Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday!!

Some how, today was the first day of March. I thought hat not having Spanish class would slow it down, but I feel like it has speed up. I stayed the night at Hope's house last night. Her room got SUPER hot at night, which was not to enjoyable, but PURA VIDA! We woke up, at sandwiches that her mom left in the microwave for us, (yum...), then headed over to my house. I finished the paper that I needed to turn in, then we headed up to school. Rachel Braun led bible study today, and she talked about music in the Bible. It was interesting. After that I went to art class, and we drew a live model. It was good, but to be honest I got a bit bored. 


More class, then home for dinner! 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Domingo

Sunday, I went with Ben to his soccer game. It was supposed to start at 1 o'clock, but at 1:10 nobody was there. Slowly, people started showing up around 1:20. We found out that the 2 big soccer teams in Costa Rica were playing each other, so everyone waited until the game was over. It was funny, there was no explanation for everyone being late, it was just expected that everyone would show up late. the soccer game was fun to watch, it was on a big field this time. At one point, I noticed that there were a lot of people on the field, so I started to count. That is right 28 people, one team had about 3 "goalies". People would just walk up and start playing. I have no idea how they knew who was on who's teams. 

When Ben would get the ball, the funniest thing would happen. He would be running it it, and you would start hearing people yell "Gringo,gringo", to get him to pass the ball to other people. It was great and I really enjoyed watching it.

Next we went to meet this guy to go to church with him. We waited for about 30 minutes, and he never showed up. After, we do what we always do when we have nothing else to do, go to the grocery store! The rest of sunday was pretty relaxing though. Once Hope got home form her field trip, Ben and I went over and we all played cards. I taught them the game 13.... pero, I lost pretty badly. Oh well, at least they learned a new game. 

Come on in boys, the water is fine

I headed up to Hope's house for lunch, and ate nothing other than more rice with her and her house keeper. Rachel and Ben met up with us, we played a little spur of the moment ninja game, then headed for Parque de la Sabana, Savana Park. I did not realize how far it was, but it was pretty much an hour away walking. I did not realize how far it was until we were walking back because my legs were getting so tired. Nobody said anything about getting a taxi, so we kept on walking. The park was nice though. I love just laying in the grass and doing nothing. We just hung out there for a while then headed back home. 

After everyone ate dinner at their houses, we met at the highway to go to Ben and Sean's soccer game. It was supposed to be about 4 of us, but that turned into 8 girls. I guess people were just walking by and decided to stay. It was pretty funny watching all of us walk in together, here come the gringas.  

We always talked about the movie Oh Brother where art thou, and we stumbled across it this morning in the library, so after the game Rachel, Ben, and I went to Hope's to watch it. I have not seen it in so long but it was one of my favorites. I so had to resist the urge not to quote it, because that would be quite annoying, but it is just so good! It definitely made me miss home. That is a frequently quoted movie in my house. 

I am mass communicating boys! 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saturday in San José

So today was the laziest day I have had. I woke up, read a lot which was great, worked on some papers here and there, watched some modern family.... nothing to much. Obviously, this post may be a bit boring. At one point, I decided to go to this restaurant called Spoon, to get this special cake my teacher keeps telling me about. I found one much closer to my house, so I wanted to try to get there. Maybe I read the map wrong.... because I never made it there. I walked for about 20 minutes then decided to turn back. I took another way home, and got home in 5 minutes.... lame. After that, I met up with Ben. We also tried to find it again, but got a bit turned around, so decided to go downtown on the bus to the big Spoon. Of course, it was closed, so we just went to McDonalds and got ice cream cones and hung out downtown,


These 2 little girls came up to us, trying to sell us candy. One of them was quite the saleswoman. She was trying to sell a single sucker for about a dollar. We kept on saying how expensive it was for a dollar, and she procedes to tell us that it is a good deal because we get the bag, the stick, the pretty design... Chica chica. Eventually, we heard a woman call for them, and they ran away. It was pretty cute though. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Escuadron

I took my first real test in my elective class today. It was bad.... we all knew it would be. Our teacher is really great though, he is very kind and I can tell that he loves teaching. He had to go to the states last week to give lectures, and his first stop was in New Orleans. He sent us an e-mail shortly after saying that New Orleans is becoming his favorite city in the US. He said that he loves the people in America, and wished that other Latin Americans and Hugo Chaves knew that (?). He said that we are like a big elephant walking on a glass table and no matter how lightly we walk on it, we will most likely break it. He even brought is candy to snack on during the test. That is one thing I really appreciate about Veritas, all of my teachers are EXCELLENT and I can tell that they just really enjoy teaching! 


Do not worry about the test though, it was 25% of our final grade, and he gave us 15% extra credit for our game the other day and bringing in note books for some underprivileged kids in his organization. We learned that it is actually 15%, so all you had to get on the test was 10 points right and you would get an A!! That is a bit silly, but I will still take it!! 


Tonight, a couple of us met at the highway and walked over to the soccer field. One of Ben's friends form his soccer team invited us to go to a worship service with him. It was called Escuadron and it was a bit like Awanas or something. There were kids from the ages of 10-25 there. We split up into separate groups and had to memorize a little saying. Por la Gracia de Dios, nos mantemos brillando y luchando por Jesus Cristo. Porque Quieremos sirvielos, porque los amamos, hasta que llegamos en su prescencia en el cielo. Something like that, It says By the grace of God, we will keep shining and fighting for Jesus Christ. Because we want to serve others, we love others, until we arrive in his presence in the heavens.


It is a pretty great saying and I did get a check by my name for memorizing it!!!!


We played games for about an hour. The first one was a scavenger hunt, and each team had a runner to bring the objects to the front table. Of course my team picked me. One time the speaker asked for a piercing. My team kept pointing to my nose, but I did not want to take it out. So I just put my head on the table, and we got the point. In CR, the young people ALL have piercing. It was so funny because you just saw people messing with their faces then handing everyone their piercing... probably not to sanitary but quite funny.


One called for the ugliest face. This guy in my group told me to bring him up. He showed me his "ugly" face, caro feo, but it was not that ugly. I heard Joey and Hope yelling at me to do my crazy eye. I embraced my gringaness and showed the guy on my team. He died laughing then proceeded to tell the speaker to watch me, which he did. Not everyone could see it though, so they told me to do it one more time.... There was literally a wall of about 50 Ticos looking at me while I did it, someone even had their recorder out. Oh yes, there was laughter. What a night.


After that, 2 boys sang worships songs with recordings. I can not describe how cool it is to sing worship in another language. I knew a couple of the songs, but the majority I did not. It is going to fast so you do not really have time to translate it to English, so I really feel like I am singing in Spanish because I can understand it. It just gives the words a different meaning. I just felt thankful in that time. Thankful that I had the opportunity to learn Spanish, to come to Costa Rica, to meet all of my friends here, to be at that service, to be singing to Dios en Spanish... EVERYTHING!


After that there was a short lesson. I will not lie, I did not get much out of it. There was a backlight on him, so we could not see his mouth moving, which is pretty vital for me to understand. He also was speaking on a microphone and there was an echo because we were in a gym. Needless to say though, I still got a lot out of the night!!! Gracias a Dios! 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Almorzar

So today we all met after they got out of Spanish class, and we walked to the missionaries' house for lunch. It was nice to get to go eat with them. We started off with that ice breaker game where you tell 2 truths and a lie and everyone has to pick the lie. It was pretty much students against missionaries though, because we all knew a lot about each other and they the same. (I like that about my friend group, we are all so close now!) They did not get mine, sneaky sneaky!


They had REAL tortilla chips, guacamole, and this salsa dip. It may be a bit sad that I am dedicating a paragraph of my writing to chips and salsa but they were just so good. There guacamole was cubed instead of mushed together and filled with good seasonings, cilantro, and salsa. Then the salsa dip was a bit like a layered dip with cream cheese on the bottom, salsa, then cheese. They were eating chile for lunch, so I just had the sides. Since I was not eating the main course, I literally sat down in front of the chips to feast! All of my friends thought that was very funny, but they were just so good!!


I had to leave early and go to art class, so I took a taxi back to school. I could have skipped and it would not have been a problem but I just could not do it. Once again, Dr. Clarke saw me walking the halls in between my classes and wanted to have coffee with me. We sat down and had a great talk. He literally knows all of the past presidents, works with them, writes speeches for them, everything. The current party is called the National Liberation Party, and is pretty much middle leftish, but the current President is a bit more right. We talked a lot about the differences between the parties in CR and USA. I hate how people back home are so worried about their finances and selfish with their money. I know people feel like they are not middle class, but in reality they are so well off. Back home, there is such a strict divide between issues like healthcare and taxes. Obviously, nobody wants to pay taxes, but they are necessary. In the states, you always hear opposition to healthcare along the lines of, "My money will just go to people who do not do anything and live off of welfare." Sure that may be true, but there is such a larger population out there. It is SO refreshing talking to Ticos in Costa Rica. These people are by no means wealthy or well off, but I have not talked to ONE SINGLE PERSON who does not like their socialized healthcare system. They all say while it is true that they have to pay more, they know that it allows people less fortunate to receive attention. It is so much more communal here. I love it!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Martes Martes Martes

Tuesday Tuesday Tuesday

So a big highlight of my day was that Cecillia made WAY to much food for me last night, and I did not even touch most of it. That means I got to use this tuna salad that she made for my lunch. ¡Que Rico!! After lunch, we had a test prep in class. We split into 2 teams then answered his questions. Some of them were a bit ridiculous. My group got one wrong because of one word. The question said agreement and that made the whole thing false. It should have been decleration..... lame. I think that we will all do poorly on the test, but my roommate had him last year and said he grades easy. She got an F on her midterm then got a 98 in the class... however that works. As my roommate Dillion called it, this is "vacation college". I like that word! PURA VIDA!

After class I worked out, then came home. The afternoon was pretty relaxing and I even got some things done. I got my graduation e-mail today from LSU, and I am starting to feel it. I looked a lot into schools and the GRE today. In August they are changing the GRE, and I have read that you should take the GRE 1 year before you would like to start Grad school, so August it is. Bad news: there is math on it. After looking at sample problems and stuff, I have pretty much decided that I will be taking GRE prep classes. There are tons offered in Baton Rouge so I think that will be my summer. I think I will do summer school too. It is good to have a statistics class for Masters in Public Administration admissions, and I have not taken one. I might also take one of my last requirements for school, so that way my last semester I will only have 12 hours! That sounds like a good plan to me!

Tomorrow we are going to eat lunch with the missionaries that we went to church with a couple of weeks ago. That will be nice. Do not get me wrong, I love my weekends away, but I miss going to church. The way things are looking, I will be staying here this weekend, which would be a good time for me to be productive!! Hopefully I can go to church on Sunday too!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Otro vez!!

'Tis Monday again. Mondays are possible my favorite day of the week because of our girls Bible Study. Rachel led today. I liked her topic and feel like it fit her perfectly. We have talked about this a lot, but she is very much a  Type A personality, always wanting to control everything and do everything to her best ability. While this is a great characteristic to have, the whole controlling everything yourself does not fall in line with having faith in Christ. She challenged us to look at our lives and see what we are holding back from God, wether it be trust or other things. That led into another great and obvious answer! How can we expect to trust God when we do not know who he is. How can we expect to trust him if we do not know what His Spirit is all about. I will be the first to admit that there are times when I do not wake up DESIRING to read his word, but it really can not happen without it. Once you get into it though, you just feel closer to Christ. It is so obvious, but so many people either do not see the importance of reading or just do not want to, and I think it is more the second. 


I would also challenge you all reading this to see what you are holding back from God. Maybe we are anxious, angry, scared, or to controlling with certain aspects. A couple of months ago I realized how anxious I was about my future. That is not a bad thing within itself, but I wasted so much time thinking about all of these important decisions that I was going to have to make. In 1 Peter, it says cast all of your anxieties on him, because HE cares for you. PERIOD. After that, I have made a conscious attempt to be less anxious and I feel such a freedom with my future. I finally reached a place where I could say I would do what ever God's will needed of me, and can finally believe it. 


There fore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air, they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet their heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any of you add by worrying a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:25



After bible study, I went to art class and drew some boots. 


Les gusta??

Then my next class got out 30 minutes early which was a nice surprise!! 



Sunday, February 20, 2011

PLAYA HERMOSA

Playa Hermosa

Hola mis amigos!!! And yes, this weekend turned out to be another great one. Rachel, Bethany, Joey, Ben, and I all went to Playa Hermosa this weekend, or Handsome/pretty Beach. This beach was REAL black sand. We kind of went to one in Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean side before, but this whole beach was completely black. At this beach, the sand was not really sand either, it was more like pebbles. Along with its blackness, there was also something else that made it different. OLAS- waves! It is a really big surfing beach and they have held some big surf competitions there too. Really, it was un swimmable. It was fun to watch us go out in shin deep water and get swamped by waves. At one point, us three girls were barely on in the water, shin deep I suppose, laughing and having fun in the waves. The next thing we knew we were all under water and on top of each other. The water was just so powerful. 


Once we got there on Saturday morning, we had to take a taxi from Jacó to Playa Hermosa. We had 5 of us, and the taxi said he would drive us all in one taxi, that usually only holds four, if we would pay the ticket if we got stopped by the police.  He took us to the wrong hotel and we proceeded to walk in the right direction. I had made the reservations and knew where it was, but got a bit discouraged after a while. It was this long dirt road that seemed to be leading us in the wrong direction. Luckily, we asked this teenage boy at a store which way and he kept on driving ahead of us on his motorcycle to make sure we were going in the right direction. Once we finally got to the hotel, it was so nice. An American couple just bought it in December so it was really clean and well kept. The whole weekend was very relaxing. We grilled Sunday lunch at the pool, which included a whole pineapple… YUM. And possible my favorite part of my trip so far was driving home. I love driving through all of the different aprts of Costa Rica. I was a bit bummed that we could no see the stars at the hotel because it was a full moon, but the bus ride made up for it. I spent it listening ot music and looking at a midnight blue sky filled with stars lined by the black mountains. It just never gets old. 

View from our house.... Somehow it just reminded me of Arkansas... the dirt road and heat, minus the mountains 

Part of our hotel

Playa Hermosa

The WaVeS

Bethany and I

Does not get better than sunset on the beach
The dare....

black sand man

oops.... PURA VIDA

Friday, February 18, 2011

Fun Friday

So today for lunch, we went to Cafe Mundo. Rachel's parents and little sister came to visit her this week and wanted to meet all of us. It was really nice to eat with America parents. Even though I do not know them at all, it was nice to have a "family dinner". They even paid for all of us!! I also once again realized what a gift my friends are. I love the dynamic between us all. We would be telling stories, chiming in, and picking on each other, like siblings. Truly, we are all brothers in sisters in Christ, and I truly feel like that with each one of them. 

After that, we went to the children's museum. Joey went on a field trip before and said it was fun, and Hope was DYING to go. It actually turned out to be a fun little trip. There were many laughs at El Museo de los niños.

That night, we had a girls baking night. We made tons of cookies and tried to make fruit pizza. It turned into this bar thing, that turned out to be great though. We crushed up coconut cookies and used it as the crust then filled it will jello stuff and pudding and covered it with strawberries, blackberries, and mangos. It was nice to hang out with the girls, there were about 10 of us in all. I definitely was not expecting that much and was nervous about how Bethany's mom would react to so many, but she loved having us over too! Tomorrow 5 of us are heading out to Playa Hermosa on the Pacific coast which is about a 2 hour bus ride! So excited!! 

I may have went a bit crazy on the pictures....
The Childrens museum, it was once a prison

A marriage of sorts

Kind of myspace picturish- but still cool, i think



Just for you mom!!

Manly men


Esparanza!





Luisiana Rice!!!!

Girls night!!!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

It is already Thursday??

Today was a pretty relaxing day for me! Cecillia was going crazy Spanish mode on me at breakfast.... to much Spanish WAY to early. I studied a bit then went to a meeting about going to Panama next weekend. I do not think that I want to go with the school because they are staying at this bar/club/hostel. It is pretty much a 24/7 party with hammocks to sleep in. Not my thing. I do want to go though. They are going to this place called Bocos del toro and it is astonishingly beautiful. I found some nice small hotels there so maybe I can go in the next couple of weeks. It looks like the movie couples retreat almost, because all of the hotels are built up over the ocean. It is on the Caribbean side so the water is blue blue blue and has some great snorkeling too! We shall see though. You have to take a water taxi to get there, after crossing the border and everything so I do not know how complicated it will be.


To my great surprise, my one class was canceled. I walked to the store with Hope and Joey to buy stuff for snack night tomorrow night. I wanted to make rum cake for everyone but rum was about 25 dollars. Maybe that is normal for rum, but I guess they will just have to stay curious as to what rum cake is like! Do not worry though, I stocked up!!


I got to talk to Tiffany tonight on Skype, which was so great! I definitely feel like I am missing people more. Just hearing her talk about Baton Rouge, our bible study, and everything made me miss home a bit too. I am so looking forward to going to Baton Rouge once I get home to see all of my friends! I miss you ladies!!!

Field trip!

So, when people would ask me what other major would I have liked to have done in school, I naively said architecture. After today, I am 100% certain that I would never cut it. We went on a field trip to this little fountain building to draw it for art class. UGHHH-- it was so detailed and you had to make sure every line was at the exact angle or it would throw everything off. That is called perspective. For some reason, I was actually good it. The teacher would always walk by and seemed impressed that I had the lines at the right angle. He did not have to help me. Maybe that is just the way my mind works, but lucky for it, it will never have to do that for a career.


For my second class, my teacher took all of us out to eat. He bought about 2 drinks for 4 other girls and bought about 7 plates of appetizers for all of us. And of course, he paid for it all, which came out to be around 60 bucks. We all were like, no no we can pay (you know how that goes) but he just said that next time we go out to eat we all have to pay for him. Needless to say, it was a pretty good day at school. At the restaurant we had plantains topped with beans and cheese- YUM!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The blog of selfishness





You read it right... this is the blog of selfishness. El blog de egoísmo. I could not tell you why, but today, I had some SERIOUS cravings for things back home. I feel that I should not hide anything from you people, so here we go...... This is a good hint for a return home gift too!   :)




PICKLES- ENCORTIDO
I have had pickles one time sense I have been here and it was on a mahi mahi sandwich. I did not realize how much I missed them until that night. When I brought it up, I think everyone else felt the same way. Pickles are not that type of food that are usually people's favorites or anything, but they just make everything else better. I just long for that crunch...



CHIPS AND SALSA- PATATAS FRITAS Y SALSA
Ok, everyone knows how I love chips, but seriously... I WANT them. Once again I long for that crunch and also some zesty salsa. Maybe even the great value salsa with peach in it. Or maybe, even homemade salsa! **Side note, I could always take some guacamole with that too. 



ZAPPS- ZAPPS
So maybe this is a repeat of the previous but I beg to differ. I talked about them once with someone else from the south, but no other of my friends had tried them before. Tonight for dinner, I smelt the exact same smell of Zapps from my window. It surely was not from my house, but I wish that it was. I've got it bad people....




KITCHEN- LA COCINA
This is not my kitchen, although I would not be opposed to it being mine. I just SOOO miss being able to cook. The only thing I have really made to eat since I have been here are sandwiches for lunch and one day I made French Toast peanut butter banana sandwiches for my friends. I do not even have an oven in my house for the good stuff. We are supposed to be having a cooking night this Friday at one of my friends house...oh yes, cookies and milk. I wanted to make them rum cake, but we will see how much all of that costs. 




CEREAL- EL CEREAL
While it is true that I eat a bowl of cereal every morning for breakfast, I do not consider it the same. For some reason, the only cereal we get is a mix of off brand fruit loops and corn flakes (not frosted :(     ) I miss the cereal isle and those awesome bags of cheap cereal. Ours is a bit old sometimes, so I think I just want that good crunchy cereal. The kind where you can not hear people talking to you because it is so crunchy. I bet Great Value is taking some losses without me in the country :)



PILLOWS- ALMOHADA
This one may seem a bit strange, but it is true. I know mom knows, but I have a precociously designed bed when it comes to sleeping. (Now this is going to sound spoiled) I sleep with the perfect pillow under my head, then two on each side of me. That way, if I decide to change directions, there will always be one in front of me to go between my knees. I also sleep with a smaller one up by my head that I wrap my hands around. The pillows that I have here are like tissue paper. I had to steal an extra one from the empty bedroom to use. I also folded up my extra blanket and put it under those two, to come to a grand total of 2 pillows and a blanket under my head. This obviously leaves none for my knees. ¡Que Triste! Soon, one of my roommate's friends is coming to stay with here for 2 weeks. You know what that means.... one of my pillows have to go back to the other room. 





CHEESE-QUESO
If you can not tell, this is pepper jack cheese. How I miss it. The cheese here is NASTY. There is this one brand that we call squeaky cheese. It looks like Tofu. When you chew it, you can literally hear it squeaking against your teeth... other people can hear it too. The other options is this weird velvetta cheese. Don't get me wrong, velvetta is weird, but I am usually all for it back home. I am not for this stuff though. Our mom puts it out in the mornings for our toast????? LEt me teach you all a very important phrase in Spanish   "No Gracias"





GUITAR- LA GUITARRA
La guitarra, it just sounds better in Spanish. I have so much free time here that would be perfect for playing. The other day, I asked Hope's dad if I could play his, so I just sat outside for about 30 minutes and played. His guitar probably cost around $50. It also had black plastic strings, snazzy! We had a little sing a long session too. I guess they heard me and asked me to play at their anniversary party last night. I felt bad that I did not know any in Spanish though. And after my song, they paid me with cake (no problem here!)  That inspired me to come home and look up chords to some songs that I learned in high school Spanish. They are so beautiful in Spanish. Spanish is just better to describe things. So now I have the chords and lyrics.... just need the guitar!  Just read these lyrics.... ¡Que Bonita! 

Quisiera ser solecito
para entrar por tu ventana
y darte los "Buenos Días"
acostadita en tu cama,
Quisiera ser un San Juan,
quisiera ser un San Pedro
para venirte a cantar
con la música del cielo



I would like to be a little sunlight
to go in through your window
and tell you “Good Morning”
while you’re lying in your bed.
I would like to be Saint John,
I would like to be Saint Peter,
In order to come sing to you
with music from heaven.




POPCORN- PALOMITAS
Ok, so I can buy it here, but it is really expensive, at least for popcorn. They have this one brand though, that is just called sweet, that is SOOO GREAT! It is like kettle corn, but sweeter. I think more than popcorn, I miss eating it with my old roomies!!! I think I made them addicted to it, because I would always eat it for a snack and share! When I return, we shall eat popcorn and get many thirstbusters ladies!! 

Thank you for letting me vent family. I just noticed how much of a texture person I am, I want some CRUNCH back in my life. That also applies to the crunch of peeling a crawfish!!!!!! So for today, I only had one class and we went on a field trip to the Foreign Affairs department. To be honest, it was pretty boring, but the building was pretty. He was not a very good speaker and I think we all knew what he was telling us already. I went to work out and am about to go to salsa class at school. It was a pretty relaxing day today. OOO but I did have a new food! For  lunch a got a melon smoothie, which turned out to be a Cantaloupe smoothie---- WOW!!!!! That is all I am going to say! 
Hasta mañana!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

El día de los amantes


Happy Valentines day mi gente!! Or should I say Feliz día de los amantes (Happy day of the lovers). If you are reading this, I am pretty sure that I can say I love you!! Today was so great.... but we all know how it could have been better :)  . I had a relaxing morning, then went to bible study. Bethany decided to make it about love a bit, so we talked about what earthly relationships should consist of. We said things like support, fun, prayer, encouragement, understanding, forgiveness, and then we related it to how God loves us. It was great, because we all just started quoting scriptures that reminded us of the aspect we were talking about. It also showed how great God's love is for us and how earthly love simply can not compare. 

My art class was canceled, so I got to go eat lunch with Bethany. It was great to talk to her more. It was SOOOOO chilly today, to I went a bought a Veritas sweatshirt (pictured below). I had been thinking about it for  along time, but today solidified my purchase. It is so soft and comfy!! Gotta Respect my school!

I hung our with BEthany for a while, then went over to Hope's and hung out with her until my class at 5. I came home, ate dinner, and me and 3 other girls are going to El Observatorio soon. The Observatory is kind of like a music venue, club, dance, restaurant place. On Monday nights they have a salsa band come and reallllllyyyyyy good dancers go. We are all very excited to go watch! I love how everyone knows how to dance here and it is such a huge part of their culture. Off we go!!!!



Sweet Little Kelsey

Maybe a bit over board...

Intermedio- Half way!

Today, I am officially half way there. I have spent more days here than I have left to spend. It is pretty strange, I can not decide if it feels right. It seems like my days feel long, but my weeks go by so quickly. I am still very happy here and could not have dreamed for a better experience, but I do feel like in 6 more weeks I will be contently happy to return home. Not that I will necessarily want to leave here and also not that I feel such a strong desire to stay longer. Who knows, it is still 6 weeks away?

Today was a fun day! It was weird to stay in San José for the whole weekend. Joey, Ben, and I met at Ben's, and his Tico drove us to some missionaries house (These are the missionaries that we met in Manuel Antonio last weekend, and they live super close to us). It was strange to be in a car. I have only ridden in a taxi I think 4 times since I have been here. I really liked riding ins someone's car though. When I stepped in, I knew that it was a bit familiar though. It smelt just like Myra's car! Made me miss me Me-My!!! 

Once we got to their house, we chatted for a bit, then met some other families at a local bus stop. We took 2 buses, probably rode for about 20 minutes, to a small church. I am not even sure if it was technically a part of San José. I learned this in my Latin america geography class last semester, but the way Latin American cities are laid out are different from ours. There is usually a central plaza, with a church, and a central center. Instead of the suburbs being nice, like they are back home, the wealthy usually live closer in, and the periphery is reserved for the poor. Another interesting fact, you can see that set up in New Orleans. I am not sure about the poor living areas, but you can see the plaza, with Jackson Square and St. Theodor's Cathedral. The way it is laid out is so similar because of the Spanish influence there! Que interesante!! That was more like the area that we were in today. It was a cinderblock building, with 3 walls, a fence above the walls, that held up a tin roof. The place where the 4th wall should have been was completely open and looked out to the green hills of Costa Rica, GORGEOUS! The missionaries kept on saying how different it was from their churches and how it took them a while to adjust, but I never felt like that. Maybe I was just excited because I was at a Spanish church, but I felt very comfortable there. We sang hymns throughout, but I only recognized one, Great is thy faithfulness or Grande es tu Fidelidad. It was pretty easy to translate the songs with the hymnal though, I am glad we had one. It definitely got confusing though. We were standing and the pastor wanted everyone to read a verse together. He said the reference but I could not understand it. Joey and Ben were on either side of me with bilingual bibles, so I was going to read with one of them....only I could not. Joey was in Ephesians and Ben was in 1 Corinthians and the pastor was reading in Galations. ¡Que Torta!! (Costa Rica slang for something like aww bummer) Pretty close though!!

I understood a lot of the individual sentences that the pastor was saying, but they did not make to much sense putting them together. All in all though, I feel like it went pretty well. We were in Galations 5 and he talked a lot about not being able to do anything without the Spirit of God. "Porque en Cristo Jesús ni la circuncisión ni la incircuncisióntiene valor. Lo único que cuenta es la fe que se expresa a través del amor---For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

After church, we all took 2 more buses back to the mall for lunch. I had a burrito and GUACAMOLE!!! I do not know where this originated form, but here the put cucumbers in the guacamole and it is SOOOO good. I think there were cucumbers/pepinos in the burrito too! 


I feel like this picture is appropriate for today. It is right out of my bedroom window and I see it everymornign when I wake up. I am pretty sure that you can figure it out, but it says Good morning Holy Spirit. I guess it is just painted on the backside of someone's house! Kinda Neat! ¡Que Dicha! (how great!!)






Sunday, February 13, 2011

First weekend in San José

 So, we decided to stay here for this weekend. Everyone else was gone either with visiting parents or field trips, so it was just 3 of us. Saturday, we went to a Mediterranean Restaurant. It was a tad expensive but really good. I usually do not like mushrooms, but for a plate with stuffed mushrooms, that were AWESOME! After this, we went to the Central Market, walked around there for a bit then went home. I went to the PArk of PEace and hung out there by myself for a while too. Later, I got a message asking if I wanted to go to the movies, so we went to go see True Grit. I thought it was really great!! I loved the characters and it is definitely a quotable movie. This post is pretty short, but nothing extraordinary happened today. I am really looking forward to tomorrow though. we met some missionaries last weekend at the beach who live very close to us, and we are going to church with them tomorrow... should be interesting!

Recovering from my lack of words, here are some pictures from today!

Walking to market and downtown

The Artisan Market

Costa Rican Congress Building

National Theater


On our way home from downtown

This the National Museum. At one time, this housed the army, but once it was abolished they changed it into a school. Now it is a museum. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Circus

So today after lunch, Joey had been dying to go to a veggie house for lunch. Joey, Ben, Hope, Bethany, and I went, and a couple of them kept joking about going. Our other friend Brennan said that he did not want to come because he wanted meat. Much to their surprise, it was very good. Ben got a veggie lasagna and admitted that it was the best lasagna that he had had! I got a garbanzo bean burger, which turned out to pretty much be a falafel burger, YUM!

Eating at Veggie House


Ben went to get a haircut, so the rest of us hung out in the mall for a bit. I went back to the piercing place and got a new one... sterilized and all (proud mom?) After that, we headed down town because we heard that there was going to be a circus or something. It turned out to be "clowns" and it was so strange. It was interesting how you could see the culture differences between our clowns and Tico clowns. The show was sooooooo slow, it would take them like 10 minutes to get on his unicycle... really.

Ticos watching the fun!
The little circus downtown, in front of the National Theatre 
We all walked home, ate dinner at our houses, then I met Joey and Hope at the highway and we walked to Ben's soccer game. I was pretty excited about it, because I have never really watched a real soccer game. Granted this was 5 on 5, and in a fenced shed thing, but I enjoyed it so much. I asked so many questions the whole time. I was not expecting to like it so much, but I really did. I think my favorite thing to watch if the bicycle tick (chileras)!  After the game, we headed over to Hope's house, and watch V for Vendetta. We rented it earlier from the school library and I really liked it. Ben said he thought it would be up my ally, and it really was. Maybe a to much fighting for me, but I thought the story line was great.

Off to bed now. No beach tomorrow though, Hope is on a field trip and Rachel is with her parents at Monte Verde, they landed today around 4. This is my first weekend in San José, time to explore!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fútbol!!!

Que un día!!! This morning, Rachel and I went to the artists market downtown. We headed back to school and had our usual picnic in the park. My class was canceled today, so Hope, Joey, and I were the only 3 in the park after lunch. There were three boys playing on the court. They kept on accidentally kicking their balls over, and we would throw them back, but eventually they asked us to play with them. Yes, you read it right, I played fútbol (soccer)..... Andres and his brother Kevin, and their friend Pablo (el jefe/the boss) against us three. It was fun to talk to them and try to understand what they were saying to each other. Some how I scored 2 goals :) but totally by luck because I am noooooo good. At one point, we jsut let them score to watch them celebrate. They would put their shirts over their heads, slap their bellies, and yell GGGOOOOAAALLLLLL!! Kevin would act like the announcer too.I am not sure why we were doing this, I think it was some kind of tie breaker, but one person would kick and one person would guard. Joey went to guard but they insisted that I go guard the net. We asked why and they said, Tu eres bien, ella está malo. (Joey) you are good, she is bad. I have come to terms with me skills though.

After futbol, we played basketball, another sport that I have no skill in. The only advantage was that we were taller. We were quite confused with their teams though. Instead of playing 2 teams of three, we had three teams of 2..... very interesting. The guy I was on the team with, Andres, seemed like the sensitive one. He would not get in the game much, and told me that he would be happy with second place. I would look back and he would be in the corner dancing by himself. He was doing disco, the moon walk, and all other kinds of crazy dances. After basketball, they wanted to play kickball. Luckily, Ben and Rachel were leaving school at that time, so they came and joined us. It was so much fun!! Ben and Joey were good with the boys too, and it was fun to watch them interact with them. I could tell that the ticitos really liked them.

I started calling Andres el hombre de paz, the man of peace, because the other two boys were always fighting. HE was my favorite. When I introduced my self to him, and said Kelsey, he said something like Aye Kelsey is so pretty, one of my favorite names. He would hit is chest put out a peace sign and say amor y paz, peace and love. Little hippy. Once the other boys started rough housing, Andre came to draw with chalk. Hope traced him then he traced me. I wrote his little nickname next to his, and he wrote Kelsey La mujer de sonrisas. The lady of smiles. He said I was always smiling. I do not know why, but I had a great time today playing with them. As most of you know, I am not necessarily a kid person, but I think the fact that they spoke Spanish made them cooler to me. Sad to say, but I think it is the truth.

I just made it home and am waiting for dinner. We are going to dance class tonight then out to a salsa club called Castro's. I am excited to go watch everyone dance there!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

El día de postres

I just read one of my new friend's Ben Gau blog, he is form Ohio. I realized that he has so many pictures on his, and I have sadly been slacking on pictures. That will all change though! I just assume that you will look on facebook, but I could give you all a inside scoop here!

After work out, we all went back to the Chinese Restaurant May-ben (I think that is a play on the words muy bien). For art class, we drew portraits of people in the class. We drew names from a bowl and I think I may of lucked out a bit. She happens to have a VERy SIMILAR face shape to me, long and a pointy chin! I was nervous at first, but I REALLY enjoyed it. It was a bit awkward at , looking into each others eyes to get the right eye shape and stuff, but I think the uncomfortableness made it better.


This was the girl that I drew in class




Can anyone guess who he is? He is a famous athlete!


My really cool/knows everyone/chatty/story filled teacher Milton Clarke saw me in the hall with 1 hour left until our class. He told me to go have tea with him, which turned into Chocolate cake, a pastry, and tea, for the both of us. We talked for about an hour, and since he talked so much, he had no time to eat his pastry...which got passed on to me...... bad kelsey. I talked to him about the UN Grad school in Costa Rica, the University of Peace. I asked him because he has worked for the UN, and knowing him he probably knows everything about it. I was right. He knows the president, the old president, and the whole history. Supposedly there was this big debacle with an old president. He started the school pretty much to get a Nobel Peace Prize. For some reason, the government did not have enough money to fix it up, so they legally signed the place over to this other man, just to get him started, but the government was supposed to still be the real owner. Come to find out, he sold it under the table for 20 million dollars, and is in hiding in China till this day! Because of that, the school does not have that great of a reputation Internationally, but is improving. He said that if I went there, people would be impressed that you cared about peace and learning about it, but not that you went to that school. I bet mom and dad are breathing a sigh of relief right now.... :)

After dinner, we all met up at school then walked to the mall for the movie 127 hours. I think I enjoyed it the most out of everyone but it was sOOOOOOO great!!! Since pretty much the whole movie took place in one spot, I thought they did a great job making it interesting.

That guy I was talking about earlier, Ben from Ohio, wrote about a church they went to last night. It is called the surfers church, or Pura Vida church. He went last night and said it was great. Missionaries from the states started it and I think it is a part time surf shop on top of the church. They take weekend surf trips with the group, and share the gospel with people that they meet there. It sounded so great and I really want to try to go next week!

That is all for today folks!