Monday, September 17, 2012

Tamarindo y otras pensamientos

Y ahora sobre este fin de semana- el 14 hasta el 16 de septiembre.  Era buenísima.  Viajamos a Tamarindo que es un pueblo de playa en el norte-oeste de Costa Rica, en Guancaste.  El viaje en bus otra vez era bueno, me enamoraba otra vez con el campo.

Ah, aquí hay una entrada en mi diario durante el viaje de bus:
Hoy, había unos desfiles en San Jose que pasaban por Verítas; fue bien chiva ver las bandas y disfraces de niños, y escuchar las canciónes que aprendían.  Después de la clase, salimos en autobús para Tamarindo.  Bekah, Raqi, Mateo, y yo nos divertimos con programas de televisión, comedía de Jim Gaffigan, y música.  Lleguemos en la noche al hotel Zulimar y con suerte Bekah, Raqi, y yo recibimos nuestra propia cuarto!  Y el hotel es buenísimo!  Tenemos tres camas, un baño completo, un balcón, y acceso a una piscina grande.  Y, todas las puertas son hechos de madera y tienen picturas tallados.  Nosotras tenemos una mujer fuerte con un león en nuestra puerta.  Se llama Mama Mucho.

Cenamos afuera y pedí un jugo de piña otra vez y era bien rico; lloraba un poco.  Pronto encontramos que Tamarindo está bien caro.  Se llaman TamaGringo porque es pueblo turístico.  Disfrutabamos de la piscina esa noche y decidimos no vale la pena salir para bailar.

El sábado, fuimos a la playa!  Y fue magnífico.  Disfrutabamos del calor del día y ¡surfeábamos!  Era magical.  Me gustó mucho solo flotar en la tabla de surf y sentir las olas...  lograba surfear las olas unas veces, no con mucho estilo, pero sentía maravilloso.

Aprendí hoy que causa mucho dolor poner aloe vera en una sarpullido (rash).  Jaja.

Oh, y esa noche mirabamos el ponerse del sol en la playa, y era increíble los colores con las nubes y los momentos compartidos con amigos.  Mientras mirar los cielos y el mar, escuchamos a una canción bien bonita que tiene título de Por Ti Volaré.

El domingo, mientras caminábamos en la playa hasta el sur, veía la arena más bonita que he visto en mi vida.  Fue completamenta compuesto de conchas- muchas rotos, pero muchas enteros.  Es la cosa fisicamente más lindísimo que he visto acá (*o quiza el campo..).  A mi me encantó esta playa en Tamarindo lo mejor.  Ahora estamos en el autobús, regresando a San Jose.  Miro las vistas del campo y quiero ir alla.  Quiero vivir alla por un tiempo; pero va a ser un tiempo para esto.  Un estación va a venir.

En la playa, todo estaba bien.  Comimos ensaladas deliciosos y batidos con yogur.  Y otra vez, el viaje en bus era bien divertido.  Duró 6 horas, pero fue mucho tiempo para jugar, pensar, y relajar.  Esta vez, cambiamos sientos un poquito y jugamos juegos tontos de 'improv' con los otros estudiantes en el bus que más o menos son mis amigos ahora.

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y esta es una entrada del 11 de sep. :
Cosas bonitas de un día típico:
Hay una ventana en mi cuarto que siempre está abierta.  Hay estas cortinas- dos de encaje y dos suaves de color de durazno con volantes que puedo separar y atar para que entra la luz del día, o liberar para que tenga privacidad.  Esta lampara.  Esto cuarto.  Una sorpresa cada mañana y noche de comida rica.  La oportunidad hacer cualquier cosa, incluyendo dormir/tomar una siesta por la tarde.  Hay un parque bien cerca a mi casa; dos o tres cuadras con unas mesas de colores brillantes y unos árboles, uno que puedo subir. El tiempo cambia cada día.  Hoy hace mucho sol y siente maravillosa en mi piel.  La oportunidad de conversar sobre cualquier tema en clase por dos horas.  Las montañas en la distancia.  Los colores brillantes de las casas, tiendas, estructuras en los parques, y flores tropicales.

del 12 de sep. :
Algo que he aprendido: este concepto de Pura Vida no significa que aquí en Costa Rica todo está bien. Es solo una idea- una manera de pensar y caminar por la vida con gracia y amor, aceptando cada momento como viene, teniendo paciencia con personas y sistemas, y encontrando cosas bonitas en cada día y toda la gente.  Pura Vida es tener amigos, tomar siestas, comer juntos (*beber jugo de piña*).

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And now about last weekend- the 14th-16th of September.  It was wonderful.  We traveled to Tamarindo which is a small beach town in the Northwest of Costa Rica (Guanacaste).  The bus ride was again, very good, and once again I fwas fauning over the countryside. 

Ah, here is an entry from the bus ride:
Today, there were parades in San Jose that passed by Verítas; it was really cool to see the bands and costumes of the kids, and to listen to the music they had learned.  After class, we left on the bus headed for Tamarindo.  Bekah, Raqi, Mateo and I entertained ourselves with TV shows, Jim Gaffigan comedy, and music.  We arrived in the evening at the hotel Zulimar and with luck Bekah, Raqi, and I received our own room again.   And the hotel is great.  We have three beds, a full bathroom, a balcony, and access to a big pool.  AND *the best part* is that all the wooden doors have beautiful carved pictures.  Our door has a strong woman and a lion.  We named her Mama Mucho.  She guards the entrance.

We ate out and I ordered another jugo de piña- it was delicious and I cried a little.  Soon we discovered that Tamarindo is really expensive.  They call is TamaGringo because it is a tourist town.  We enjoyed the pool that night and decided it wasn’t worth it (the $4 and smoke and sketchy atmosphere) to go out and dance.

Saturday we went to the beach!  And it was wonderful.  We enjoyed the heat of the day and we surfed!  It was magical.  I really just liked floating on the surfboard over the waves.  I caught a few waves and the feeling was amazing.  And it was tiring but in a way where I could do it all day.  I see how surfer beach bums can do that. 

I learned today that it is very painful to put aloe vera on a rash.. ha.

Oh, and that night we watched the sunset on the beach.  The colors with the clouds and the moments shared with friends were incredible.  While watching the heavens and the sea, we listened to a beautiful song called Por Ti Volaré (partially serenaded by Drew).

Sunday while walking on the beach towards the south, I saw the most beautiful sand I have ever seen in my life.  It was completely shells, and it was incredible.  It may be the physically beautiful thing I have seen here.  I loved the playa of Tamarindo the best.  Now we’re in the bus again, returning to San Jose.  I look out at the lovely countryside, the trees and hills and mountains, all so green, and I want to go there.  I want to live there for a while; but there will be a time for this.  A season will come.

On the beach, all is well.  We had delicious salads and smoothies.  And again, the bus trip was good fun.  It was a 6 hour trip, but there was a good amount of time to play, think, and relax.  This time, we switched seats a bit and played some silly improv games con the other students on the bus who are becoming my friends.
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And this is an entry from September 11th:
Beautiful things of a typical day:
There is a window in my room that is always open.  There are these curtains- two of lace and two of soft peach fabric with ruffles- these I can tie up to let daylight in or free to provide privacy.  This lamp.  This room.  A surprise every morning and evening of rich food.  The opportunity to do anything, including to sleep or take a nap in the afternoon.  There is a park very close to my house; two or three blocks away, with brightly colored tables and a few trees- one of which I can climb.  My house is painted lavender.  The weather changes every day.  Today it is very sunny and it feels marvelous on my skin.  The opportunity to converse about any theme in class for two hours.  The mountains in the distance.  The bright colors of houses, stores, structures in parks, and tropical flowers.

From September 12th:
Something that I’ve learned: this concept of Pura Vida doesn’t mean that here in Costa Rica everything is good.  It is only an idea- a manner of thinking and walking through life with grace and love, accepting each moment as it comes, having patience with people and systems, and finding beautiful things in each day and all people.  Pura Vida is to have friends, to take naps, to eat together (*to drink jugo de piña*).

Un día típico, y bueno


Ahora, el 17 de septiembre, estoy sentada en mi cuarto lindo, tomando te de Yerba Mate, escuchando a la música latina de Alonso Núñez, después de tomar una siesta solo porque pensaba que sentiría buena acostarme en la cama por unos momentitos.  Y acaba de comer un mango- mi primero mango entero aquí en Costa Rica- y era riquísimo.  Hoy mi mamatica me preparó el desayuno perfecto para hoy porque le pedí: avena con un banano (que llevé a clase).  Y participé más en clase hoy, aunque estaba bien distraída por preocuparme por una amiga, y durante el descanso visité con un amigo que está en una otra clase, y también jugué Frisbee con mis amigos en la plazoleta e incluimos a ticos también por lanzar el Frisbee en su dirección.  Era muy divertido.  Y pasó rápida la clase, entonces después caminé con Mateo a unas tiendas chinos para comprar lo que faltaba para el almuerzo.  Preparé unos tacos de frijoles con salsa Lizano, espinaca, tomate, aguacate, zanahoria, y pepino, y los traje conmigo al club de conversación en la universidad.  Me gustó pasar un rato con tantos estudiantes de todos niveles en un ambiente más de diversión que lectura o clase. 
         Regresé con Raqi y Elizabet, una amiga nueva, y platicamos en español.  Me fascina hablar con personas que están aprendiendo el español y están a un nivel más bajo que yo, porque puedo ayudarles con vocabulario y con conjugar los verbos, y usar este habilidad que he aprendido. 
         Y acaba de jugar un poquito con mi hermanitico Cris, él levanta el ánimo de mí.  Ah, pues, todo este es decir que este es un día típico, y que ahora siento como tengo más fundación.  Yo se como comprar y preparar la comida que quiero, como pasar los descansos de clase, como cuidar por mi cuerpo y mis necesidades aquí.  Yo conozco unos amigos nuevos, y siento como mi habilidad de hablar y entender el español ha mejorado.  Siento positiva.

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Right now, the 17th of September, I am sitting in my lovely room, sipping Yerba Mate tea, and listening to the latin music of Alonso Núñez.  This after taking a siesta just because I thought it would feel nice to lay down for a few moments.  And I just finished eating a mango- my first whole mango here in Costa Rica- and it was rich.  Today my mamatica prepared the perfect breakfast for me because I requested it: oatmeal and a banana (which I took to class).  I learned today that they grow two kinds of bananas here- las chiquititas y las de exportación (the small ones for local consumption and the larger ones mainly for exporting.  Today I had an ‘exporting’ banana, and it tasted just like they taste back in the USA.  Interesting.  I participated in class today, although I was mighty distracted in worry for a friend.  During our break I found a friend who’s in a different class, and also I played Frisbee with a few friends in the plazoleta of our school, and we included some ticos too by throwing the Frisbee in their direction... it was fun.  And class flew by after this break.  So I walked with Mateo to a few Chinese grocery stores to buy what I lacked in my lunch.  I made a couple tacos with beans with Lizano sauce, spinach, tomato, avocado, carrots, and cucumber, and I brought them with me to Club de Conversación at the university.  I enjoyed hanging out with students from all levels in an environment that felt more fun than lecture or class. 
            I returned home with Raqi and Elizabet, a new friend, and we chatted in Spanish.  Speaking with people who are learning Spanish and are at a lower level than I am fascinates me, because I love helping them with vocabulary and conjugating verbs, and just using this skill that I’ve developed.
            And just now, I was playing a little with my little brother-tico Cris, which is casi-always life-giving.  All this to say that this is a typical day, and now I feel like I have a better foundation.  I know how to buy and prepare the food I want, how to spend the breaks from class, how to care for my body and my needs here.  I have some new friends, and I feel like my ability to speak and understand Spanish has improved.  I feel positive.




Struggles and Successes

This is from emails I sent out to my mom last Thursday.  This is just honestly how I was feeling and still continue to feel sometimes here.


I'm trying to take things one day at a time, but I'm isolating myself a bit and just really struggling with being here more than physically.  I don't know if it is that life is slow here, or I still just feel unfamiliar, or I need church (I'm going tonight, God willing), or if I'm just whining, but I can't stop thinking about the other place.  About home and George Fox.  I'm having a hard time accepting it.  I am REALLY excited to come home.  I think I just thought it would be different.  I had high expectations..  I find myself thinking, "I should go to Mexico- that is the culture I love".  And maybe it's true, but I have a feeling I'm just looking for a grassier area.  I'm looking for peace.  And still, my family is great.  But I'm not spending much time with them, and I haven't really met any other locals, so at school it is just my professor (who sometimes bugs me with her patriotism and classifying and generalizing of people), and the other international students.  I haven't really tried to make local friends.

I thought this would be paradisiacal.. ha.  I don't think any place can be.  I think it is a state of mind and soul.  And I'm just getting bored.  I think about the 3+ months that I have left here, and it seems like a lot- overwhelming.  I almost want to quit and go home.  It's just really hard.  Have you heard this phrase: "When I feel bad, I decide to stop feeling bad and be awesome instead."?  I've been trying to employ that, or at least say it as a mantra "When I miss home, I stop missing home and be awesome, or experience something awesome here instead".  But it takes effort.  That is what I'm learning.  

Looking to the positive.  There are some really great people here.  I got to walk through the rain today and it was nice.  I whistled "if all the raindrops were lemon drops and gum drops...".  I had a fun conversation today with a girl I had previously judged/been intimidated by.  Edgar made me scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast.  Eyleen is feeling better.  Tomorrow vamos a la playa (we're going to Tamarindo) for the weekend.
I have to write and tell you that tonight the church service was wonderful.  It wasn't even so much the service as it was meeting Luis, who works for Verítas and attends this church.  He also leads a bible study with like 30 tico students each week that I want to go to.  And all in español.  =D  

I almost started crying when we entered the church today in hearing the voices of followers being lifted up to the heavens...  I have missed that so dearly.  The two girls from Fox went too, along with another girl I'm really growing to like and respect and girl and a boy that I just met.  But goodness, mom.  I can see potential for making tico friends through church.  There's this service on thursdays, the bible study on tuesdays, and Luis pointed out a church near my house that is supposed to be a lot of fun.  Anndd he has a bunch of Spanish Christian music he's willing to share.  It was like jumping in a lake- so refreshing and comforting to be with people of the same faith again.  It was the taste of something beautiful, and meeting Luis, having this connection and experience, is a shine of hope for these next 3 months.  Por fin!  

So this is just a testimony of how God answers prayers, and how hope comes in community.  Ah, lovely.


Puerto Viejo


Empezé esta entrada hace una semana, pues voy a terminarla, y también escribir sobre este fin de semana.  Ay, es mucho.

Hola!  Tengo tanto que quiero compartir!  Este fin de semana (7-9 de sep.) fue bien interesante.  Experimentaba muchas cosas nuevas, hice unas amigos nuevos, y todavía no estoy segura como siento sobre todo que vi.  Todo este es vago, pues voy a explicar. 

El viernes salimos en autobús para Puerto Viejo que es un pueblo en la costa sur-este de Costa Rica.  Pues, es el caribe, y allí es verano ahora.  Por eso, hacía mucho sol y calor, y no había lluvia.  Puerto Viejo tiene gran influencia afro-caribeño, pues había música de reggae y mucha gente con ‘dreads’ que andan en bicicleta y fuman pot y parecen tan chivas.  Es un pueblo pequeña, caminamos la calle principal varios veces.  Hay un mercado en la calle todos los días, es como una feria.  Una noche, mientras Raqi y yo caminábamos, conocimos a una mujer que nos llamaba Mami, y era bien amable.  Nos mostraba su trabajo- tallas de una fruta grande, y mucha joyería.  Cuando pasábamos otra vez por su carpa, compartimos el chocolate oscuro que compramos, y hablábamos un ratito más. 
         En Puerto Viejo, hay unos clubes y discotecas, y bailábamos en la playa afuera de una discoteca que se llama Johnny’s.  También, bailamos adentro una vez, y tocaban la música popular de los EEUU para todos los estadounidenses, y bailábamos como locos, que es nuestro costumbre.  Era magnífico.  Ustedes saben como a mi me fascina bailar.    Pues, bailamos la noche de viernes y sábado, y aunque no tomaba alcohol, bailaba con tanto entusiasmo que un muchacho de mi grupo me preguntó si me gusta tomar…  me reí. 
El sábado, busceamos, y al comenzar, no me gustó mucho, pero al salir del grupo un poquito, estar callada, y nadar suavemente y tranquila por la habitación de los peces, aprecia mucho la oportunidad de entrar su mundo, la bendición de estar con ellos y ver este mundo, este manera de vivir, que usualmente no puedo ver.  Yo se que pertenezco sobre la tierra, y ellos pertenecen en el mar, y por eso era lindísimo estar en su mundo por un ratito.  Esa noche, las chicas y yo (no podemos encontrar a Mateo) comimos en una restaurante que me sirvo un jugo de piña que me hizo llorar porque era tan riquisisisisisísima.  Nos divertimos mucho durante esa cena. 
         El domingo, desayunamos otra vez en una restaurante- gallo pinto con huevos, pan, y jugo (siempre hay tanto desayuno)- y fuimos a una playa se llama Punta Uva.  Esta playa fue la más bonita que había visto aquí en Costa Rica.  Había mucho sol (porque es verano en la costa este) y jugábamos Frisbee, caminábamos en el ‘slackline’, y muchos bañaban en el océano.  Yo estaba contenta quedarme seca.  Oh, y allí, Mateo subió una palma bien alta y obtuvo un coco. 
         Antes de salir de Puerto Viejo, las chicas, una mujer que es profesora aquí de Nueva York, y yo almorzamos en un restaurante que se llama Veronica’s Place.  Era bien decorado y bonito con plantas y colores brillantes, y nos sirvieron comida vegetariana y vegan.  Fue perfecto para el viaje largo.  Nos disfrutamos mucho la presencia de una a otra y el ambiente del restaurante. 
         Entonces, nos divertimos en el viaje de autobús, que duró como 4-5 horas.  Ahora, este no es mucho.  Los cuatro de nosotros compartíamos auriculares para la música (de Imaginar Dragonas y más) y bailábamos y cantábamos.  Y dormíamos y teníamos la oportunidad de salir del autobús para caminar un puente sobre el Río Sucio que era bien impresionante.  Me hizo recordar Deception Pass de Burlington, Washington.  Es bien grande y poderoso (y de color café), y también me hizo pensar en Dios y cuan grande es Él, y cuan bonita es su creación. 
         Ah, pues, la última cosa para este fin de semana que recuerdo es que Eyleen me preparó una cena perfecta esa noche: remolacha, brócoli, un huevo, papas, y arroz.
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I started this entry a week ago, so I’m going to finish is and then write about this weekend.  Ay, it is a lot.

Hola!  I have so much I want to share!  Last weekend (sept. 7-9) was really interesting.  I experienced a lot of new things, made some new friends, and still am not sure how I feel about everything I saw.  This is all vague, so I’ll explain.
            Friday we left by bus for Puerto Viejo which is a beach town in the southeast of Costa Rica.  In the Caribbean, it is summer now.  Because of this, it was really sunny and warm, and it didn’t rain- not once.  Puerto Viejo has a grand afro-Caribbean influence, so there was reggae music and many people with dreads who rode bicycles and smoked pot and seemed really chill.  It is a small town- we walked the main drag many times.  There is a street market every day.  One night, as Raqi and I were walking along, we met a woman who called us ‘mami’ (which is what they call girls *papi is for boys), and she was really sweet.  She showed us her work which were carved pieces of some kind of large, dried fruit, and a lot of jewelry.  When we passed by her tent again we shared with her some dark chocolate we had bought, and talked a bit more.
            In Puerto Viejo, there are some clubs and discothèques, and we danced outside one that was literally just off the beach (so we danced on the sand and in the ocean a bit).  We also danced inside for a while as they played American pop for the people from the US.  We danced like crazies, as is custom for us.  It was magnificent.  You all know how I love to dance.  We danced both Friday and Saturday night, and although I didn’t drink at all, a muchacho from our group asked me if I liked to... I laughed.
            Saturday, we snorkled, and at first, I didn’t like it because I felt like I was invading the home of these fish, but after separating from the group a bit, being quiet, and swimming softly and calmly through the home of the fish, I really appreciated the opportunity to enter into their world- what a blessing to be with them and see this world, this way of living which I usually wouldn’t be able to see.  I know that I belong above the earth, and they belong in the sea, and for this it was beautiful to be in their world for a while.  That night, the girls and I (we couldn’t find Mateo) ate in a restaurant that served me the first jugo de piña (thick pineapple juice) that brought me to tears because it was just that incredibly sensational.  We really enjoyed ourselves at that meal.  The servers were on TicoTime, so as we waited (for nearly the whole meal) for our last set of silverware, we all took turns eating with the two sets.  Ha.
            Sunday we ate breakfast in a restaurant- gallo pinto with eggs, bread, and juice (there is always plenty of breakfast)- and we went to a beach called Punta Uva.  This playa was the most beautiful that I had seen in Costa Rica.  The sun shone all morning and we played Frisbee, we walked the slackline, and a good chunk of the group swam in the ocean.  I was content to stay dry.  Oh, and Mateo climbed a tall palm tree and got a coconut.
            Before leaving Puerto Viejo, the girls, a woman who is a professor here from New York, and I had lunch in a restaurant called Veronica’s Place.  It was beautifully decorated with plants and brilliant colors, and they served us vegetarian and vegan food.  It was perfect for the long trip ahead.  We really enjoyed the company and the ambiance of the crunchy restaurant.
            Then, we entertained ourselves on the bus ride of 4-5 hours.  Now, this isn’t much for me.  The four of us shared earphones to listen to music (Imagine Dragons and more) and we danced and sang.  And we slept and had the opportunity to get off the bus to walk a bridge over the Río Sucio (Dirty River) which was so impressive.  It reminded me of Deception Pass in Burlington, WA.  It is really large and powerful (and brown), and it also made me think of God and how big He is, and how beautiful is His Creation.
            Ah, so the last thing I remember about this weekend is that Eyleen prepared a perfect dinner for me that night: beets, brocolli, an egg, potatoes, and rice.

So it has been a lot to absorb: delicious food experiences, beautiful sights of the natural world, beautiful people everywhere, and wonderful fun in just celebrating life and independence and youth and newness.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Here is an excerpt from a email I sent to a friend:


The family I am living with is a young family- two kids- a 10 year old girl and a 5 year old boy, and the youngest has just completely accepted me as a playmate since I got here.  The girl is a little more cautious, but I think we’re growing on each other.  She is sweet.  It is incredible how the family dynamic is.  Eyleen (the mama) with always call for Ayleen (the daughter) to have her help her with something in the kitchen or what not, and Ayleen will always respond, “Señora?” and then “Ya voy”.  And little Christian calls her Señora too.  And sometimes they call them mami and papi.  And Eyleen is serving me so much.  It’s sweet, but kind of weird.  I don’t know exactly how to handle it, but she cooks two meals a day for us, does my laundry, and says “tranquila!” every time I start cleaning... ha.  I want to be a help instead of another child to take care of, because goodness, I’m 20 and she’s only like 29. 

Anyway, it has also been great to hang out with the people from GFU I came down with.  One girl has the best sense for sympathy- she is able to meet people where they are.  She runs, so she’s always cheery, and the only reason I’ve been frustrated with her is for not getting us back to the house very quickly when we were out for a run, and that is only because I tired and didn’t want to run anymore, even though I knew it was good for me... haha.  She ran a marathon this summer.  And Mateo has been hilarious.  He makes us laugh so much.  He is the man among many females here, so he has watched a few girly movies and youtube flashmob marriage proposals and rolled his eyes while we cry and then said, “Ay, mujeres.”  Hah, but it is great.  And we’ve been dancing here!  Us four gringos all like to dance to Waka Waka en español as well as this song called “Vamos a la playa”... ha.  So we’ve had dance parties in almost every place we’ve been.  And the kids of my family love to dance, and they’re good!  They have been playing Just Dance for years it seems.  Ha.  Goodness, but things are going well, obviously- much good news.

And when I think about how I wish some things were a little different, I remember that the people here are wonderful, and that’s the most you could ask for- what else do you need? 

Ha, and daylight?  Well, it gets light at like 5, 5:30 maybe and so I usually wake up early, and then sometimes it will get sunny for a while but it usually clouds over by noon if not earlier, and then it usually rains that tropical rain for hours starting as early as one or two... ha.  But even with this, in staying in one city for a few days, I’m seeing variations in the daily weather patterns, which is cool.  Two days ago it was a chill day, didn’t get hot really, just stayed cloudy and rained pretty much all day.  Yesterday, it was clear and sunny for most of the day, and I think it just sprinkled.  But it gets dark around 6pm, so we’re inside by then because we’re not supposed to be out at night I guess..  But, yeah, it’s cool here.  A difference I think even bigger than the climate is going from rural to Urban.  It is really concrete-filled here.  There are plants on every house front and big trees, and parks in the middle of the city, but it is very much city.  :]

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


¡Saludos!  Espero que todos estén de bien salud de cuerpo, mente, y alma.  Hace casi una semana que he escrito acá, y mucho ha pasado.  Todos estamos acostumbrándonos a vivir acá.  

Pues, el domingo fuimos a La Feria mi mamatica, Raqi, Rebekah, y yo, y esta vez fue diferente.  Rentamos un carrito y lo llenamos con muchísimas frutas y verduras.  Mi mamatica, Eyleen, compró todas sus frutas y verduras para la semana para su familia, y también las que quería su mamá para su familia.  Y compré unas cosas- vainicas, brócoli, chicharro, pimientos dulces, y aguacates- pero todavía fue agobiante.. Estoy contenta tener este rutina ahora, siento más control.  Lo que ha estado difícil es la falta de control.  Este es una de las razones porque me encanta vivir a George Fox: puedo tener control total sobre mi vida... pero yo se que necesito liberar estas cosas a Dios, porque en realidad El ya tiene control.  Quiero someterme a Dios.  

Pues, quizá será más fácil trabajar hacia atrás.  Hoy, fui a clase, y a mi me encantó.  El temblor interrumpió la clase, y salimos para afuera por un tiempo.  Mientras esperando, disfrutamos el calor del sol y platicamos.  Regresamos a clase y discutimos los temblores.  Esto fue la primera vez que he experimentado un temblor.  Pero fue muy interesante hablar con mis amigos japoneses sobre los temblores y desastres naturales.  Pasamos parte de clase en el aire libre, leyendo fábulas en grupos, y después hicimos presentaciones y al fin, debatimos la legalización de drogas.  

Después de clases, decidimos caminar hasta San Pedro, y mientras caminar hacia atrás, la tormenta empezó.  Llovía mucho, como siempre, pero agradecimos de tener las sombrillas para mantenernos secas... pero no.  Aparentemente, no se como usar una sombrilla, porque me mojó mucho.  Pero no me importaba, disfrutaba la lluvia y brincaba en los charcos, bailando.  ¡Y esto!  ¡Un carro nos pasó y me salpicó hasta mi cara!  ¡Que diversión!  Creo que esto fue la primera vez que pasó conmigo.  También, encontramos una tienda de té, se llama TeaLand de Costa Rica, y con humildad, pedimos permisión entrar.  Fue magnífico!  Compré té de sabor rooibos piña colada.  Ay, a mi me encanta Rooibos, porque sabe como té negro, tiene un fuerte sabor, pero no tiene cafeína.  Y tuve que comprar el té de sabor piña colada porque esto es mi sabor favorito. 

También, utilicé un teléfono público hoy por la primera vez.  Fue difícil, pero lo logramos por unos momentos gracias a Raqi y Mateo.  Y mi amiga me llamó en el teléfono público… sentía como en este episodio de Chico Conoce el Mundo, el episodio, “And Then There Was Shawn”, cuando Eric contesta el teléfono público..

Que mas?  Pues, como ya escribí, estamos acostumbrándonos a la vida acá, la ‘pura vida’ como dicen.  Me caen bien los estudiantes que estoy conociendo, estamos explorando poco a poco la ciudad, toda la gente costarricense es muy amable, y siento bien bendecida estar acá.  Todavía siento raro, como no pertenezco acá, pero es la misma de ir a la universidad por la primera vez- con tiempo, ojala, va a sentir más como su hogar.  Y ayuda mucho conocer a otros estudiantes internacionales que probablemente tienen sentimientos similares, o que sienten bien con su situación. 

También, hoy, por la primera vez bailé en mi cuarto, que tiene piso de madera con espacio abajo para que puede brincar fácilmente, y cuando puse mis calcetines, encontré que puede ser muy resbaladizo =P.  Este es bueno para el baile que me gusta hacer. 

Unas cosas más: ayer, jugamos Ultimate Frisbee en el parque que esta cerca a la universidad, y fue terrífico.  Desfortunadamente, ahora me duelen mis pies porque jugué sin zapatos en el concreto caliente…  Pero fue increíble.  Ay!  También, tuvimos la primer clase de baile anoche, y casi no iba a irme, pero mi mamatica me dijo que debo ir, pues fui, y esto también fue magnífico.  Nos divertimos mucho mirar, tratar cualquier baile, y reírse.  Casi todos los estudiantes internacionales se fueron a la clase, y si, fue magnífico.  Ustedes saben como me encanta bailar.  Además, tuve la oportunidad de seguir leyendo mi librito Mi Lado de la Montaña, y este me hace sentir muy bien.  También, oí una canción de James Taylor en una programa en la tele, y me motivó poner la música suave antes de dormirme, pues, me acosté bien contenta anoche.  Tenía mucho paz.  Y ahora, es la hora otra vez de acostarme.  Oh, y en clase hoy, la profesora nos dijo, “¿Qué es, mi amor?”  Que diferente, ¿no?  Pero que linda. =)
Pues, ¡hasta pronto!

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Greetings!  I hope that all are healthy in body, mind, and soul. It has been almost a week since I last wrote here, and much has happened.  We are all getting used to living here. 

Sunday, my mamatica, Raqi, Rebekah and I went to the Farmer’s Market, and this time it was different.  We rented a shopping cart and filled it with tons of fruit and vegetables.  My mamatica, Eyleen, bought all her food for our family for a week plus the food that her mom wanted for her family.  And I bought a few things- green beans, broccoli, peas, bell peppers, and avocadoes- but it was still overwhelming.  I am content to have this routine now- I feel more control.  That is what has been difficult is the lack of control.  That is one of the reasons why I love to live at George Fox: I can have total control over my life... but I know that I need to release these things to God, because in reality He already has control.  I want to submit myself to Him.

Anyway, maybe it will be easier to work backwards.  Today, I went to class and I loved it.  The earthquake interrupted the class, and we went outside for a time.  While we are waiting, we enjoyed the warmth of the sunshine and chatted.  We returned to class and discussed earthquakes.  This was the first time I had experienced an earthquake.  But it was really interesting to talk with my Japonese friends about earthquakes and natural disasters.  We spent part of class outside reading fables in groups, then we gave presentations, and lastly we debated the legalization of drugs.

After class, we decided to walk to San Pedro, and while walking back, the daily storm began.  It rained a lot, as always, but we were appreciative to have our umbrellas to keep us dry... not.  Apparently, I don’t know how to use an umbrella, because I got really wet.  But I didn’t care; I enjoyed the rain and bounced in the puddles, dancing.  And this!  A car passed us with a grand splash, refreshing my face with a generous portion of sweet, clear liquid.  Such fun!  I believe this is the first time that this has happened to me.  Also, we found a tea store called Tea Land of Costa Rica, and with much humility for our wetness, we asked permission to enter.  It was wonderful!  I bought Rooibos Piña Colada tea.  I love Rooibos, because it tastes like black tea- it has a strong flavor- but it doesn’t have caffeine.  And I had to buy the one with piña colada in it, because this is my favorite tropical flavor.

Also, I used a payphone today for the first time.  It was hard, but we were successful for a few moments thanks to Raqi and Mateo.  And my friend  called me on the payphone... I felt like I was in that episode of Boy Meets World – And then there was Shawn- when Eric answers the payphone....

What more?  Well, like a already wrote, we are acculturating ourselves to the life here, the pure life as they say.  I like the students that I’m meeting, we are exploring the city little by little, all the Costa Rican people are very friendly, and I feel very blessed to be here.  I still feel weird, like I don’t belong here, but it is the same as going to college for the first time, right?  With time, God willing, it is going to feel more like one’s home.  And it helps a lot to meet other international students that probably feel similarly, or who feel good with their situation.

Also, today, for the first time I danced in my room, which has a wooden floor with give, and when I put on my socks, I found this wooden floor to be quite slippery.  This is great for the dancing I like to do.

A few more things: yesterday, we played Ultimate Frisbee in the park that is near the university and it was terrific.  Unfortunately, now the bottoms of my feet hurt from running around barefoot on that hot concrete... but it was incredible.  Also, we had the first dance class at the university last night, and I almost didn’t go, but Eyleen told me I should, so I did, and this too was magnificent.  We all had much fun watching, trying this and that dance, and laughing.  Almost all the international students attended this class, and yes, it was wonderful.  You know how I love to dance.  Additionally, I had the opportunity to read some more of My Side of the Mountain, and this always makes me feel well.  And more, I heard a James Taylor song on a TV program which motivated me to put on soft music before sleeping, so, all to say, I went to bed very content last night.  I felt a lot of peace.  And now, it is the hour again to go to bed.  Oh, and in class today, my professor responded to us, “Qué es, mi amor?” (What is it, my love?)  How different, no?  But how sweet. =)

Hasta pronto!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Y vamos a Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!
Hace una semana que lleguemos en San Jose, Costa Rica.  Todo ha sido un poco loco porque somos cuatro extranjeros sin entendimiento de los sistemas de este país.  Pero casi cada experiencia ha sida positiva en una manera porque he aprendido de cada experiencia.  Como, casi faltamos nuestro viaje de avion hasta Costa Rica por no dar buena atencion (y por dejar mi celular y cargadora en el aeropuerto), lleguemos a Costa Rica por la noche- la oscuridad y la lluvia y la confusion de no saber cuando iba a venir un taxi para nosotros, decidimos sacar $50 en colones del banco pero sacamos $200 en colones por accidente, tomamos un taxi hasta una estacion de autobus para salir a la playa pero tuvimos que tomar otro taxi para ir al otro estacion correcta... pero todo ha salido bien.

Disfrutí mucho esta semana con mis amigos de GFU.  Ya experimentamos mucho juntitos, pasamos casi cada momento juntos, los cuatro, y ya he aprendido más sobre cada persona y sobre mi misma.

Este semana pasamos como un día en San Jose y salimos por Quepos que es un pueblo cerca de unas playas bonitas.  Caminamos mucho en estos días.  Nos damos desayuno en el hostel, compramos frijoles de la bolsa, aguacates, espinaca, pepino, pan, y tortillas para hacer almuerzos, Oh!  y bananas!  Por supuesto.  Y siempre cenamos en restaurante.  Nunca he comido tanto frijoles y arroz.  Pero a mi me encanta gallo pinto.  Ay, la comida =]  Siempre me levanta el ánimo.

Pues, anoche nos quedamos todos en la casa que me voy a quedarme en este semestre, y porque no habia 4 camas, Mateo durmió en otro cuarto.  Fue refrescante pasar la noche con solo las chicas.  Se me olvido como es.

Y ahora, todos estan en sus propios casas, yo en la mía, en mi dormitorio hermosisimo, y espero dormir y descansar bien la mente, la alma, y el cuerpo este fin de semana.  A ver que pasa.

Y quiero hacer nota: mi mamatica nos preparó panqueques esta mañana, y me prepararan una cena muy rica esta noche con ensalada sabrosa y toda.  Ay.

Pues, hay mucho que quiero compartir, pero ya me cansé, y no se si puedo escribir más contento bueno.

Traduccion:

Pure Life!

It has been a week since we arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica.  Everything has been a little crazy because we are four foreigners without understanding of the systems of this country.  But almost every experience has been positive in some way because I have learned from every experience.  Like, we almost missed our flight to Costa Rica for not paying attention (and for leaving my cell and charger plugged in in the airport), we arrived in Costa Rica at night- in the darkness, the rain, and the confusion of not knowing when the taxi would come for us, we decided to take out $50 in colones from the bank but we took out $200 in colones on accident, we took a taxi to the bus station to go to the beach but we had to take another taxi to another bus station- the right one... but everything has gone well.


I really enjoyed this week with my friends from GFU.  We have already experienced much together, we have spent almost every moment together, the four of us, and I have already learned more about each person and myself.

This week we spent about a day in San Jose and then left for Quepos which is a beach town.  We walked much these days.  They fed us breakfast in the hostel (always gallo pinto<rice&beans&seasonings> and tropical fruit), we bought beans in a bag, avocadoes, spinach, cucumber, bread, and tortillas to make lunches.  Oh! and bananas!  Of course.  And we always had dinner out.  I have never eaten so many beans and rice.  But I love gallo pinto.  Ay, the food =]  It always lifts me up.

Well, last night we all stayed in my homestay house, and because there weren't 4 beds, Mateo slept in another room.  It was refreshing to spend the night with just the girls.  I had forgotten how that is.



And now, all are in their proper houses, I in mine, in my lovliest bedroom, and I hope to sleep and rest well my mind, soul, and body this weekend.  We'll see how it goes.

And I want to make this note:  my homestay mom prepared pancakes for us this morning, and she and Edgar cooked and served a rich dinner tonight with delicious salad and everything.  And I really do want to help because I feel like she really is serving me so much, and the only person who has done that so much is my mom, so it is hard to accept (much less expect) that from anyone else.  Ay.

So, there is much I want to share, but I'm tired, and I don't know if I can write succinctly and well.