At the San Jose airport, we had 4 hours to waste, so Jaclyn was sick of me taking her pictures. Her expression says it all.
And again, her "stop taking pictures!" expression :)
Finally on the plane!!! We're all smiles now!
Can you see the lava? We had to go at 4am to see the bright red lava flowing down the volcano's sides.
Costa Rica sunrise!
Vulcan Arenal and the sunrise.
Taking Jaclyn's picture when she least expects it :).
And again, capturing her hands on film.
We ate lunch at this sit-down place for less than $2. That fit nicely into our budget!
The waiter and waitresses at the restaurant. They were teaching us Spanish!
The outside of the hostel we stayed in. $15.00 a night for the two of us was definitely affordable!
The inside of our room.
Matias helped us set up the activities in La Fortuna. Here we are at his restaurant.
Vulcan Arenal is hiding in the clouds.
We could see Laguna Arenal from the place where we hiked on the volcano.
For some reason, our driver insisted on hiking the volcano trail with us. He is from Romania and speaks Romanian and Spanish -- no English. Interesting communication, that's for sure. We thought maybe he just didn't want to drive back on the really rough road to Fortuna so he joined us. It kind of felt like we had a bodyguard that wouldn't leave us alone.
There's a black squirrel in the grass. Can you see it? We were hoping to see monkeys, but we had to settle for this little guy.
Here's some photos of our time in La Fortuna. I think we had too much fun. What do you think?
We could hear the waterfall during the whole hike, like a loud roaring sound. Here's a glimpse through the trees.
Monday night, we swam at a hot springs. It was gorgeous and definitely much more relaxed than hiking.
Tuesday, we hiked closer to Vulcan Arenal. Here it is hiding in the clouds.
We take a cab at 5am to the bus depot in Ciudad Quesada to then ride for 2.5 hours to the airport. We fly out at 12ish and arrive in Houston. I think we have a long layover because we finally arrive in Chicago at 9:45pm.
See you all in the States soon!
1. There are many earthquakes each day. (Don't worry, Mom, they're tiny ones!) I actually felt one today while sitting on the couch!
2. There are no addresses beyond the downtown area. To give directions, landmarks are used -- and landmarks include current and past buildings. Like the Burger King that is nonexistent today is still used as a landmark when giving directions.
3. Costa Ricans are called "ticos". Anyone else is called a "gringo". It's not derogatory at all to be called a "gringo".
4. A public bus only costs about 25 cents to ride (150 colones). $1.00 equals 500 colones.
I met many of the students that I will have in 4th grade (It's official! 4th grade is mine!). I had the opportunity to teach a 3rd grade math lesson to the students that will be in my class -- I've become acquainted with their personalities and academic needs already!
closer to the orange buildings of Sojourn
a hallway of the school. Actually this is the middle school building.
and then here's some fun photos, of course :)...
doesn't she look like she should teach in Costa Rica? :)
Jaclyn and I have arrived safely here in San Jose. Wow, it's been a long day of travel, but we definitely made the most of it. Here's a few photos that I've already captured:
Photo shoot at the Houston airport.
We sat next to this man, Tet, during the flight from Houston to San Jose.
He is from Peru by birth but currently lives 6 months in San Francisco and 6 months on the Tamarindo Beach in Costa Rica. He filled us in on all the places to visit and places to avoid. His nephew is an architect, and Jaclyn is searching for an architecture internship (hopefully here in San Jose :)), so he gave us his nephew's contact information. We are also welcome to visit Asiento del Suenos, Tet's home on the beach.
Oh, a funny story: During our flight from Chicago to Houston, Jaclyn and I sat by an outgoing 5 year-old redhead boy named Leam. We talked all about Pokemon cards and kindergarten. Leam had informed me of his girlfriend Sophie who was also in his kindergarten class. His parents were sitting across the aisle and their attempts to quiet him throughout the flight were not successful (I really didn't mind talking with Leam!). By the end of the trip, Leam had declared "I love you girls!" and so Leam's exasperated dad says, "Leam, your girlfriend at home would not like you telling these ladies that you love them. Let's save that phrase for your girlfriend." Leam says, "Dad, Sophie can't hear what I say right now, so it's alright. Don't worry about it." Oh kids.
My best photo today. Priscilla and Ale picked us up at the San Jose airport and drove us to the San Francisco district, where Jaclyn and I will be staying for the next 4 or 5 nights. I met these two when I travelled to Costa Rica with the Judson mission project 2 years ago. By email, Priscilla had requested Burt's Bees "lipstick" from the States, so I brought several tubes in exchange for the ride to San Francisco. She was so excited about the chapstick!
Tomorrow we will be at Sojourn Academy!
more stories to come...