I made stromboli this evening for the tico family. Mom, you would be proud of the cooking skills I have acquired over these three years with foreign ingredients! :)


What is it?

Any guesses? :)

A New Gecko

Remember when I killed my gecko friend last August? Well, I have a second chance :). Do you see him? He's in the middle of the artwork. This new gecko friend lives in my bedroom. He makes a chirping sound at night when he's content of eating the mosquitoes and moths that are abundant in my room. The rainy season is starting up again, so he has plenty of feasting to do as the insects attempt to escape the rain by flying through my window. Hurray for second chances! Now I check before I close my door so I don't squash him in the door frame... like the last one.

May Bugs

These bugs appear in May every year. I don't know what they're called in English, so I made up the name ''May bugs''. They come in all sizes but the average size is like an American quarter coin. Ewwww.
They fly around and bounce off walls, lights, humans, etc. When they fall to the ground, they usually land on their back and are then kicking their legs to try to flip over. I have seen a May bug struggle for hours (literally) to turn itself right-side up again.

Then when they flip over, they run for cover or take off flying again! Their wings make a loud buzzing noise that is more annoying than scary. Still, I don't like it when they choose to ''bounce'' off of me!

Walmart? In Costa Rica?

Yes! While I might be excited about the convenience and the billboard´s promise that 4,000 products are cheaper than the previous store (Hipermás) was selling them, I am also thinking about the cons...
Does corporate America really need to take over the world? Can't Walmart make enough money off the need for convenience in the United States?

Cheaper prices, yes... but it also puts small businesses out-of-business. I'm not very excited about that...


La Montaña Camp

Yes, that is me with two of my 5th graders and a 6th grader. Covered in mud. I know, quite attractive, lol.

And another 5th grader on the high ropes course!

Sorry, Mom, this is all the photos I have so far. I promise I will post more :).


Turtle Painting

A teacher friend asked me to paint her something. ''Anything,'' she said, ''just as long as you include the verse Jeremiah 29:11.'' My imagination went wild before I settle on the idea of painting a realistic underwater scene with a turtle and fish. Here's the product:

Then I added a paraphrased version of the Bible passage:

''In God's plan, you have a future worth hoping for.''

I gave it to her today and she loved it! :) Bonus that it's my second sold painting in 2 months! :)


6.0 Earthquake

An earthquake surprised us on Friday afternoon. The epicenter was in Puriscal, just a few kilometers from Escazú. I was in Guachípelin at school waiting for parents to pick up their kids when we felt the tremor. It never fails to scare me as the ground begins to shake underneath me. I can now say I understand why the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 46:

''We will not fear, through the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.''

God is good, even when the ground we walk on proves how unstable it is.

So here's the ''damage'' I experienced this time:

This shelf held a glass bottle of cold medicine...

...that fell and shattered. The cross sign also fell from the shelf but wasn't broken.

That's all the damage I experienced :).

I heard that this earthquake was very deep in the earth, so that's why we didn't experience as many replicas. People who were closer to the epicenter described the sound as ''roaring, like thunder''... it wasn't a surface earthquake this time!


Let the Countdown Begin...

Six weeks left of teaching at Lighthouse... Seven weeks left in Costa Rica...

At this point, it's very surreal. I am continuing to enjoy life and staying probably too busy. I am still in full gear teaching inequalities and coordinate planes, technology and taking notes, utopias and cautiousness. I am tutoring four days a week after school (good money :)). I am interviewing on average once a week with districts around Chicago with still no leads for a specific position. I am hanging out with friends and speaking Spanish like crazy on the weekends. I am calling my best friend Trish in Nepal to catch up on life (it's actually a bit expensive to call Nepal from here... so it's more like trading prayer requests than a full-out conversation :)).

So then comes the surreal part. I'll be changing cultures, climates, time zones, technology access, and friend groups in less than two months. I'll go from being a minority gringa on the side of the road to a majority white girl driving a decent car. I'll go from speaking Spanish in public to speaking English (When I'm in the States now, I often catch myself about to speak Spanish when in public!).

I have an occasional emotional day, but so far, I've been pretty even keel. Maybe I'm anticipating the changes more sub-consciously and it just hasn't sunk into my conscious thoughts yet?

So that's where I am in life. Counting down for surrealness.


Do Dogs Have a Conscience?

The sheets and pillowcases regularly blow off the clothesline into the yard...

...so then Camila decides to use it as her own bed.

I took these photos out the back window, and as soon as I opened the door to go outside for a better close-up, she jumped off the pillowcase as if she knew she wasn't supposed to be there. Does she have a conscience? I think so...

Mornings with Santiago

He says, ''Why are you pointing your camera at me?''

I say, ''Let's take a picture together.''

Natalia says, ''Let me try. Santiago, smile!!!''
Santiago says, ''You guys know I'm not a morning person.'' :)