1. I went to the ATM today and apparently it was only giving out bills in the amount of c2,000 (equivalent to $4), so I got a big wad of bills!

2. As I was walking home from the ATM, the neighborhood guard rode his bike next to me and talked. I told him that I am moving soon for Escazú, and he pulled out his wallet and gave me a photo ''so I won't forget him.''

3. The park across the street was full of people today, and a guy came over to ask to fill his water bottle. I put the hose out the garage bars and turned the water on and he wasn't paying much attention to how full his bottle was because we were talking. The bottle filled and started overflowing all down his shorts, and he was really embarassed as he walked back over to the park. Oops...

Feliz Día de la Cultura

Today's holiday used to be called Columbus Day here but is now called Culture Day because they didn't want to give Christopher Columbus any credit for his 1492 discoveries. He´s not a very popular guy around here!

I am having an extra Saturday for my day off :). I thought I had plans, but they apparently fell through, so I have been packing the apartment and doing some school stuff.

Thanks to all who were praying for a new place to live on the west side. I visited 2 families last Wednesday and confirmed with one today that I will move in with them in November. I am excited and nervous, just like I remember being 2 years ago before Trish and I moved in with our first tico families. I am thankful that God has provided a place!

 Our group of girls hung out again Saturday night, this time for bowling! Melissa, Allie, me, Michelle
Turns out in Costa Rica bowling is charged by the minute, not by the game. It's about $21 per hour too!! Wowee, that would be an expensive date. Good thing there were 5 of us to split the bill.
You can see more photos if you look at Melissa´s blog post: http://melissajanecr.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/bowling-tico-style/ 

We've been without Internet for the past 10 days, so we're glad to be re-connected to the ''real world'' again, lol!


Prayer Requests

I don't post my needs on here often, but it's time to share a bit of my current situation. I have explained that I live on the east side of the city and work on the west side, and I have mentioned the daily long bus rides. Because of those factors, I am officially looking for a place to live on the west side, hopefully moving at the beginning of November. I'm looking for a Costa Rican family to live with so I can continue improving my Spanish (I think I'm almost fluent but of course it's always a process :)), so I'm letting you know what I need in this way so you can be praying and then you can praise God with me when He does open doors!! :)

Thanks for checking up on me!

5th Grade Lights, Camera, Action!

Making board games to help us review division facts.

Another board game!

dreaming about being at the beach...

acting out our Loyalty statements during Community Time

hard at work!!


best friends

Student Council speeches took a lot of courage! My brave students did well with their speeches :)

and studying for our Science test!


No Internet = A Strong Feeling of Disconnection

I stayed with a friend Wednesday night on the west side of the city, and when I came home Thursday afternoon, Michelle told me the Internet wasn't working, and it has persisted in not working. The screen says "Bad web request" whenever we try to open the Internet Explorer. Any suggestions?

Also, riding the bus is a career all on its own. Rainboots, bus change, book to read, papers to grade, and I'm good to go. 15 hours a week of bus rides...

I'm looking for a tico family to live with on the west side, and I have a for-sure visit this next Wednesday afternoon with a family and a couple other leads to call. Pray that works out soon :). I am looking forward to a lifestyle with fewer bus rides :).


Comfort Foods

Macaroni and Cheese

Chocobon Ice Cream

Milan Chocolates



Over the past two weeks, I have taken the bus across the city back and forth to work each day. Because I have interacted with many different kinds of people while traveling by bus, I think I am experiencing Costa Rican life at a whole new level. The bus has everything from mothers nursing toddlers to drunk men who can barely balance, and every person on the bus has a different opinion about gringos... lucky for me, I'm a gringa, so I am experiencing firsthand the discrimination that minorities are given.

For example, I was sitting at the back of a rush-hour-traffic bus jam-packed with people, and a gringo got on to ask the driver if the bus went through San Francisco de Dos Ríos. The driver shook his head no and pointed to the bus stop indicating the gringo should wait there... but the interesting thing to me was that we were going to a pass right through the middle of San Francisco. The ticos on the bus started laughing that the driver had lied to the gringo... and there I'm sitting in the middle of the ticos knowing what was going on...

Gringos on the 6am buses aren't very common, so I get lots of stares and comments. I do my best to ignore the ugly words, but part of my personality is taking everything to heart, considering what others say. So because many things that are said are vulgar, I am turning them over in my mind and by the time I get to work, I have to re-focus myself that I'm no longer at the mercy of the bus occupants.

I have seen discrimination off of the bus as well. Yesterday, I was at the mall with some friends, and I went to order pizza at Pizza Hut in the food court. There was an offer for 3 slices of pizza for 2,000 colones, and that's a pretty good deal, so I ordered that. The lady put 2 slices of pizza on my tray and then walked away to do something else in the kitchen. I stood there for about 3 minutes before she came back out to the front. She looked at me as if she was annoyed that I was still there, and I asked, ''Wasn't it 3 slices?'' and she laughed at me as she gave me my third piece. Um, just because I'm gringo doesn't mean I can't count.

Discrimination has me thinking... how many times have I looked down on someone else because they don't know all the cultural cues or the language? Because somehow I feel like their people have offended my people in any way?

I asked a tica friend if ticos don't like gringos and she said that there's such a history of discrimination of gringos to other peoples around the world that the general attitude toward gringos is very negative. She said the problem with people is that we generalize that all people of that nationality must be the same in every way and so the assumption is that all gringos must be discriminatory towards latinos. She said that she's told her family about meeting me, that she met a gringa that was really nice and speaks Spanish well, and she said that her family seemed surprised that a gringa would want to be friends with her. She said I can't let these situations get me down, that I need to speak up against the discrimination when it happens, that I need to remember that I am a daughter of God, that I need to remember not everyone lives by the biblical morals I consider essential to life.

I think God's preparing me for something bigger than just being in an elementary classroom... maybe something more in social justice? Who knows! For now, I am experiencing the ins and outs of being a minority.