Chinchilla Goes A-Hunting

Chinchilla-Comunicacion-CORTESIA-CASA-PRESIDENCIAL_LNCIMA20131104_0006_57Laura Chinchilla, President of Costa Rica, is on a tour of Europe to attend a meeting of the OECD and drum up investment and tourism for her country.
I’m never happy when Costa Rican politicians visit Europe….they inevitably return starry eyed with new ideas on how to separate the citizen from the said citizen’s money following the example of those masters of financial meltdown, the European Union.
Last time it was VAT…what will it be this time?
The ecotax on heavy goods vehicles currently going down with all hands in Brittany?

Paris was the first stop….
Usual meetings with the President of the Senate….and even with the reclusive Hollandouille, President of the French Republic where the usual platitudes as to investment were exchanged – the French want to flog a tramway to San Jose – and the possibility of opening Costa Rican waters to ships of the French fleet was discussed.

The Costa Rican Legislative Assembly need have no fear of approving this measure as every time the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle attempts to leave port either the propellor falls off or they run out of nibbles in the wardroom so there’s not much chance of pom-pom hatted matelots performing the cancan in the streets of Limon any time soon.

President Chinchilla then went to the real seat of power…the offices of MEDEF, the bosses union, to have more meaningful discussions on inward investment in Costa Rica.
While not privy to the session I imagine that MEDEF would have been interested to know to how the facilitation of the social dialogue works in Costa Rica: as we are now belatedly discovering, in France it works by shovelling bank notes to the tune of several million Euros into the hands of union leaders on a regular basis.
I am sure that President Chinchilla was able to tell them how the social dialogue is facilitated in Costa Rica.

Before moving on to the Vatican, President Chinchilla wound up her visit by giving a speech at the UNESCO offices in Paris where she drew attention to Costa Rica’s strongdemocratic traditions in a region more noted for the despoliation of the people by oligarchal regimes…and to Costa Rica’s respect for the environment…for the natural world.

notre dame de paris wikipedia.commons.orgFrom that point of view it was perhaps infelicitous that on the Sunday the President had attended a mass at Notre Dame de Paris…in the company of government colleagues travelling with her and embassy staff.

She’s a Roman Catholic…so why not? She was welcomed by the Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal Vingt-Trois, and she heard mass.
Where’s the problem?

In the light of her declarations at UNESCO the problem was that the mass in question was that of St.Hubert.
The patron saint of the hunting fraternity.

If you are not familiar with them, the music of the ‘trompes de chasse’ is based on the calls necessary to direct the mounted hunt…la chasse a courre…. and all over France, in towns as well as in the countryside, you will find the feast day of St. Hubert celebrated by groups of players of trompes de chasse outside and inside churches…from tiny chapels in the forests to the mighty Notre Dame of Paris itself.

Let me leave you with an example of the music that President of Costa Rica may have heard:


24 thoughts on “Chinchilla Goes A-Hunting”

  1. When a few comments came to my e-mail in box, I came back to comment and saw I did. Upon reading it again, I see it comes across flip and can be mistaken. My apologies. To clarity: I was being sarcastic about the European economy. And, if I was mistaken to your implication with the musical example the President of CR listened to, I concurred with the bagpipe statement. Really appreciate your posts and intelligence, Helen.

    1. I took your point re the European economy…you could write a how to fail manual from the mess governments have made…!

      The trompes de chasse are a bit special – to say the least – but they are part of the autumn scene and i grew to like them.

      Comment here as you please….I take things in the spirit they are made.

        1. There’s one lady who used to read my posts on France and take great offense….but it seemed to me that she had it fixed in her mind that I hated the France that she – with her holiday home there – loved to visit and used to respond to what she assumed I was writing!

          1. Assumptions are a great way to break down communications. I try to avoid them at all costs and hear/see the other to whom I’m speaking and not the projected insides of my head. Too many out there are babbling with their own gray matter. It’s a refreshing gift to be in a real conversation with someone.

          2. With the increasingly low level of reporting in the media…where opinion and obfuscation seems to have replaced fact….it is all too easy to pick up the slovenly habit of mouthing slogans rather than thinking through what oneself or another person is trying to say.
            I am aware that I can mentally label some pronouncement as coming from a fascist pig….and it’s all too easy to leave it there. But I do owe it to myself to see whether the fascist pig is not, in fact an imperialist running dog…..or some other political animal altogether…

            So, as you say, a proper conversation is extremely refreshing!

  2. Helen, I have been to CR and I loved it. It doesn’t need to be monetized or industrialized or ruinized. I’m glad to see you’re still keeping an eye out for your adopted country.

    1. And when you think it was a vision ocurring when hunting that is supposed to have turned Hubert from a sporting life to one of religion….!

      Still, the establishments always stick together….

      I became accustomed to the trompes de chasse over the years, though…

  3. Niall passing by as the clip started: “Bloody Heck!! What is that?? Sounds like those f***ing horns they had down at the fete one year!

    Said year they were very enthusiastic and the sound drifted up – all too clearly- for hours!
    Such dulcet tones 😉

    1. Now that would be a blood sport I’d support….
      I had confrontations with the chasse over the years in France and i wouldn’t mind treati9ng them the way they treated the commercially reared pheasants they bought on Friday, put out on the week end and shot on Tuesday…

  4. Having a musical grandson who plays the trumpet (well) I confess I had to stop the video halfway through. 😉 Of course the trompes de chasse and the fete de la Saint Hubert (why ‘de la’ for a male saint?) are folk religion and thus deeply rooted in the countryside, but quite why the President of Costa Rica had to be subjected to them I’m not sure. To test her green credentialls perhaps?

    1. And they were one of the better groups…..

      I think our dear President – hailed on her election as the favoured daughter of Mary by a bishop who must have been at the communion wine – could not resist attending a mass at Notre Dame which is celebrating 850 years of existence this year.
      I have a suspicion that her ambassadorial staff hadn’t a clue as to the role of St. Hubert for the hunting fraternity…and that…even if they had, the inconsistency of attending a St. Hubert mass and then thumping on about Costa Rica’s respect for nature at UNESCO wouldn’t have troubled the lady a bit.
      I think she follows the advice of the White Queen to believe six impossible things before breakfast…..and expects everyone else to do so too.

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