la pintura, la feria de frutas, el seguridad, y aprendiendo espanol

Translation of the title: Paint, Fruit Market, Safety, and Learning Spanish.

The new teachers at Sojourn have been busy setting up their classrooms this week, and these two lovely ladies, Kia and Aylish, came to help me paint my classroom windows. Kia is going into 8th and Aylish into 7th grade, and they just moved to Costa Rica from Georgia. They said they were bored at home so they were glad to come help! I need all the help I can get to be ready for students on Thursday! More photos to come of the classroom....

Trish and I woke early this morning to join our neighbor, Steve, in his weekly trip to the "feria" (fruit market). Farmers travel into the city early Saturday morning (arriving as early as 4am!) and set up a market with their fresh fruits and vegetables. Yum! We bought garlic, cilantro, potatoes, mangoes, green beans, apples -- all fresh!! Well, the apples are actually rare here in Costa Rica and these were imported from Chile... but they were definitely cheaper than the imported apples from the grocery store. Here's our beautiful sinkful of fresh goodness :). We had previously purchased tomatoes, peppers, oranges and strawberries at the supermercado, but we realized we needed to wash them all before indulging!

So... you probably think I live in the beautiful rainforest of Costa Rica..... Good guess, since that is 80% of this country, but I actually live in the city. Think of where I was living before -- Elgin -- and then travel about 35 miles east into Chicago... and that's the kind of neighborhood I am living in. Busy people, beeping horns, rushing traffic, iron gates and barbed wire. In Chicago, we have tall cement buildings that are entirely enclosed to protect us from the cold of winter, but since snow and freezing rain are not factors here, the iron gates and barbed wire are sufficient. Then, as if the culture shock of moving from an open neighborhood to a barred neighborhood isn't enough, imagine you can no longer ask simple things such as where the store is or how to purchase a bus ticket... Yup, welcome to my world. Thankfully, I do know how to ask where the store is and how to purchase tickets, but there is so much more to learn.

My neighbors Steve and Diane have been a huge help in all this transition -- I think I have already mentioned them a couple times. Steve made a video of how many locks we have to get through just in order to leave the house -- check it out here. Yes, Mom, I am safely locked away from the city at night!! But please don't worry -- we are taking precautions and being aware of our surroundings at all times in public. God is providing protection through our neighbor's knowledge and through the buddy system at all times (Tricia and I are going to spend an awful lot of time together -- also pray we won't be sick of each other!).

And learning Spanish. That's another prayer request. We rode a bus into downtown this afternoon and practiced our growing Spanish vocabulary in the markets. I learned to say "No gracias. Estoy mirando (No thanks, I'm just looking)" when vendors approach to sell me their goods. Tricia and I are making a Post-It collage of words that we've learned. Someday soon I'll have to take a photo of that...

Alright, I think that's enough stories for one day! I would love to hear how you are doing too! kathrynsiscoe@gmail.com

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