Monthly Archives: May 2012

Fish heads for sale! Plus, Crazy Week Countdown to Summer Break!

So, in my previous post, I showcased crazy sock day. That day happened to be a spur of the moment idea, so it was a Tuesday. That Friday, I decided to make it crazy hair day. I told my students to tell the other students because in our tiny school, word tends to travel fast. Below are the photos from Crazy Hair Day…. and there are some good ones!

The whole class

RoYing, bottom middle, had her hair teased up all crazy! It was so cool. I found out later that the high school kids were all mad/sad because they didn’t know about crazy hair day, and they wanted to participate. lol.

Can you guess what his name is?? This was definitely the most unique crazy hair I’ve seen. Then again, when a boy has hair this long, and probably doesn’t want to use pony-tails because “those are for girls,” then there aren’t a whole lot of choices.

Another really cool hair idea (above)!

Sweet Susi!

I think Isabella got Crazy Hat Day and Crazy Hair Day confused…..either way, glad she’s crazy!

So, Giovanna actually brought this to school the Monday  after Crazy Hair Day, but I thought it was awesome enough to post anyway. 🙂

Also, on a side note, there is a rainbow-colored paper chain in the background of this pic is the one we made to count down the days until school is out! I have a picture of them all laid out flat (before we linked them together) in my previous post.

Second side note: all of these pictures were taken with natural lighting from the windows in the Fourth Grade room! It’s so bright in there, I only need to turn our lights on when it’s cloudy/rainy/stormy.

Ok, ok, ok, enough with the crazy hair. That was two Friday’s ago anyway! On to this past Friday, which was Rainbow Day!!

The kids were instructed to wear as many bright colors as possible. I think they succeeded! This time, I remembered to tell the rest of the school, too! So hopefully no one felt left out this time.

Coming next Friday….Crazy Hat Day!

My weekend was so awesome, I had to add a little something in here about it.

Peter usually spends most of the weekend playing, so Friday night I went with my co-worker and friend, Megan, into San Jose after school. It’s such a crazy, eclectic, packed place. We were headed to the street market to look for a few gifts for our Texan families. I got a bracelet for my 11 year old God daughter, and a little something for Peter as well. It was a brown leather bracelet. He never really wears any jewelry or things like that, but I thought it would look good on him, so I got it! He seems to like it so far. Although, he could just be a good liar. Either way, he loves me! lol. After that, we went to this Ropa Americana place that advertises selling American Clothes. Turns out it is American clothes, but picture American Thrift store. Thrift stores are definitely not something I am opposed to, but it was just very interesting. I found myself wondering how they got here to this little store in the tiny country of Costa Rica. I ended up finding a super cute fitted hoodie for $6! It’s the first clothing item I’ve bought for my self since I’ve been here. Which means I hadn’t been clothes shopping in at least 5 months! After buying the hoodie, we made our way to the bus stop to head back out to Santa Ana. Along the way I was craving ice cream, so I stopped at Micky D’s for a soft-serve vanilla cone! It was heaven! And also the first fast food I’ve eaten in CR.

Saturday, Peter hung out with me for a bit. I wanted to get out of the house, and there is this HUGE Wal-Mart off the high way in Escazu (next town over), so we decided to take the bus there and just poke around.

This was our view after we got off the bus near Wal-Mart. It was so pretty, I had to take a pic! You can also see in this pic that it’s the beginning of the rainy season…lol.

Once in Wal-Mart, we had a few free samples (YaY!) then went over to look at the meat, when we saw this:

I mean, I could be mistaken, but last time I was in a Wal-Mart in the U.S., I don’t think they sold fish heads! However, that is packaged ceviche to the right of the fish heads and that is something I would be more interested in seeing in the U.S. After this we went home and made it right before it started to pour! Good timing for us!

Now for Sunday funday! And a Fun Day it was! Megan and Jorge picked me up around 9:30 to head toward Ciudad Colon to look at an apt they may be moving in to. The guy who owned the building was from California (I swear, every American who lives here is from Cali). I suppose so many Californians move here though because it’s the same weather and environment, but a different language and cheaper! The apartment (more studio-like) that he was renting out was only $325/month and had an amazing view! Next, we headed for a country club in Belen! This place was so nice!! Golf course, tennis courts, small water park area for kids, Olympic size swimming pool for adults, and saunas! Megan and I worked out, swam, sun-bathed (while wearing SPF 50-70, no skin cancer here!), sat in the sauna, then showered. It was so relaxing! After that we went to this cool little restaurant called Pollo Asado. Below is a picture of Megan and I on the swings!

We ordered a pitcher of beer for $6, which Jorge kindly poured up (below)

And split this HUUUGE plate below between the three of us, and we were all stuffed by the end.

In the middle: black bean dip and pico de gallo.

Starting with the yellow things at the bottom right and going clockwise: Fried yucca, Mexicana chicken fajita meat, plantains, fried chicken wings, tortilla chips, and chicharrones (fried pork). It was all SOOOO freakin’ good! I was so ready for a nap by the end of today. It was bright and sunny. No clouds, no rain. Couldn’t have asked for a better Sunday over all.

Peter’s brother, Joshua, is coming for a visit in the next few days. We are getting ready for him, more family visiting after that, and a trip to the U.S. after that. We are also looking into possibly moving! We love this place, but it’s too expensive. If the owner will drop the rent some, we may stay. We’ll just see though.

Thank you for your interest in our travels and adventures. We hope you will tune in again next week when Josh is here and for Crazy hat day!

Pura Vida!

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~CrAzY wEeK~

This post is titled Crazy Week for two reasons. One: we had “crazy sock day” today for my class. Second: because some crazy stuff happened this week! I have a few pictures I took yesterday and today, and then I’ll just have to tell you about the other craziness.

First, I taught Second Grade yesterday for maybe the third time this whole semester.  They are crazier than my fourth graders, and I don’t have a clue what they are working on EVER! Lucky me, it was Eduardo’s birthday, so his parents and abuela came in to class not long after it started and gave everyone chocolate cake with strawberries, an edible cookie tube thingy covered in chocolate, orange soda, a puffy-looking hard thing that was basically just sugar, and a goody bag filled with toys and candy! Whew. Can anyone say ‘sugar rush’!?

Here’s a photo of the second graders playing with their new toys. Eduardo (birthday boy) is the one on the far right with the bright blue glasses!

The next pics are ones of the puffy-looking sugar things. They are hard and light, and melt in your mouth like cotton candy.

So, that was all yesterday. Today, I declared it “crazy sock day” for my Fourth Grade class. Here is a photo of all their crazy socks! One of them even drew a face onto their normal socks! I don’t think their parents are going to like that. Although, I’m sure that’s not the worst thing they’ve seen him come home with..

Wow, and I actually JUST noticed this very instant that another student drew a face on her socks too! Oops! Lo siento, padres :0)

Next, I just decided to take a class photo today. I want to be in one of these, but the other teachers are all in class teaching, and when we have breaks the kids flee to all corners of the school and playground as quickly as possible. I promise I will get one up soon though. Before school is out!

Top row, left to right: Susana, Giovanna, Sebastian, Jimena, Isabella

Bottom row, left to right: Greg, Pui Yan, Ro Ying, Oria

These are all of my fourth graders!

Why is it that boys think they don’t have to smile? I swear, the one at the top center is the class clown every other moment of the day, but put a camera in front of him and he’s Serious Stanley!

The other fun thing we did today was make a paper chain to count down to the last day of school (June 15)!

Below are our strips before we made them into a chain. All the colors look so pretty!

That is all of my pictures I have. I did take some of kindergarten (because they are so cute!), but I’m going to post those another time. Maybe this weekend.

The last crazy thing that actually happened was on the way home on Friday. My friend here, Megan, just bought a car with her boyfriend and he lets her have it during the day to take to school. I live near her, so she gives me a ride to and from school if our schedule works out. This other teacher at our school, Jeff, also lives near us, so he got a ride home Friday too. On the way home we pass through this part of town that is a little “rough”, called Pozos. There is this French school there (well, we think it is a French school, because it says it is on the front, but it is written in Spanish, and all the kids look like they are from CR..) and it must have just let out not long before we were passing through. As we are waiting in school traffic, Jeff and I both notice at the same time these two boys taking swings at each other in a corner just outside the gates of the school! The two boys had to be in maybe 5th grade, about eleven years old (so hard to tell how old boys are since they mature later! lol) Megan pulls over and Jeff, whose super tall and has no hair, jumps out to go break it up. He said that one kid had a bloody nose and his sister immediately smacked him on the side of the head once the fight had broken up! She was lecturing him the whole way home after that too, I bet.

Oh, one funny story form last week, is having fun with English as a second language. I have this one student who always seems to stay in the bathroom a little bit too long after we have a break or in between classes. All of my students had come in from recess except for one of my two boys in the class. I ask the student’s “Where is Sebastian?” and they tell me that they think he is in the bathroom. So, thinking that I am just about to totally catch him goofing off in there, I head down the hallway toward the bathroom. There are no doors to the bathrooms, so I stand outside the doorway and holler in for him. He responds, and I tell him to hurry up. He then replies with: “I am number two!”   I was laughing so hard to myself for so many reasons. I just said ok, and walked back to class. So there it is. Don’t ask unless you are prepared for the answer!

Anyway, random fun times this week. I have a feeling that the closer to the end of the school year, the more “fun” will be had by all!

Stay tuned over the next few days for more school-time updates!

Thanks for reading!

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What a “day off” means for us…exploring!

This past week was great. We had class Monday, and then we had Tuesday off because it was Labor Day here in CR. THEN, we had a short day on Friday because every first Friday of the month is a teachers meeting, and Ms. Kim let’s the kids go at around 1:30. She even let some of the kids swim in the pool on Thursday and Friday! They had a blast, but a few of them had blue lips…I think it may have been cold.

Since we had Tuesday off, I took the opportunity to ride into Santa Ana Centro and take a few pics of the town and the beautiful, old church that makes up the center of the city. I was even so lucky to have Peter take the day off and walk around with me!

We left the house around 11:30 and headed to eat lunch at this hole-in-the-wall place called Cevichera Israel. My friend, Megan, recommended it the weekend before and I had actually tried it already. When I tried it the first time I brought some of my ceviche back for Peter to try, and he thought it was great! So, here we were on our first stop of the day, Cevichera Israel.

The white sign in front (held down by a rock) says that you can get a Sea Bass plate and a fruit drink for $5!!! That’s what Peter ended up getting, and boy, was he in heaven. I had a bite and I have to agree, it was awesome! I think we have an official local place we like to eat! And, it is literally a hole in the wall! There are only three more seats that look like those you see once you go in. Tiny but delicious! Megan told me that the guy that owns it sold ceviche out of the back of his truck before getting this place! lol. This country must really be the land of opportunity.

After lunch, we headed toward the church, just a couple of blocks away. These are our pics from along the way!

I always think of a woman sumo wrestler holding a baby when I see this statue. It’s kinda weird to have these up. I wonder why they chose this statue?

Next stop, the church! We actually ran into another teacher who works at the school with me right before getting to the church. Small world!

The picture above was looking inside the church. I really wanted to get the floors. They were so beautiful.

Peter led the way around the left side of the church. His shirt matched the flowers! Had to get a pic 🙂

There is a man in the pic above that rode his bike into the church! I tried to catch him while he was in the doorway, but I was too slow..

I love this next photo. I liked that you can see a pair of hands that look as though they are making some sort of sacrifice, although they are behind bars with a lock, and the bars are shaped like hearts. What do you think when you see this pic?

We finished at the church, next stop, Mas x Menos! (it’s actually Wal-Mart. Guess they gave it a spanish name so that the locals would feel more comfortable) We took more pics while we walked. The pic below is just one of the main streets in Santa Ana Centro.

This little kitty was there to welcome you into the shoe store!

We also passed by the local fire station on the way!

With a mural out front:

Last stop, Mas x Menos. I should have taken a pic of this place. Maybe I will next time I go. Peter made me take a picture of the cheese because they put the security tags (like they have on clothes at stores like A&F) on the cheese! You know cheese is too expensive when they have to put security tags like these on EVERY BAG!

That was the end of our walk. We caught a bus back home after that and happened to just miss the afternoon rain! Go us!

Thank you for taking the mini-tour. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to go out and walk around again soon. There are these beautiful bushes that blossom bright purple flowers. Must get photos of those before they are gone!

Also, from now on I want to get better at taking candid pictures of people around town, but I get so nervous. I don’t want them to get mad at me if they see I’m taking their picture. We also have a pretty nice camera that I would love to not have stolen, so I am always weary of where I take it out, and who’s around when I do. I felt better with Peter, though. Most guys don’t bother me to much when he’s around.  🙂 Any advice is welcome on that subject, though.

Any advice on how to make my blog better is also always welcome! Is there something in particular you’d like me to write about or comment on? Let me know and I’ll see what I can do!

Thank you for reading, and have a happy Sunday!

-Whit

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