  So in the spirit of free speech, I decided to bring (to the foreground) what transpired.

SHE WRITES:

Andy, you are making good money there now for all your advertisements for expats to move to Costa Rica. It's wonderful to know you will be helping financially this school and help the kids there as well.

I wasn't quite sure what she meant with her snarky comments but I was curious as to her motivation.  Instead of making this a publicly aired debate, I decided to take the conversation offline.  I wrote her back and wanted to know WHY she said what she said?  What follows is a detailed account of our limited, written dialog and (of course) my editorial follow-up.

ANDY WRITES:

I don't know what you mean? I'm don't make any money advertising for people to move to Costa Rica. If anything, I tell people NOT to move here. Please clarify for me the meaning of your previous post.

About an hour or so later I received her reply.  Here it is, exactly as it appeared in my Facebook message window.  I really wish people take an extra minute or two to proof read what they are sending out because when people make incoherent statements it really makes them look even more stupid than they really are.

SHE WRITES:

Sorry, got off of facebook. Well, alot of people have said that you were making commissions/money from referring expats to move to Costa Rica. That you are also paid to go to seminars in the States that they sponsor, you get paid, free hotel and free food for the length of the seminar you give. Weird Andy, I though you knew what expats have been saying. Also, due to increase of income big time you rented a huge house on the beach with a swimming pool that you never could afford before. Everyone is talking about that, I am surprised you didn't know what or saying you aren't making any money. But having said that, I never read anything you wrote that said to stay away from Costa Rica and NOT move there.

To say that I was pissed would be an understatement.  I don't know where this woman is getting her information.  So I took a deep breath and decided to write her back a very clear, calm and deliberate response, addressing every one of her poorly articulated and very inaccurate claims.

ANDY WRITES:

Let me set the record straight... we do not accept advertising fees nor do receive commissions for what we say.

When you refer to speaking at seminars, you must be referring to the three International Living Seminars at which we were guest speakers.  While we were not paid to speak, they did reimburse us for the cost of our travel.  International Living did not have any editorial control over the content of any of our presentations.  We spoke from the heart.  In fact, you can see and hear EVERYTHING we said at those sessions because they are posted online at the Boomers Offshore website.

THE FOLLOWING ARE LINKS TO VIDEOS OF ALL OUR PRESENTATIONS.


San Jose 2010 - 066

San Jose 2011 - 087, 088

Las Vegas 2011 - 089

Regarding the house we are living in... YES, we increased our rent.  So big deal, we are now paying a few hundred dollars more.   But it gave us the opportunity to enjoy a better lifestyle and it was in our budget!  But what you may not know, the windows in our previous house were designed not to open.  Therefore we needed to run our A/C much of the time.  The new house has complete, flow through ventilation and minimizes the need for A/C and therefore reduces our electric consumption by more than $100 a month.

It's impossible for us to know what ALL the expats are saying. Those that talk behind our backs, i.e. your apparent sources for your pitiful commentary, are basically all chicken shit cowards. If they have an issue with what we say or do, they should step out into the light and say it to our faces.

We try our best to tell it like it is.  You don't know everything I tell people because you don't read all my emails or listen in on all my SKYPE calls.  If you did, you would not be making these ridiculous claims. 

If you have an issue with what we say, please have the courage to contact us directly.  You have my email and my phone number.  I'm sure we can reason this out.


THIS IS THE EDITORIAL STUFF...

Other than the remark where I mentioned "chicken shit cowards", I thought my overall retort was quite restrained, polite and totally on target.  What really set me off were the use of all the casual and non-descriptive, accusatory terms such as "a lot of people have said...","I thought you knew what expats have been saying...", and my favorite, "everyone is talking."  These types of comments, in my opinion, have no credence.  I hate it when people hide behind a cloak of anonymity and regurgitate vague and slanderous references made by a few disenchanted people.   All I can say is, If you don't have the balls to say it to my face, keep your "effen" mouth shut.

I want to set the record straight... Boomers Offshore accepts no fees for any advertising.  Yes, we have recommended the services of a few individuals or companies, but we did so because we were once satisfied customers.  For those of you who have been following our life in Costa Rica, you know and appreciate our candidness.  Our life is an open book.  We have nothing to hide and nothing to be ashamed of.  We love our life in Costa Rica and we enjoy sharing our experiences with our online friends. 

Fran and I were born and raised in South Florida.  We grew up surrounded by retirees and senior citizens.  Now that we are part of that demographic, our upbringing affords us a unique insight into what makes them (us) tick. 

It was none of this person's business where we live, how we live, how we spend or don't spend our money.  It is quite clear that maybe boredom or the specter of that "green-eyed monster" motivated her irrational comments.  For her to insinuate we were "greedy sell outs" or worse, really pissed me off.  The most valuable possession we have is our integrity.  If we lose that, we have nothing.

By the way, I gave this woman three days to respond but eventually never heard from her again.  She has since been digitally eradicated from my life.

If you have any comments, pro or con, regarding this rant, please take a few moments and CHIME IN.  I'd like to hear your thoughts.