I have made it home after almost a year in a foreign country! Wow, what an accomplishment it feels like to have survived and even thrived!

Now I'm talking with the family as much as I can and eating lots of cheese. I didn't realize how much I had missed dairy!

Kallie has her driver's license now so we're heading to Peoria this afternoon to Barnes & Noble... then meeting my friend Emily for dinner... then Austin's birthday party back here in Kewanee! Busy day!


Spanish Rap

Who knew I would be writing raps in Spanish for homework? Our class is performing this rap for the whole student body this Friday afternoon... Tricia will be videotaping, so there will definitely be a video coming soon for your enjoyment :). For now, here's the Spanish lyrics and the English translation below. It sounds a whole lot better in Spanish... the English doesn't quite rhyme :) Enjoy!

Yo Metí La Pata


Cada persona en cualquier idioma

Tendrá un error que será una broma

Meter la pata es algo que se dice

Para arreglar algo que yo hice

//Metí la pata, metí metí la pata//

Verso 1:

Yo metí la pata un fin de semana,

Cuando estaba hablando sobre mi hermana,

Ella le ayudó a un amigo que lloraba

Ella se acercó y a su espalda la frotaba.

Yo quería mostrar que ella era muy sincero,

Pero les conté que ella tocaba su tracero.

//Metí la pata, metí metí la pata//

Verso 2:

En el puro principio cuando no sabía nada

Yo metí la pata cada día en la mañana

Mucha gente aquí dice “Gracias a Dios!”

Para decirle gracias al Padre de los Cielos

Pero yo entendí que me habían despedido

Entonces les dije “adiós” muy confundido

//Metí la pata, metí metí la pata//

Verso 3:

Esta mañana les pregunté a mis amigos

Acerca del tiempo, que había hecho “errores”

Quise preguntarles si estaba equivocado

Pero dije, “héroes,” y yo metí la pata

//Metí la pata, metí metí la pata//

Verso 4:

Una vez yo pasé una vergüenza

Me habían pedido un testimonio

Pero cuando me acerqué al frente

Todavía no sabía que decir

Entonces para explicarme

como me sentía

metí la pata cuando dije que

estaba embarazada

//Metí la pata, metí metí la pata//

Verso 5:

Yo estaba hablando con mi hermosa esposa

Le pedí un beso, y por favor venga

Desfortunadamente, metí la pata

Usé el nombre de su hermana, Meghan

//Metí la pata, metí metí la pata//


Cada persona en cualquier idioma

Tendrá un error que será una broma

Meter la pata es algo que se dice

Para arreglar algo que yo hice

////Metí la pata, metí metí la pata////

I Stuck My Foot in My Mouth


Every person in whatever language

Will make a mistake that will become a joke

“Meter la pata” is something that you say

To fix something that you did

//I stuck my foot my foot in my mouth in my mouth//

Verse 1:

I stuck my foot in my mouth one weekend

When I was talking about my sister,

She helped a friend who was crying

She sat with her and rubbed her back.

I wanted to explain how sincere she was

But I told them she was touching her friend’s butt

//I stuck my foot my foot in my mouth in my mouth//

Verse 2:

In the beginning when I didn’t know anything

I stuck my foot in my mouth every day in the morning

Lots of people here say “Gracias a Dios!”

To say thanks to the God of the Heavens

But I understood that they had told me goodbye

So I told them “adiós” really confused

//I stuck my foot my foot in my mouth in my mouth//

Verse 3:

This morning I asked my friends

About the time I had made mistakes

I wanted to ask them if I had made “errors”

But I said “heroes” and stuck my foot in my mouth

//I stuck my foot my foot in my mouth in my mouth//

Verse 4:

One time I was embarrassed

They had asked me to give a testimony

But when I got close to the front

I still didn’t know what to say

So to explain myself

And how I felt

I stuck my foot in my mouth when I said

I was pregnant

//I stuck my foot my foot in my mouth in my mouth//

Verse 5:

I was talking with my beautiful wife

I asked her to come here for a kiss

Unfortunately, I stuck my foot in my mouth

I used her sister’s name, Meghan.

//I stuck my foot my foot in my mouth in my mouth//


Every person in whatever language

Will make a mistake that will become a joke

“Meter la pata” is something that you say

To fix something that you did

////I stuck my foot my foot in my mouth in my mouth////


Field Trip

Our Spanish classes took a field trip to a factory where they dry wood to make all kinds of jewelry, wind chimes, bead curtains, purses, etc... basically whatever you can think of, but all out of wood. These items are sold all over Costa Rica as tourist souvenirs.
The racks of wood drying... They said the wood has to dry from 6 months to 10 years.

Nothing to do with the wood, but I really like this photo. Jared on the right and Avery on the left.
Wood beads in process...
A carving of two horse heads...

My friends Caroline and Jared... I know it has nothing to do with the wood factory, but I really like this photo that I took :).

My conversation teacher, Lissette, and I.

My grammar teacher, Marlene, and I.

Volcan Arenal Otra Vez!!

Last time I visited the fabulous town of La Fortuna was when my Aunt Janna and Uncle Jason travelled here in December... and the time before that was more than a year ago when my friend Jaclyn and I came here to "preview" Costa Rica...
This time I was with a group of students from the intensive course... This time we upgraded to an actual hotel instead of a hostel, and we took a van instead of public buses! Wowee!

The group in front of the waterfall... we hiked all the way out there in the pouring rain. It was so much fun and so cold and so, well, cold. My hands were purple at one time... and we were utilizing one of the guy's techniques for avoiding hypothermia. Good memories.

Here's the upgraded hotel :)
And the upgraded transportation. :)

Manuel Antonio Otra Vez!

I mentioned a while ago our impulsive beach trip to Manuel Antonio, and here's several photos finally! I travelled with a group of young adults who are studying in the same intensive course that Trish and I are currently in. ...but I just realized that I somehow forgot to take a group photo, so I guess I won't be able to show that one.... oops.
But I do have these cute photos of a monkey! :)
He was determined to get into the coconut...
...but then later on he stole someone's camera and dropped it from the trees... not a very friendly monkey.


Summer Art Students

It's been good to have a high school teacher's schedule this summer and have different groups for short periods throughout the day. Here's some photos of various students...

6th graders ...

2nd graders... another 6th grader...

5th graders.... aka my past 4th graders ;)

Abstract Art

Here's a sneak peek of what I've been teaching in my Art&Design classes this summer. I know some of you might think, "Aw c'mon, Kate, I could paint that..." and you're right, you probably could... but what I teach in my class is that it's all about the process behind the finished product.

This process was to color one piece of paper with a secondary color (orange, purple, or green) and then to color two larger pieces of paper with the two primary colors that make the previous secondary color (for example red and yellow because they make orange, etc.). Then cut the smaller secondary paper in half and glue in the middle of the two primaries... Wallah! The secondary color looks like it's two different colors!!!

This process is to first design a glue stamp and let the stamp dry overnight. The next day, paint the stamp with the desired colors and then stamp another piece of paper... Wallah! Abstract art! The kids loved this project because all the results were so different. Paper mosaics were also a big hit... we were working with organic shapes (aka torn construction paper) to piece together whatever our minds concocted!
And basic line drawings... the rule was that the kids had 10 minutes to draw a shoe, but they couldn't pick up their pencil! Some just started scribbling after a couple minutes, but there were a few that turned out really well.



alright, ready for the random happenings in Costa Rica?

Summer school is in full swing... and then the Administrator of Health and the Administrator of National Security (or something like that) makes a national decision that all schools, churches, and stadiums must close for the next week to stop the spread of the swine flu. There have been 6 fatal cases here in Costa Rica and since there´s only 4,000,000 ticos, I guess 6 is a big number to them. Sooooo the students won´t be attending school at Sojourn next week, but us teachers still have to go in to work... What will we do without students? I´ll keep you posted... I´ve heard rumors of painting classrooms and heavy duty cleaning.

Spanish classes are humbling, trying, challenging, stretching, growing. I am daily praying Philippians 4:13 and 2 Timothy 1:7 to prepare myself for being humbled once again. Even amidst the challenges, I trust God is pushing me and challenging me and requiring me to lean on Him even more every moment of every day. My latest Spanish assignments: To explain how to butter bread, To explain how to brush your teeth, To interview a Bible character, To give steps for a recipe, To defend my opinion on various topics. Some of these tasks are difficult in English, let alone Spanish!

And as far as posting photos goes, I still have daily battles with the Internet... and I´m losing the war. They will come!

I am joining a group to travel to the Arenal Volcano this weekend... lots more adventures in store!

8 days until I´m back in the States!!! It´s crazy to think (and even a bit crazier to say) that I have lived here 11 months and I have only been in the States 10 days of those 11 months! But we are about to change that :)


San Jose Photo Shoot

We found a tiny door...
and then Judit took a photo of me with it because I'm a "giant" as she calls me.

Judit modeling with the garage door.

an awesome store

The little plaques surrounding the door are scenes from a famous Spanish play...

the Mexican embassy.

the National Library that keeps all the thesis of Master's students... Judit's thesis is now there too!

a cork tree... I didn't know cork is from a tree!

steps in Parque Espana

See no, Hear no, Speak no evil.. with cats... I thought you would like this, Kallie!
pictures to come from my art classroom :)

Impulsive Beach Trip!

SO I went to the beach last weekend and I took lots of photos, but long story short, the Internet at our house is not working and I am over at Trish's house to use Internet... and I forgot to bring over the beach pics. Whoops.

So anyway, I can describe the weekend for you :).

There were 5 of us that went; all of us are studying in the Spanish intensive course right now. Caroline, Sarah, David, Jared, and me all ventured to Manuel Antonio early Saturday morning. It's been a long time since I've traveled with guys and girls (usually it was just us girl teachers) so that was a fun change. Caroline and I went to the National Park on Saturday while the other three went ziplining, and then several of us went kayaking on Sunday morning. Wow, it was so beautiful to kayak on the ocean along the beach and the cliffs, with the waves crashing all around you. It was also really hard, especially on the way back. I was in a one-person kayak, so it was really challenging to keep going for about the last 20 minutes or so. Unfortunately, I couldn't take any photos because, well, I didn't want to take my camera in the middle of the ocean with me. ... No need to explain :).

I have to admit, I was really sore on Monday from kayaking :).

Sunset from My Bedroom Window


I'm Trying...

I'm trying to post photos of my latest teaching, but it's not working out tonight. Sorry to those of you who are checking up on me regularly! I'll try again this weekend! For now, know everything is well.



Homework Assignments

Alright, so I'm in the intensive Spanish classes for the month of July... and here are some of my homework assignments so far...

1) Read a magazine article and explain to the class what it is about and any new vocabulary you learn. (I chose a political article... seriously, what was I thinking?)

2) Explain (in Spanish of course) how to unclog the toilet if it happens to be clogged.

3) Interview a tico about various phrases and adjectives commonly used.

and more to come. #2 was obviously the most askward...