Signs you might be living in a rainforest ….

  • IMG_6816Your 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?

Thinking about thinking … and talking … and more thinking

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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.

I don’t talk.  Continue reading Thinking about thinking … and talking … and more thinking

Just a simple (15 km) Sunday stroll …

IMG_6570When 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 …

My first visitor — ROGER!

IMG_6552While 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!

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 …

Volcan Irazu — Volcano #2 since I arrived

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.

The dark grey in the background is ash and rock from the volcano.

Continue reading Volcan Irazu — Volcano #2 since I arrived