The Window Spoke to Me

Contemplating a long weekend (punctuated by work on a presentation due Monday) I couldn’t resist a photo from my ride to class this morning. One window says it all. “Pura vida” is more than a tourism slogan here. An escape truly is only a window view away. And even when two semis and my bus need to occupy the same space on a one lane bridge somehow everyone gets where they are going and all drivers are smiling during the process. Stressing about that presentation that’s due just seems antithetical to life here. So tomorrow I visit a volcano instead!

“Bottled Up”

Tech Week - Nandayure - April 2015 -- HeatA water bottle should not cause distress. After all, it’s a water bottle. But when I realized that I was jostled in the square in San Jose resulting in my bottle’s fall from the side pocket of my backpack, I amazed myself at how much the loss bothered me.

I sold all my furniture! I sold my car! My art is on someone else’s walls. I have no more than could be packed in 107 inches of luggage. A lost water bottle shouldn’t bother me. But it did. Continue reading “Bottled Up”

Whole lotta work deserves a little play …

After a week of teaching, observing, preparing to teach, cooking, cleaning, and enduring the heat, we all needed a bit of R&R. So various groups of volunteers met up at Samara Beach. After a 7.5 km walk with Kristen (as much for my head as my hips!) I was ready for something cold and a bit of music. Tiffany joined us and I spend time at the beach EXACTLY the way I like. I may have gone into tourist mode and I promise to make amends with all the powers that be that want me to integrate, but that little bit of ahhh is just what I needed!

Kristen, Tiffany and me by way of my stand-in (my ever present fan) in a little bit of paradise on the beach. Cold white wine, tuna tartare with wasabi mayo, and good conversation set in a view that folks pay BIG BUCKS to see!

Continue reading Whole lotta work deserves a little play …

Tech Week Tests Us All

Tech Week is the name given to the preview we trainees (or as we are known in Peace Corps Costa Rica — aspirantes of Tico 29) get of the jobs we will assume once we are sworn in.  Our Tico 29 group of would-be volunteers (each training group gets a number and iTaylor Jordant’s a cherished identity) set off last Sunday for various locales in the country. My cohort was Evan and you’ll see him in the photos I’m posting with this entry. The volunteer we were assigned to is Taylor. He’s been here a year. For some reason (perhaps heat exhaustion)  I didn’t get an action shot of Taylor but this is him with his host mom in Nandayure. He has his own place now and I did capture a few shots of it.  Continue reading Tech Week Tests Us All

Language Learning Success

Una palabra at a time ...Today was our last day with Elena, the teacher who took us Novice-High Spanish speakers to now Intermediate-Mid in one month! After a week away starting Sunday (shadowing current volunteers already in schools) we will have a few more weeks with another “profesora” who I’m sure we will grow to love as well but we were Elena’s first group from Peace Corps so today was a day of celebration and a few tears! Btw Peace Corps sees our new level as what is needed to survive as a volunteer!


3 Amigos de San Miguel Learn Spanish, Art & More

The “3 Amigos de San Miguel” – Jaclyn Angel Smith, Darrell Potter and me – have been studying Spanish together for a month now and today we presented 15/20 min lessons to each other TOTALLY IN SPANISH! My lesson on communications included a game of “Toss the Monkey” to illustrate the communication process and Darrell’s revealed a way to transform numbers into cute animals. With Jaclyn’s focus on health we were a well-rounded curriculum!

Mr. McGee was introduced to new friends via Darrell's art project.
Mr. McGee was introduced to new friends via Darrell’s art project.

Numbers to Animals

Karen Campbell, Covergirl

Is Karen Campbell a Houston woman? Not just yes, apparently, but he-yalll yes.

Karen Campbell Houston Woman

The March/April 2015 issue of Houston Woman Magazine features Karen as its cover (girl) story. While Karen is ostensibly smiling in her cover shot, framily members and other loved ones can probably tell she’s also talking. Since this photo was taken while Karen was hiking part of the Camino, she may have been swearing.  Continue reading Karen Campbell, Covergirl