Vacation! :)

My friend Lisa and I went to Montezuma beach for Thanksgiving, and we enjoyed lots of good food, good conversation, and good sun time. I read The Kite Runner in two days, ate lots of gummy worms, and drank peach tea while sitting on the beach. It might sound lazy, but I was also swatting away sand gnats and ants from my gummy stash (that was my exercise for the weekend, lol). We did hike to 4 different beaches and to a waterfall... and we did pilates on the beach in the blazing sun, haha, so I did move more than swatting bugs. We saw hungry white-faced monkeys that we thought were smiling for the camera but in reality were bearing their teeth because they were expecting food tips in exchange for the photo ops. We also saw an entire family of bisotes, a relative of raccoons... I'm sure they have a name in English, but I'm not sure what it is. They have rings around their tails like raccoons and are skinnier in their torso, with long anteater-looking noses. We also saw black monkeys performing tight rope on the electrical cables and a blue-jay-looking bird wanted to steal my bacon while we were eating breakfast at a local restaurant. The blue jay settled for a sugar packet when I wouldn't surrender my bacon.

So all in all, a great vacation.


Goodbye Valen! :(

Valen and I met here in San José in September as she was studying abroad in San Pedro. We shared several Sundays church and lunch. It's hard to believe she's already leaving! She came all the way over to Escazú this evening to say goodbye, so we had to take a photo! :)


Flashback to October Wacky Week

After having Internet off and on, I´m still recovering :). Here´s photos from October 29th, ''Dress up like a High Schooler'' Day. The kids managed to cover all the high stereotypes :)

 She was excited about her ''credit card''.
A cheerleader! 
looking cute. 
It was interesting to see their interpretation of what high schoolers wear. :)
He told me he was a bully with a leather jacket.

His uncle is just a year older than he is, so he told me he just borrowed his uncle's clothes.

The nerd stereotype.

She had huge headphones, but her hair is covering them in this photo.

Check out his arm tattoo. It was a cloth sleeve that you put on to look like you had a sleeve tattoo. The boys told me they were in the mall once and one of them put the sleeve on to wear around the mall. He said an adult came up to him and told him he was too young to have real tattoos. :) It looks pretty real.

Our new student even took a break from wearing the uniform!

And girls looking cute as high schoolers.

The next Monday, we were back to looking like normal 5th graders! (Thank goodness :))


Highlights of Today

When I was growing up, Dad would always ask us at dinner to share our ''highlights of the day''. If I were at dinner with my family tonight, I would share these two highlights:
 I have a cell phone now and it makes life so much easier :)
And I was invited to my student's dance performance this evening. She did really well and I was so proud!!! :)

From Here to There

With the whole transition for the move, I stayed in Santa Ana in what seemed like a mansion condominium. My bedroom had a whole wall of mirrors:
 My suitcases waiting transport.
 My closet of ''treasures''.
 A sweet painting in the living room.
 The lady I stayed with, Rocio, is an artist and is a divorced mom whose teenage daughters decided to live with their dad. She's doing her best to ''start over'' in life, and I could tell that right now she's going through a lot. Here's a photo of her and her daughters when the girls were little:
 And then last weekend, I moved to Escazú officially, to live with a tico family for the next 7 months (That's the plan for now!). Honestly, this family is great. I am excited to get to know them more. Here's my bedroom:
 And my dresser:
 And my closet:
 And my bathroom::
 This showerhead is the kind they call ''widowmakers'' because the showerhead is literally what heats up the water with hot wires inside. Electric shock is ... well, possible.
 And the view from my window.
The family is Marilyn (mom), Natalie (daughter), Steve (husband to Natalie), and Santiago (grandson). I'll post photos soon of them!


Nicaragua vs. Costa Rica


There's a big debate right now about who owns what here in Central America. The root of the issue is the Google Maps incorrectly drew the northern boundary of Costa Rica, so Nicaragua moved its army into the area to claim the land. Costa Rica hasn't had an army for more than 50 years and is quite prideful about their pacifist stance. But now that Nicaraguan troops occupy Costa Rican land, the political debate continues.


Photo Shoot

This past weekend I had the privilege of ''chaperoning'' a high school senior class trip, but it fel more like ''accompanying'' as I almost forgot that I wasn't a real high schooler! ha. It was just Lindsay, Savannah, and I and after the beach trip idea had been cancelled due to landslides and flooding, we stayed in a really nice hotel for two nights and ate pizza and chocolate ice cream, watched Gilmore Girls, and ... oh yeah, we had a photo shoot! Lindsay will be attending Judson University next fall (where I graduated from :)) and is looking forward to studying art and photography. She mentioned that no one will ever model for her to experiment with photography and I offered to model! :) All three of us got involved as we all modeled and all took photos. Here's some results.




Mudslide Day


In Costa Rica, we don't have snow days, we have mudslide days! It might sound fun, but it's actually kind of a downer as a river built up water pressure and broke through the mountain to wash away homes and a whole section of the suburb I'm now living in. It's not just in Escazú, though, it's also in Patari and Aserri, other parts of the city...

Today was the first day back to school after Thursday and Friday off due to excessive rain. Every time it starts raining right now, it's not good news as homes and streets continue to flood and landslides continue. Don't worry, Mom, I'm alive! :)


Science Fair = An Excuse to Explode Things

Of the 11 5th grade projects, the most popular are the explosion projects. Here's some photos of the daily fiery happenings!

I'm Here!!!

Okay, so life is crazy right now. That's my classic one-liner these days :). But no really, life is crazy.

I moved from San Francisco de Dos Ríos to Santa Ana this week. It's like an automatic upgrade in social class here as I went from a barred apartment to a gated community complete with guards, expensive cars, no bars on windows, and open-door policy between neighbors. Quite the change! I don't have Internet or phone though, so I'm instead enjoying the big bed and TV and full wall of mirrors in my bedroom :).

There has been a lot of flooding here on the west side of the city due to the rainy season, so in the last 24 hours, there have been multiple landslides that have killed several people and cut the water pipes coming into the city. Schools were cancelled today, so I worked at school for a while, then hitched a ride back to ''my condo'' (hitched a ride with another Lighthouse staff member, of course :)), took a nap, and now I'm mooching off a neighbor's Internet :). Sweet deal.

So instead of snow days, we have landslide days :).

I am hopefully going to the beach this weekend still as the Sojourn senior girls asked me to chaperone their senior trip. I'll post photos as soon as I can! :)