Wildlife Photography... attempts anyway :)

Living and vacationing in Costa Rica brings many opportunities for photos of birds, insects, etc., in their natural environments. An added bonus to my repertoire!

The hummingbird was guarding his tree.
On the butterfly tour, the guide explained that butterflies who eat rotting bananas and pineapple as their diet staple are often "drunk" from the fermenting fruit. Ha, I'm pretty sure this butterfly was drunk because I picked him up off the ground and he could hardly stand straight for the picture!
A waterfall off a cliff... I know this doesn't quite fit into the animal category, but it's still pretty, huh? :)
A hornet's nest... Yikes, stay away!
I have no idea what this bird's name is, but it reminds me of blue jays in the States.

We saw lots of monkeys, but they're very hard to capture on film... I need a longer zoom lense to be more successful with these guys!

12.20.08 and then... :)

While Janna took a shower, Jason and I were bored. Here's the results....

Janna's hat made a good prop...
And our water bottle also made a good prop...
Jason's best bored look. Ha, vacation should have some bored moments, right?

12.18.08 through 12.20.08... Playa Brasilito & Playa Conchal

Hello beach! Yeeeesssss! One of my favorite parts of living so close to the equator is the beaches. Year-roud tan minus the tanning beds! :) We literally laid on the beach for about 7 hours a day. Amazing!

Ha, this was right before a wave came a knocked me off my feet! I didn't last very long in the water after that experience...
Beautiful landscapes.
The sand at Playa Conchal was crushed shells... I got some history on the beach from a local and he said that the beach used to be a large coral reef that has now broken down into the beautiful sand. I had never seen sand like it!
Janna and Jason will love me for posting this on the blog... aren't they cute? :)

Another sand photo.
and the sunset on Playa Brasilito.



Janna whizzes through the trees.
Janna prepares for the Tarzan swing... She was the only brave one. Jason and I were chickens.

Jason ready to go.


My bed was really wobbly and I was scared.



We took a "Jeep Boat Jeep" tour from La Fortuna to Monteverde... except the Jeep wasn't really a Jeep: Yup, looks like a van to me... Is this a Jeep anyone? And here's the boat waiting for us...
Some landscapes. You might have to tilt your head for this one.
And another landscape. Blackbirds are hiding in the bushes.
When we arrived in Monteverde, we headed over to a butterfly garden for some great photo ops.

The "stained glass" butterfly was really hard to focus on. I was satisfied with this shot.


Day 2: We hiked to see Vulcan Arenal. The volcano was playing peek-a-boo with clouds and smoke, so we almost saw the volcano completely. Here it is hiding a little.
I think my Nikon takes good portraits. Do you agree? :)

The three musketeers during this part of the trip.
Quite a few people Janna and I met asked, "So how'd you girls meet?" Uh.... when did we meet? Gee, I think when I was born. Ha. It was funny explaining that she's my aunt... people thought she didn't look old enough to be my aunt!
Trish taking photos... she didn't know I was taking pictures of her :)

We found a good lookout spot for waiting patiently on our peek-a-boo playing volcano.

Here's Lake Arenal in the distance... we'll cross over that tomorrow on our way to Monteverde.


Before returning home for Christmas, I traveled outside the city to explore the awesome landscapes of Costa Rica... you know, the beach, the mountains, the rainforest. Ha. Here's some photos from our first day of adventuring:

Uncle Jason and Aunt Janna experienced the rainforest... literally. We hiked to a waterfall during a rain storm.

Roomie Trish, friend Tricia, and me showing off our muscles... and the waterfall :).

Wowee, it's the biggest waterfall I've seen.

Me and my camera... best friends forever.
and after a long hike, we needed a relaxing evening at the hot springs. aaaaahhhh. Janna, Kate, Trish, Tricia.

Um... Great Photos, Kate

This is what I get for travelling with my uncle....
good morning beautiful.
fresh off the zip lines. it was funner than my face says it was.


We're Still Alive!

A volcano hike, hot springs, jeep-boat-jeep travel, butterfly garden viewing, rainforest hike, and ziplining (yup, you read that correctly!), we are still alive and well. I have slept a lot too, ha, catching up on the lack of sleep that teaching brings. I have thoroughly impressed Jason and Janna with my low level of Spanish, and even managed to surprise Jason with a special birthday treat at the restaurant last night -- and I asked the waiter for it in Spanish while Jason was sitting there :). Ha, good times.

I want to post photos, but I forgot my camera cord... patience, friends! The photos will be good, I promise!

Love you! I come to the US in 5 DAYS!!!!!!!



Siscoes unite! (and a Crumrine...) :)

We're leaving to travel Costa Rica in... 15 minutes, but here's a photo from last night's adventure at the ballet...



Aunt Janna and Uncle Jason are headed down for 10 days to travel with me! I'm super excited!! Here's a glance at what we'll be doing... Of course, I'll have tons of photos to post after the trip, but I'm not sure if I'll have the opportunity while we're travelling.


Friday, December 12
· J&J arrive 11:30am at Juan Santamaria
· Downtown: Plaza de la Democracia, Sojourn Academy
· Dinner feast with Trish and Kate J
· Nutcracker ballet, National Theatre, 8pm
· Bus transportation
· SLEEP: Kate’s apartment

Saturday, December 13
· Feria for fruits and veggies for trip (and a taste of Costa Rica life)
· Travel to La Fortuna with my roomie Trish and another friend Tricia

· SLEEP: Hostel: La Choza Inn

Sunday, December 14
· Ideas:
· Hike Catarata (waterfall) de La Fortuna
· Eco-Termales hot spring
· Free hot springs across road from Tabacon?
· Night viewing of Vulcan Arenal
· Eagle Tours at La Choza Inn
· SLEEP: La Choza Inn

Monday, December 15
· Ideas: see previous day
· SLEEP: La Choza Inn

Tuesday, December 16
· Tricia & Trish travel back to San Jose to catch their planes
· JEEP-BOAT-JEEP travel across Lake Fortuna to Monteverde… Kate rockin’ the camera
· SLEEP: Sleepers Sleep Cheap Hostel

Wednesday, December 17
· Ideas:
· Night Hike
· Zip Lines
· Selvatura Canopy Tour
· Day Hiking in Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
· Coffee Tours:
· Tree Top Walk Ways or Suspension Bridges
· Horse tour
· SLEEP: Sleepers Sleep Cheap Hostel

Thursday, December 18
· Private transport to Playa Brasilito on the Pacific Coast
· Hopefully an afternoon/evening on the beach?
· SLEEP: Cabinas Diversion Tropical

Friday, December 19

IDEAS: Drink lots of water, wear lots of sunscreen, bike up the boast, lay in the sun
SLEEP: Cabinas Diversion Tropical

Saturday, December 20
· Ideas:
· Lay on the beach more
· Photos :)
· Drink lots of water and put on lots of sunscreen
· SLEEP: Cabinas Diversion Tropical

Sunday, December 21
· 5 hour bus ride to San Jose
· Dinner: Kate’s Apartment
· SLEEP: Kate’s Apartment

Monday, December 22
· Explore city, sleep, do laundry

Tuesday, December 23
· Travel home to the States, leave 5am to be at the airport


international connections

Working at Sojourn is all about having international connections... Por ejemplo (for example):

My student Jackson is moving to Peru on Saturday.
My student Yena is moving to Colombia on Sunday.
My student Jordan is moving to Guatemala on Monday.

My friend Laura is moving to Argentina in January.
My friend Trisha is moving to Italy in January.

And that's only the beginning...

I had two students tell me today that they want to stay in 4th grade with me forever because it is so much fun... Ha, I think they would eventually get bored of all my antics, although I do try to keep them guessing. I think they just like to play games, and we play a game every time we are reviewing for a test. ... I've invented many a game on the fly this semester trying to bring back the vocabulary and concepts in their minds... :)
We've almost finished our read aloud, Esperanza Rising. It really is such a great book. My students beg me to read one more page. :) I think we only have 7 more pages to go... We'll all be sad when we finish it!
I'm going to post a trip itinerary soon so you can see what Aunt Janna, Uncle Jason, and I are up to! :)




Everyone at Sojourn is in transition right now. Everyone.

Teachers are anticipating the break and wondering how to close out the grades before traveling or heading to the States for Christmas. Grades will be due in January, but who is going to remember specifics about this semester after a 3 week break?

My students are thinking about friends moving to different countries, about possibly their own families moving, and many are thinking about how they won't be with their families over Christmas break. It makes sense that not many families can afford to fly back for a few weeks to the States, but the reality is difficult for these kids realizing they won't see their grandparents and cousins...

Students at ILE are anticipating being done with language school and transitioning on to different countries as well.

It's all a bunch of transition.

Then throw in a crazy week of Christmas celebrations and candy and love and goodbyes. ... My life. :)

One girl couldn't stop holding my hand today... I think it might be a security thing. Several students have told me how bored they will be over break... ha, they're actually asking for more homework! Loving learning is contagious in 4th grade, woohoo!

All in all, I know we'll survive, it's just a crazy rollercoaster ride right now...


Student Work

I'm like a proud mama, displaying her kids' work on the refridgerator! :) (and gearing up to update my teaching portfolio!)
the view of the mountains from my classroom
Just in case we forget... "How to Encourage" ... we in 4th grade need reminders.
Penmanship practice... it's amazing how motivated the students are when I get out the markers!
And drawings from True Stories... What was life like in colonial times?

And of course, more silly faces of my crazy class...