Happy Halloween??

So... we don't celebrate Halloween here in Costa Rica. It's kind of strange not to do anything at school... no costumes and candy.

And it's strange to think that tomorrow is already November.

My brain is exhausted, and that's all I've got. Love!



To view photos from Tuesday afternoon's volleyball game, visit here. :) Many thanks to Principal Tia Reilly.

To view a video of my neighbors (of which I was the camerawoman), please visit here. This video was made to be played this Sunday in their home church. Maybe I should do something like that too?

Another gross story from today: A student spilled her yogurt all over her jacket and cloth pencil case, so in an effort to quarantine the mess, I reached into my desk for my box of Ziplocs and quickly took my hand out again -- completely covered in ants! Apparently, these tiny gross creatures really like the tight spaces between the plastic bags, and they've been building a home in the box!!! I threw the box on the floor, and my students are all gathering around to examine our "ant farm"... Talk about chaos in the middle of a lesson. Later, I took the box out to Donya Marie, our custodian, and she laughed at my reaction. She told me that during the changing seasons, the ants (ormigas, I learned) go inside everyone's houses. So who knew, ants would lead to today's Spanish practice?

Ha, today was definitely an interesting day.


Surprising, but true. My students are loving this book. I was concerned about the boys liking it, but I think the murder and the house fire in the beginning are what have hooked them. They're all begging me to read one more page!!! :)

Gross, True, and Funny Stories... All from Today

Esteban asks me where the boy's bathroom pass is... I tell him I'm not sure, but to go ahead to the restroom. He returns to announce that the pass is floating in the toilet. "What??" I follow Esteban, and sure enough, there in the blue boy's bathroom, floating in a toilet, is the "passport" that I made for emergencies. I thought it over for about 5 seconds, and realizing how sensitive the sewage system was to toilet paper, I knew there was no way it could handle cardstock and contact paper.... so, you guessed it. I stuck my hand in, fished it out, threw it in the garbage can, and immediately washed my hands. Esteban sprints back to the classroom, announcing my arrival with "She stuck her hand in the toilet!!!" Wowee, how disgusting is that. Boys were impressed and girls were grossed out.

Later, we're putting up our chairs at the end of the day, and a girl notices a rock-solid piece of chewed gum on the bottom of her chair. She squeals, I immediately hover and observe that the cause is gray blobby gum. I thought "Well, if I can stick my hand in a toilet, I can surely touch ABC gum"... so you guess it, I pulled the gum right off the chair and threw it in the garbage. Again, impressing the boys and grossing out the girls.

So then students leave, and I work on reorganizing my posters that are creating a mound behind my desk. I made a giant black folder to hold all my posters flat, and I'm pulling posters out from behind my desk to place into the folder. I pull out the last poster, and .... what's that dirt pile there?... Ants are building a castle behind my posters!!! (The first thing you learn living in Costa Rica is that ants are everywhere. You can put out as much pesticide as you want... they'll always overcome it.) Seriously, this palace I found was quite substantial. I swept it into my dustpan and dumped it in the garbage. Sorry, ants, but you're home cannot be near my own dwelling place.


Proud Moments

Three Proud Moments today :)

Number One

We worked on the computers in the library today and my students were so on task that other teachers even commented about how well they were doing! Yay! :) We are researching several of the original colonies for presentations this Friday, and they are very excited about this new twist in learning True Stories!

Number Two

This is totally random, but our PE teacher, Profe, organized a volleyball team of teachers to play against his high school gym class. It was first communicated that we would play in the evenings... however, yesterday afternoon, we were told that we would be playing this afternoon at 1:30 pm. My first thought was "What?!? That's right in the middle of my teaching time!!!" I got over that initial thought and was like, well, here we go. I wrote "Surprise!" on today's schedule and we marched down to the gym for the "surprise". Our teacher's team won against the high schoolers... It was so much fun and such a different way to spend a Tuesday afternoon! I was proud of my students for cheering and being so excited during the whole game.

Number Three

I'm reading the book "Esperanza Rising" during the Read Aloud time, and I have 4 extra copies for students to read on their own. I had to really talk it up to the boys, because when the main character is a girl, the boy students usually have a harder time relating. I felt a slight victory this afternoon when I noticed one of my tougher boys sneaking it into his backpack to take home for the evening. :) Yay! They're reading different books than they usually would!

That's all for today! Much love!


More Apartment Photos

Here's our apartment looking nice and clean. :)
And a "minor" Jell-O spill... Long story short, the chicken was frozen to the freezer wall, so Kim and I were pouring warm water over it and catching the water with a bowl of Jell-O (don't ask why...). And then, well, you fill in the blank. The Jello-O ended up all over the floor. Ha. We discussed how we didn't anticipate domestication being so messy.
Kim has been working hard on our garden. Here's a couple plants this evening!
And our newly rearranged living room, complete with Trish's happy birthday flowers and poster. I bought her a Guatamalen purse... I think she likes it a lot :).

Today was report card day. I'm so glad to have those done, and I haven't heard any parent comments yet!
And a prayer request. My roommates are much farther along in Spanish than I and I am so easily discouraged. Please pray for opportunities to practice Spanish at my level, and also pray that I will STOP the comparing myself to the other girls. Thanks :)


Fun Times

I'm back at the apartment after two nights away, and it's good to be back. We explored our part of the city a bit more today, and (gasp!) went to a different grocery store for the first time. Yay for full cupboards and full stomachs.

While out on our excursions, we went to our favorite store - Pequeno Mundo. Ha, we bought some decorative things to give our apartment more color because it needs it desperately! When we came back, we were in a cleaning/baking/rearranging frenzy. Que divertido! The living room and bedroom now have new looks, complete with lamps and colorful wall hangings.

Trish's birthday was yesterday, so our kitchen and living room are covered with flowers and cards, and our fridge is filled with cake and Jell-O (random, I know :)). Even though it wasn't my birthday, it is good to know how much Trish (and Kim and I) are appreciated. Kim L. and I went together for a cake mix and icing ($6 for Pillsbury imported brand... the only kind here) and we guessed Trish's favorite right! Trish apparently loves Funfetti cake, and we didn't know that until we surprised her with it last night.

We also went out for pizza last night -- it was like a family reunion or something! 5 teachers, the Diem couple with their 2 boys, and the Mitten family with their 4 girls. Wowee! It was such a good time.

Our tico neighbors, Carlos and Clara, are so sweet and kind to us. For Trish's birthday, they gave her a flower painting... and then Carlos showed up later with flower paintings for Kim and me too!!! Check out Kim's blog for a photo of her painting :).

Oh, and Mom, I finally had to buy some clothes. You're laughing right now because you know how much clothes are a fix for me. I only spent $14 for 5 shirts ... and one of those shirts is a gift for someone else. :)

New baking endeavor: sun dried tomatoes. Any tips?

And, funny Spanish/English story... not sure why this happened, but I was reading my grocery receipt from today, and I didn't recognize the word "caracolito"... so I typed it into Google Translator, and it came up as "snails." Ummm... I don't think I bought any snails. Hmmm...

Pictures of the apartment's new look tomorrow :)