- Your shoes are green – from mold
- Your clothes have unidentifiable stains that you learn are from … mold
- You notice a lizard on your wall while chatting with someone in the states and don’t even think it’s worth mentioning
- Your room (shared with two others from the same region) was fumigated by hotel staff after you unpack clothes (see above and aforementioned … mold)
- You are on your fourth umbrella in three months
- You hear about a volunteer who was told she had lung cancer and later learned it was … mold
- Make up? What make up?
- You celebrate coming to San Jose – solely because your clothes are dry for a few minutes
- You are in site for three months and have already planned a bonfire for when your service date is over and you can burn your clothes (And, no, they wouldn’t be good to share with those “less fortunate”)
- You have no intention of packing clothes for when you visit the states but you are going to buy a Tote
- While you might forget your cell phone or even your computer when walking to school, you will not forget your sweat rag and fan
- Have I mentioned mold?
For most of my life, I’ve been about the “doing” of things. Extroverted and perpetually purposeful, I cajole, convince, and counter as much as I communicate. But living (not just visiting) a different culture with a beautifully crafted yet complex (at least for me) language has prompted some changes on my part.
When it’s not raining in a rainforest you take advantage of the opportunity to not feel like a saturated sponge. I walked 15km in celebration and I did so (with permission) on the guarded campus of EARTH University. Still haven’t seen the monkeys I can hear but the flora is breathtaking. I am still in awe of Continue reading Just a simple (15 km) Sunday stroll …
While some folks from the U.S. were eating hot dogs and others were winning a World Cup, two American friends were doing a 4-day catch up that included a tour of EARTH University (one supplier of Whole Foods organic bananas), 7+ buses, two boats, a canoe, a Panamanian waterfall, a chocolate demo, several close calls in slippery sludge, meeting new friends, a beach (or two), eating with new friends, a tour of San Jose, mucho Spanish with new friends, and Continue reading My first visitor — ROGER!
Peace 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 …
Since the first week of knowing my host “mom” Elizabeth Sanchez Barrantes, I have thought, “I would follow this strong, independent woman almost anywhere!” Today I did! We just finished an 11 km hike up Continue reading I would follow her anywhere … (even if it almost kills me)
A holiday from classes meant a trip to nearby Volcan Irazu. We have had 3 earthquakes and a volcanic eruption since I arrived but this trip seemed like a safe bet as this volcano has been dormant for quite a while. And it paid off with great views, a drive by a community that celebrates its name — The Heart of Jesus (see statue) — and mini stories unfolding all around us.
I posted several photos (click link to see all) on the return trip to San Jose. I wound up sitting by a German woman who I met inside the crater. She’s here for her Master’s thesis on the smell of papayas…. Yes, what you just read is true.