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?

“A slice of life”

LIFE MuralAfter last week’s “when it rains it pours” posting on Facebook (pictures of my drenched clothes and bags, the result of a torrential downpour on my way to the bus stop), this week I enjoyed our “once in a blue moon” sighting. As you might suspect at this point, I also spent a great deal of time looking at what curriculum writers call our social language — specifically idioms. Continue reading “A slice of life”

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!

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 …