Volcán Poas with friends

Trish, Albin, Yoji, and I took a day trip yesterday to see the Poas volcano just outside San José. We hiked what seemed like forever in the cold rain to see this:The lake covered in fog... We could see the lake a few seconds before I took the photo. I should have had my camera around my neck, but it was buried in my purse to avoid getting wet, thus the cloud cover for the photo I did capture.

And the crater! You can see smoke (or vapor?) coming out.

The rain cleared enough for us to feel somewhat inspired for a photo shoot. Trish didn't know what to do when I aimed my camera at her, so this is what I got.

...and what I got from Albin.

...and what I got from Yoji.

Queso! and the boys' turn.

I was pretty sure this was a cousin of rhubarb...

....especially when I saw the stem!

And this gives you an idea of how huge these leaves are! Yoji was staying dry as it started to rain again.


Flowers, Leaves, and Such

Volcán Arenal with Wes!

Wes got the full tourist experience while here visiting Costa Rica. We took an afternoon bus to Ciudad Quesada, then transferred buses to La Fortuna, where we spent two nights exploring waterfalls, volcanoes, and hot springs. All in Spanglish, of course.

We started off the day strong with a hike to the waterfall.

I held the waterfall in my hand!! Well... not really :).

Wes swimming under the life-sized waterfall.

At the hotsprings! We went during the afternoon so we saw the property in the daylight and then we went back at night to get the full experience. There were even waterslides that definitely didn't follow US safety standards!! (Don't worry, Mom, we both survived minor concussions, that's all!!)

And tile ''water beds'' if you wanted to take a nap in the hot water.
Jumping in the botanical gardens.

Hiking to another waterfall in the afternoon.
Wes and an active volcano!!
The sunset over Lake Arenal.

See the red dots?? That's proof that we saw lava!! :)

The best part about this day was that we paid a $40 tour price for the hot springs, a guided tour of the rainforest, volcano-watching, and an amazing buffet dinner. Now that's what I call a deal!

The Bag Lady of Costa Rica

Usually when people say ''Bag Lady,'' they are women who wear potato-sack-like clothes. The Bag Lady of Costa Rica does not wear baggy clothes... nope, she sells purses in the artesan´s market. I have been a regular costumer since August 2008, so regular that we talk for about an hour every time I go and she gives me discounts!! :) I don't actually call her Bag Lady... her name is really Heidi.
Usually latino people have serious faces in photos, but not Heidi!!
And here we are in her tiny purse store. Thanks, Wes, for taking the photo!


Miss Siscoe...

''Miss Siscoe, he's in my locker!!!!''

''Miss Siscoe, I was just running with my lollipop in my hand and I tripped and fell!'' (in response to why her eye was red and watering and puffy)

''Miss Siscoe, cuándo vamos a comer el snack?'' ''Let's practice our English.'' ''Oh yeah, when are we going to eat snack?''

''Miss Siscoe, do we have to practice division today?'' ''Yes, no option.''

''Miss Siscoe, he has great reading expression.''

''Miss Siscoe, you look pretty today.''

''Miss Siscoe, you are going to another school?'' ''Yes, and you should come with me!''

''Miss Siscoe, can we play 'A Sailor Went to Sea Sea Sea'?''

''Miss Siscoe, when are you going to get married?''

''Miss Siscoe, what am I supposed to do?'' ''I just explained it, and I do not repeat myself.''

''Miss Siscoe, can I have a hug?''

''Miss Siscoe, is my grade good?''

''Miss Siscoe, my dad says he wants to see my spelling grade.''

I think I will change my name for tomorrow and not tell anyone what it is!


They say everything is bigger in Texas, but it´s really Costa Rica...

The ocean is big.
The leaves are big.

Walking sticks are big.
Waterfalls are big.
And sisters are big... :)


The Latest News

1. WES IS COMING TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am just a little excited :). Photos and stories to come.

2. I got another teaching job!!! I was looking both here in Costa Rica and in the Chicago area, and I was offered a position as a 5th grade teacher at Lighthouse International School here in San José, so I have decided to stay another year to continue growing as a professional teacher (gaining lots of experience teaching English as a Foreign Language!) and growing as a Spanish speaker. On the sad side, I'm sorry to the many people who were hoping I would be back Stateside this next year. On the happy side, that means YOU have another year to visit me (yes, you!! :)).

3. Fourth grade is back in full swing this week. Long division, parts of speech, fluent reading, suffixes, prefixes, the atmosphere, and the Panama Canal are only a few topics we are currently studying. To come!! a science fair! art classes every Friday! more blog posts (http://miss-siscoes-fourth-graders.blogspot.com/)!! So stay posted :)

4, The Costa Rican President will be inaugarated this Friday, May 7th!

5. We're going to the beach again... tomorrow with Wes! More later...