It turns out there are bugs in my town after all

Trip Start Jan 07, 2009
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Sunday, March 29, 2009

This week has been great I have made deeper connections with the kids, I have spent quality time with the family I live with, I have remained productive and the weather has been like everything you see in a postcard from Costa Rica. Let's start backwards.

I am laying in bed at my favorite hotel in San Jose.  There is cable tv with the food network and a gazillion movie channels.  I could be watching the NCAA tourney right now but that doesn't even matter because there is HGTV and I am in control of the remote.  Here at Aranjuez, the price is amazing for 20$ I get my own room with the most comfortable bed Ive slept in since the last time I was here, an endless supply of coffee, the most amazing breakfast to wake up to and the most important thing (besides HGTV) is the free wifi.  The huge list of things I was expecting to do on the internet though (like up load my 88 videos to my blog) will have to wait because my computer decided that it doesn't like Aranjuez's internet.  I don't get it the past 3 times I've been here they've gotten along great!  However, this time there is something about connectivity and internet certificates that I just don't understand.  I am crossing my fingers that next weekend it will work.  It's ok though, this is a tranquillo weekend and I will at least be able to use the skype on the computers they have here. 

I decided on Monday that I was going to head to San Jose today.  I was sick of dealing with the reservations for next week (my vacation) and was nervous about how the week was going to turn out.  I figured like everything here, if I changed my mind I could always cancel.  I like having options here.  I think it was the combination of the week itself and the fact that I have been planning to come to SJ alone, having my own schedule. 

For the past few weeks, the children have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of their Padrinos, or American Sponcers.  On Monday, two buses filled with Gringos, over the age of 60, arrived affiliated with some religious group based in Kansas City, I can't remember the name.  They were in the town for most of the day, taking a tour, watching the show that the kids performed and of course eating.  What social event can take place without food?  For this event I had been helping my sixth grader Steven prepare a short speech in English for the occasion.  He was so nervous.  For some reason it would not sink in that there should be pauses after every sentence.  We tried everything but in the end it was one huge blur of words.  I am so proud of him though, he did a fantastic job. 

Through the madness we some how intertwined classes within the day.  This caused the day to feel even more productive. The other part of the day I got to meet some very nice people, and talk in English.  I had to introduce myself in front of the group inside the Church.  I got to meet two people from St. Joseph (small world), and I got to meet Dee and George, a couple that has been living outside of SJ for over 10 years and teaches English 2 days a week at a local school.  They were curious as to what kind of materials I use because they use whatever they can get their hands on.  My eyes lit up at their question because Lacey and Wendy (past 2 voluteers) both left their Costa Rican Unit Guides and their World Teach Lesson's Manuel.  All 4 of these binders taking up HUGE amounts of space in my room.  I had been wondering what to do with them and giving a set to Dee and George was everything I was looking for.  I just love when things fall into place like puzzle pieces.  They've given me their email and invited me for a weekend.  I hope to go.

Tuesday, for the second time this year I was the only teacher at school.  I was told ahead of time (Monday on my walk home).  I figured that it would be good because Wednesday was English Exam day.  Like last time, only half the kids showed.  I have an issue with this.  When students live so far away why have them walk all the way for 40 usually 30 minutes of English.  The class can move forward when I only have half the kids.  I can't seem to figure out how to make the class some sort of reward on these days since we already play games on a regular basis.  I was thinking of some sort of compromise like I will teach 2 classes for the day, one for 1st through 3rd and one for 4th -6th.  That way there are more people and it's more fun to play games when reviewing.  Mom says it's an injustice to the kids that end up showing up if I don't have class.  Some part of me agrees, but the other part of me thinks that I don't like when life isn't fair.  I need to get over this, figure out some way so that I have a piece of mind when these days occur.  I need a compromise.

Wednesday's Exam day went well.  Everyone showed, everyone understood the directions, and most of the grades turned out ok.  On Thursday was the oral exam.  I got to sit outside in the sun and ask the kids the questions.  It rocked.  I also got out super early because as soon as the kids were done they were allowed to go.  This meant that I had enough time to catch the bus to Cartago.  To my surprise when I started talking to mom on skype, she told me that Uncle John, Aunt Dana, and Sarah were on their way to the house!  I got to talk to all of them.  It was definitely the highlight of the week.

My acto civico was Friday.  I was told to prepare 3 hrs worth of games for all 70 kids for Dia de los Deportes.  When I got to the field all the boys and a few girls were playing futbol.  This left about 30 girls at the most for me to run around with.  They also know their favorite games so it was an easy fun day.  I had bought yarn at a fabric shop in Cartago on Thursday for 3 legged races but my bag had a tear and I lost it on the way home.  I am bummed, but at least I have something for next time.  By 11 we were done for the day. 

To keep my day on a roll I decided to clean my classroom and rearrange everything.  What you will eventually see in my video is the result. When I returned back home 5 kid came running out of the: Paula (6th grade), Erick and Magdelina (4th), and Maribel (kinder) were over, joined by my host sister lizeth (4th).  We played together all afternoon, slide down our ceramic tile hill on card board boxes, played hide and seek and took videos on my FlipVid.  I enjoyed it.  I also got to have cafecito with my mom, the kids mom, and Carlos Andres.  Carlos Andres is a friend of the family, 24, that I met a month ago.  This week he was at his property and hung around the house for the afternoon.  He took me on a tour of his property.  It is way up high on one of the roads in town.  It is a great piece of property and he wants to build a house in a few years.  Carlos speaks pretty good English, so we intertwine the languages.  This is more to help me understand what were discussing and so that I can get my point across.

So that was a detailed look into my week.  Oh I almost forgot, running around on Friday I got bit by bugs! my legs are itchy itchy itchy!!!.  Anyway, my week was great fun, and went by quickly.  This week should too.  I only have 4 days of school!  On Friday I pick up Mom, Halley, and Valerie at the Airport.  Then we are off to see La Estrella for a day,  La Fortuna for the volcano and hot springs, then Manuel Antonio for the great beach and National Park! 

Pura Vida!  Sorry to hear there is so much snow back in the Mid West,  the 80 degree weather is nothing to complain about here!!

 
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Comments

penth2omi
penth2omi on

PreSpring Break
Hey Jess,
Finally got to read about exam week and your get ready for fam visit. It was interesting trying to visualize what was going on.
Your videos are well done too. Keep them coming.
Love,
D

katia tencio on

esta lindos estos videos saludos a la estrella mi gente

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