Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Spinning in Spanish

Imagine if you will, a room full of stationary bikes. Imagine yourself listening to up-beat music, surrounded by other pro-work-outers, cycling and burning that slice of pizza you had last night. Now imagine a pretty good-looking instructor, directly in front of you, motivating you to keep spinning. And now, if you will, imagine that all of his instructions are in SPANISH! Of course I couldn't have expected anything else, but it was really interesting to try and listen to his instruction over the booming salsa, reggae, and MICHAEL JACKSON!
Jessica and I checked out the local "spinning" class. Yes, they say "spinning" here. We relied mostly on the actions of the people around us to inform us of what we were to be doing at various points in the work-out. I'll tell you this though, spinning class is hard in EVERY language. All-in-all, I thoroughly enjoyed the break from running and have full intentions of making this a wednesday night ritual. Until next time!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

La Cruz!

Check out my mountain hike yesterday

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Let's have funs with NUMEROS! (numbers)...

THREE weeks is exactly how long I've been here!

FIVE HUNDRED SEVENTY EIGHT MILLION, TWO HUNDRED FOURTY ONE THOUSAND, SIX HUNDRED AND EIGHTY (578,241,680) is how many words I feel like I still have to learn!

NINETY FIVE is what I got on my very first test! WOOHOO

ONE is how many inches I've lost around my waist since arriving (read on to find out why)

THIRTEEN POINT THREE (13.3) is how many miles I'm training to run for the half marathon in Nashville on April 26th! The picture is of me and pal Jessica getting ready to go for a jog. We've got our training schedule all mapped out and are just getting started!

Thanks for playing along folks and don't forget...I love comments on my blog!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Tiny Update

So much fun...language school is going very well. I've made some friends and am certainly learning. On Sunday we went to a national 'futbol' (soccer) game here in San Jose. We lost but still had a great time. I have my first test tomorrow in my grammar class and I'm ready for it.

I think my body was doing some adjusting this week because I was a bit "under the weather" (details are not necessary, trust me). But I'm doing great now and have no complaints in that regard. I'm still running quite a bit and enjoy being outside a whole lot!

I've saved the best for last: as of this week I have several new supporters! Who knew that I would get all the way to Central America and THEN my support would take a giant leap forward. I'm VERY excited about the new team members and am so thankful to the Lord for the opportunity to have more prayer and financial support. I'm not sure what that puts me at, I haven't run all the numbers yet nor do I know the exact amounts for everyone, but I know that I'm pushing 90%. Un Milagro! (A miracle) So THANK YOU for being faithful in your prayers on this matter. The Lord is working in His time and I'm perfectly happy with that. More to come...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Day in the Life of an I.L.E student

Here I am, backpack loaded, heading off to another day of SPANISH!!!!!!!!! Vamanos (let's go)!

This sign welcomes the students every day and lets the community know who and what we are. I'll give 10 Colones to whoever can translate this sign. (p.s. 10 Colones is about 2 cents so don't get too excited)

When I enter the back gate, this is my view. At the end of the pathway you can see the Administration building. Classroom buildings are on both sides of the pathway. There is a total of about 140 language students but this doesn't include their children.

This is the view from in front of the Administration building. Looking down, you can see the back gate where I enter every day. The campus includes classroom buildings for language students such as myself, highschool students for the teens of language students, and elementary and kinder for the younger offspring of other missionaries studying at the school.

Sitting in my first class, conversation, with a co-student from Korea. BUT-she has lived in and will go back to Colombia with her husband. I have two classes per day, two hours each. The first is seen here and there are 5 of us in this class. After my lunch hour and chapel we have another two hours in our Grammar class. That class is made up of 9 students. Our group has entered in on a more advanced level and let's just say that I'm being "stretched." But hey, how else could I learn? Nothin a little elbow grease can't fix right?

In between classes, sitting on campus, with my classmate and running partner Jessica. The sun is so bright during the day and it got up to bout 80 degrees. With a breeze it isn't so bad and the humidity is practically unnoticeable.

After classes, I take the 6-minute walk home and enjoy THIS view. Not everybody can say that about their school day huh? Que bonita! (how beautiful)

Once home, this is the pile of books that I sift through. So far, no homework. But we're just reviewing to begin with, the hard stuff will come shortly.

The mountain of new vocab words is only just beginning. SOOOOOOOOOOOO much to learn! What an exciting challenge.

Ok, its getting late and my head is spinning with spanish words! Time for bed ZZZzzz... I wonder if I'll dream in English or Spanish.

On a side note, Jessica and I have found that we are having a harder and harder time speaking in English. Yup! Finding some very common English words has become a challenge sometimes. I guess that means we are becoming less like Gringas and more like Ticas??? Only time will tell. Hasta luego amigos! (until next time, friends)

Friday, January 04, 2008

Viva Costa Rica!!!

Hello hello hello! I have made it safe and sound to my 4-month home here in Costa Rica. My flights in were great and my new friends Mike and Erin were at the curb waiting for me as I exited the airport. Since my arrival on wednesday I have done more than you would think possible. Mike and Erin have taken me around to different places (convenience stores, imitation Wal-Mart, the mall, a local sandwich joint etc.). In addition, I have had two full days of orientation at the institute. I took my placement test, both oral and written, had some courses in culture, and have gotten to know some of the students.
I'm happy that the weekend is here so I can catch up on a little rest and get to know more people. I have some single gals my age that all live within 5 minutes of walking, so that's exciting for me. I have found a running buddy so that is awesome as well.
Other than that, I have been settling into my new home and getting to know my Tico (Costa Rican) family. Cecilia, Rafael, and their daughter Jessica live in a spacious home, love the Lord, and love to do two main things: feed me and help me with my Spanish. They are such warm people and I'm enjoying our meal-time conversations.
I can't write my first Costa Rican entry without mentioning the weather. How does 75 degrees and partly cloudy sound? Oh yes, it is ideal. There's a breeze that doesn't chill you but keeps you cool enough to not notice the beaming sun. Its perfect running and walking weather. There's no rain at all this time of year so I don't have to worry about getting drenched on my walk to school. Well, that's all for now but please enjoy the following pictures and 50 second video clip of my room tour. As they say in Costa Rica...Chao queridas!

To watch my 50-second video click HERE.

The View from my street

More of the view

The garbage by the toilet. This is funny because NO toilet paper can go down the actual toilet. Try remembering that little rule every time nature calls at 2 in the morning when you are practically sleep walking! heehee just a minor adjustment!

The sun room behind my bedroom window as is seen in the video.