Where is Hansel when you need him?

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Where I stayed
Catalina's House to School

Flag of Costa Rica  , San José,
Monday, August 31, 2009

Today was the first day of school. I felt like a kid again. I woke up to contemplate my outfit; a yellow v-neck t-shirt and, brown pinstriped capris and a pair of flats. It was a totally ridiculous outfit but I wanted to look sort of nonchalant-cool. The school is known for having a lot of Europeans and I wanted to look like Euro-trash. I probably looked like trash sans the Euro but whatever.

Catalina was in the kitchen preparing breakfast as I contemplated what to do. Should I bathe then eat? Should I eat then bathe? I mean it seemed like she was already in preparation and if I bathed would the coffee be cold? I spent 10 good minutes wondering what I should do. I finally decided that bathing first was the way to go.

After getting dressed, I had a traditional Costa Rican breakfast of leftover Pizza Hut pizza, papaya and coffee.  The breakfast of campeones (that's "champions" in Spanish)! Catalina walked me to school. It was like I was 5 years old again. I had my big a** bag containing:

My Camera. I can never be sure when a photo opportunity may present itself. I have to chronicle everything that happens because I want to remember this trip for always

My Blackberry. I have the receivers turned off because T-Mobile will charge you for roaming even if you do not answer…but I use it to blog. It is quick and easy and I can take secret pictures if need be.

Colored pencils. I mean what if a crime occurs and I have to make a quick sketch?

 An umbrella. This is the rainy season and at any moment the weather could go from balmy to rainy

A old lady rain scarf that the hairdresser gave me years ago. I mean even though I am in a foreign country, I can’t just let my hair go back. I have to keep some semblance of dignity about myself.

A coat. Even though I have only been living in Phoenix for a year I think I have adapted. When the weather hits 75 I am searching for a jacket.

Cough Drops. I am still trying to manage that cough so I will be not be accused of having the Swine flu.

A pouch of writing instruments. There is nothing worse than wanting write and not having the proper tools.

My computer

A Spanish/English dictionary

My wallet

A folder

A notebook

As we were walking to school, I had to resist holding Catalina’s hand. I thought that she may think I was nuts. While we were walking she  told me the directions .( So again…just a side note…Catalina does not speak English.) I nodded and tried to keep up (she walks fast to be whatever age she is)

The directions:

Walk up a random street. At the place that may have once been a corner, but there now sits a house with the big bush, sort of turn a little bit. Go up the hill and merge a little. Walk through the nondescript alley and at the other end try not to get hit by a car whose driver has no concept of pedestrians. Walk down that street toward the other street and at the big cactus go up the not so busy street toward the busy street and the school is almost at that corner.


When we got to the corner with the cactus she pointed toward the school and left me to my own devices. I was trying to remember the way but all I kept wishing was that I had dropped bread crumbs along the way.

Nobody at schools peaks English either. I am used to it by now and I guess I appreciate it. My classes are one-to-one. I like my teachers plus they have coffee and cookies at break time. I am confident that I will be semi-fluent when I leave here. I will be an organization’s affirmative action dream…Black, female, Spanish speaker and awesome (insert job title aqui (that’s “here” in Spanish).
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sakeeta on

I love it!
Speak that Spanish gal!

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