when is the best time to buy an umbrella?

Alright, so Tricia and I ventured out today... feeling not so brave but needing to buy food and house items. We have quite a few stories from the day, but here's one of the best:

We were in an office supply store as it started pouring (predictably) and I was the only one who had remembered my umbrella. So while we waited for the rain to slow, Tricia asks the guard "Como se dice umbrella in espanol?" (How do you say umbrella in Spanish?) The guard told us and then Tricia wanted to ask where to buy an umbrella but she asked when to buy an umbrella... and the guard said "It is best to buy an umbrella when it is raining like this!!" He was laughing at us as we walked away and Tricia and I realized that she had said "Cuando" instead of "Donde". Whoops.

So goes a day in the life of an English-speaker living in a Spanish-speaking world.


Now my apartment will much easier to visualize!

The view right when you enter the front door.
A beautiful clean kitchen! Through the white door is our laundry room with our own washer and dryer! (hopefully they work... we'll try that soon...)
See, we have toilets in Costa Rica!! And hot showers!
Our living room area... we'll need to do something the white walls...
Doors into the 2 bedrooms. You can't see it very well, but the top of the wall and the ceiling is wood paneling.
Here's a better idea of the ceiling.
My current bed. This could change when my other roomies arrive.

My beautiful closet with lots of room... quickly filled with my clothes :).
Our garden and backyard!
And this is the ceiling to the garden... Plastic. A great skylight.
The second bedroom... I think we will put all the beds in this room.
The window into the garden from the second bedroom. Isn't it nice??

bienvenido a mi casa!

Alright now, a quick visualization exercise. In your mind, put together clean tile floors, freshly painted white walls next to one red brick wall, dark-stained wood ceilings, plastic skylights (it's true! I guess they don't have to worry about the weight of snow here!), open windows everywhere, a round wooden dining table covered in (of course!) a lace tablecloth, new dining chairs... that's where I'm sitting right now. Oh, and I can't fail to mention the noise of the traffic. Yup, I'm in the city, that's for certain.

Ha, that was just a teaser before I post photos later today :).


2,477 miles later...

I made it! Monday at 3a.m., I was still in Elgin, and after a quick car ride to O'Hare with my friends Christina and Sean, boarding a flight to Houston and changing planes to San Jose, I am here!

I had so many moments where I knew I wasn't alone. I mean, even though I was travelling alone, I knew God was watching out for me with every step. I checked in with overweight luggage, and the flight attendant waved me through with a smile. I sat by a woman from Mexico on the flight to Houston and practiced my Spanish. I worked out in Houston while carrying probably (at least!) 60 pounds of "carry-on" baggage from Gate C20 to Gate E9. When I arrived in San Jose and waited in line for customs, I met a couple who helped me find my luggage. Then my principal, Tia Reilly, picked me up at the airport, and I realized that not many people can say their boss helped them move into their apartment. My neighbors are great -- Steve and Diane from Maine, and they are here learning Spanish at the Institute. They took me to the store this morning and I was surrounded by Spanish, so I had opportunities to practice.

Um, yeah, we'll keep practicing the Spanish. My brain already kind of hurts.

So now I'm setting up my apartment this afternoon (and resting in my English language world :)), and I'll go work on the classroom tomorrow morning.

Sorry there's no photos yet. I didn't get my camera out during the trip over because I had so much other luggage to keep track of... but there will be some soon, I promise!


Only 100 pounds????

Packing to move overseas is a great test in priorities... I'm discovering (more than ever before!) my love of creative clothing and jewelry and neck scarves and shoes... uh-oh.

I'm also discovering my love of books... and I have too many that I want to take with me. Another uh-oh.
Somehow, I've managed to also fit in handmade posters for my classroom, a deck of cards, paper flowers for my desk, dry erase markers, Sharpies, nametags, multi-colored folders... My classroom will be a great example of minimal art.
And you can't forget the SkipBo... :) (upside down!)

What would you take if you could only pack 100 pounds? I learned that a brand new bottle of TreSemme shampoo (my first choice) weighs 2 pounds. While I know it will definitely last me until Christmas when I return home to stock up again, it seems ridiculous that my shampoo is 1/50 of the limit weight...


introducing.... my family!!!

ha, These are the funniest people ever. They make me smile. Here's a family photo shoot from this past week. I set the camera up on Dad's tripod and ran to the camera and my place in the picture between each photo. I had 8 seconds to get in the pickup with everyone else! We took 5 takes of that one and Mom was laughing, saying I looked hilarious running back and forth. Dad's favorite is the one with the pick up, for obvious reasons!



it's surreal. i have to say goodbye now?

i keep telling myself that teaching in another country is a great idea, but my emotions are beginning to overrule this logic. what am i, nuts? seriously, kate, where did you get this idea from?

but here i am, 12 days until the big moving day... and i've already said goodbye to quite a few people.

here's my cousins zack and chloe. we went to the park while all the siscoe's were at our house. fun kids.