Daily Life

At the risk of repeating previous blogs, I am inspired to describe daily life again. I think there are so many daily things I have yet to describe to you that I want to try again.

1. January is HOT. Whenever I see the date written on newspapers or newsletters, I think, ''Really? It's January?'' It's more like an Illinois August, without the thunderstorms and humidity. My classroom is like a sauna, or as one of my tica students read in Esperanza Rising the other day and then said about our classroom ''It is like a brick oven that is cooking us!'' I thought that very appropriate. It is so hot in our classroom that I have usual complaints of headaches and nausea. My answer is always ''Drink more water!'' We have been outside on the balcony in the afternoons for our Independent Reading time. I know the kids enjoy the break from the heat and the fun of looking out over the school campus and city streets.

2. January is DRY. It's not quite as dry as an Illinois winter, because I don't have to put lotion on everyday here like I did when I was stateside for Christmas. The grass and trees turns brown. I drink tons of water, and I make my students drink tons as well. (which in turn students have more bathroom emergencies!)

3. Tico summer vacation. Right now is the Costa Rican public schools' vacation, so if you want to go to the pool or the theatre, the lines are long and the facilities are full of super-tanned kids. My own Costa Rican students are a little restless as their neighborhood or church friends are out of school and they still have to go.

4. Sunrise 5:59am, Sunset 5:37pm (today). The sun stays out for a more consistent time period here year-round because we are close to the equator. It is nice not to have super short days like in the winter in Illinois.

5. Mosquitoes. I have a broken window pane, and somehow, mosquitoes can smell my skin from miles away. I have had many battles at night with multiple mosquitoes in the past week, and one got the best of my face again. Thankfully, this time was only both my cheeks and my forehead, not my eye! Whenever I hear that zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz sound in my room at night, I wake up super fast, turn on the light, and swing my Spanish/English dictionary in every which direction until all bugs are dead. I'm not messing around anymore thinking the zzzzzzzzzzzzz is just in my dreams.

6. Spanish everywhere. No matter where I go here, I am practicing Spanish. It has become so much easier, and not as much of an internal panic attack as it has been in the past. I have begun tutoring sessions again on Thursday afternoons to tackle the dreaded subjunctive verb tense, but I am excited to finally understand and apply it. I have begun speaking more Spanish with my students too, as now I am very comfortable with it and we easily slip in and out of Spanish and English.

The Not-So-Daily
1. A student broke his right wrist this week in gym class, and since he is right-handed, I have been making many accomodations for him (It's not as hard as it might seem. I have magnetic letters that he manipulates for practicing spelling words, he tells me what to write for answers on quizzes and homework, and we do a lot of partner work where the other student can write for him too). Poor kid, he can't play his beloved soccer at recess, so I got out a Sudoku game that none of the kids had seen and he was excited about that... at least for a day :). Costa Rican doctors don't mess around either! His cast is seriously like a cement block on his arm. LOL it's not literally cement, but a really hard plaster smoothed over the gauze. Yesterday on his way out the door, he thanked me for my help. I think he was nervous about coming to school because he already is discouraged about writing in general... and then to imagine having to write with only his left hand! It will be an interesting next 6 weeks of accomodations, but we will make it through. Another student commented that he gets all my attention now, and I told the whole class that if they felt like I was giving more attention to this boy, then they could go break their wrist too! They all laughed and joked that they wanted a cast too. (It reminded me of my favorite childhood book Madeline!) So after student comments, I have made an effort to give attention to all while also assisting Mr. Cast.

2. A swollen tongue. Not sure how this one happened, but it started out as a sore throat last Sunday and increasingly got worse with drainage and loss of my voice. Today I finally went through the long doctor lines at Ebais to receive a confirmation that yes, my tongue is swollen, no they don't know why, and here's your treatment of two shots to the tush. lol, like I have said before the injections for treatments are a common practice here. ''Oh, and by the way,'' the doctor says as I leave the room, ''the shots will make you very sleepy.'' Thanks for the heads up. I came home and slept 3 hours straight. Now it's naptime again.

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