Celebrating English

My speakers -- We had less than a week to ready them for a 2 min impromptu speech but they did it. 2nd from the left is moving to the next level!
My speakers — We had less than a week to ready them for a 2 min impromptu speech but they did it. 2nd from the left is moving to the next level!

English Festivals are now in progress across Costa Rica! Today in Pocora we spelled and defined our way to a winner who will proceed to the next level of Spelling Bee, heard impromptu speeches in a SECOND LANGUAGE on families and favorite sports and leisure activities, and watched a performance of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” as Readers’ Theater! Continue reading Celebrating English

Perspective …

The ants in my bedroom may have been partying with the lizard in the bathroom all night long but I don’t care! I woke up to some of the best coffee I have ever tasted and am about to work on two projects that have captured my imagination (and hence my heart). As the rains continue (and possibly more creatures come inside to stay dry) I’m grateful for a new day to relax, work, listen, and perhaps make a small difference in this beautiful and well-saturated corner of the world.

Photos missed but moments captured …

After chatting with mom via Viber (for only 50 cents for the entire 30 min), I beat the rain this morning and got in a 5K walk before the rainforest that surrounds me lived up to its name. Trying to get out the door in a hurry meant I forgot my camera and therefore missed the opportunity to capture:
— the small truck with the very large bull in the back that was parked on main street in Pocora
— what would have no doubt been a stunningly beautiful (perhaps even award–winning) photo of two horses in the morning light surrounded by the shell of a moss-covered concrete building as they silently stared at the passing “gringa”
— a young mother calling out “venga” (“come”) to the …. chicken who (I’m not kidding) was crossing the road (so now I know why)
— the entire kitchen crew of the corner “iglesia” (church) who showed up early on Sunday morning to set up outdoor fire pits and what could pass for cauldrons of frijoles and arroz that no doubt will eagerly be consumed by the congregants later today.

A perfect place  on a raniny Sunday to listen to NPR, write, and tackle language studies for the week
A perfect place on a raniny Sunday to listen to NPR, write, and tackle language studies for the week

As soon as I entered my house where Lilly and Esteban were chatting in the kitchen, the rain began, making this the perfect Sunday. Because I’m safe (I’d say warm too but that’s perpetual in Pocora), surrounded by friends, reminded of family, and ready to continue the healthy pursuit of caring for mind, body and soul.

I’m actually only supposed to be observing …

June 2015 Upload 998Peace Corps has many rules. I understand why. Lots of lives are involved. Plus they’ve been at this for 53 years and have learned a thing or two about how to get a large group of people from here to there — crossing cultures, saving money, making whatever difference that might be made. I appreciate the history, the knowledge and the leadership.

But sometimes … you gotta break the rules. Continue reading I’m actually only supposed to be observing …

Big hill, great pain, little ol’ me

Colleen Hewitt, a fellow vol11393033_986643453515_1589233870125820715_nunteer, captured this photo after the games and delicious food had been played and prepared and eaten and most of our TEFL group were still on site and saying goodbye. We had had a day of fun and relaxation just prior to our swearing in day. Since I had taken a fall during the sack race and inflamed most of my inner thigh muscles that are part of my problem with my hip, I decided to get a slow head start up the hill.  Here’s what Colleen said when she posted the photo:  Continue reading Big hill, great pain, little ol’ me

First day fun … (and a whole lot of sweat)

11412388_10153498186887275_3296691448035730963_nMy welcome to Pocora included a surprise party, me leading English-learning-while-getting-to-know-you-games, and setting up my room in my new abode! Once again I have hit the jackpot in the host family department. My new closet and shelves are upright because Melroy, the oldest son, took the night to help me. My sweat was sweating but this room is now home for the next several months. Continue reading First day fun … (and a whole lot of sweat)

Even when you may not understand me …

“Tennessee and Texas (and I should have said, London, California, Missouri, Alabama, DC. North Carolina and lots of other points around the globe), thank you that even when you don’t understand me, you still support me. Love you.”

And with those words, I returned to my seat as a newly sworn in volunteer in the Peace Corps.  Continue reading Even when you may not understand me …

Beautiful way to end the first phase of my language learning …

Today was the last day with the generous souls that have shared their language and country with us for the last three months. Not only did they teach us conjugation and culture, but they ensured we would know when students blessed us and/or blessed us out! The final gift was a delightful day on a nearby farm complete with babbling brook, volleyball court, an outdoor kitchen for a carefully prepared day of fruits, meats, beans and (yum) arroz con leche and a field for traditional games like sack races and jump rope.

To the teachers and soon-to-be-sworn -in volunteers of Tico 29 TEFL, you have my heart!


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