Trip Start Feb 23, 2010
Trip End Jun 30, 2010

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Where I stayed
La familia de Carolina Leon Loria

Flag of Costa Rica  , San José,
Tuesday, March 2, 2010

First let me start with the trip back to San Jose from Puerto Viejo...The ride usually takes 4-5 hours but this time it took 8! There was like a 6 foot crater at the end of a bridge that we needed to cross so no vehicles could pass through. We had to wait for another bus to come from the other direction and walk across the bridge to switch buses. There was hardly even a place to walk around this crater. With my 40lb backpack, im surprised i didnt fall in. I dont know how this crater came to be or why no one knew about it in advance but after traveling around Europe i've learned to not ask questions and just go with it. So we finally got a new bus and 8 hrs later i was in San Jose. I've moved in with my new family, Carolina, her husband, i should probably learn his name, Julian who is 2 and Maria Angelica who is 6. Julian is super cute, always talking and running around. Dont know what he is saying but i try to play with him. Maria is always at her granmother's who lives next door so i'v only seen her twice. I always thought the women in latin culture were the classic homemakers but at my house the husband does/helps with everything from, laundry to cooking, kids, etc...which i think is pretty cool. Meals are included with the program so they cook bfast, lunch and dinner for us. I knew ahead of time that the staple meal here is rice and beans, but geez they eat it like every single meal. I've only been here a week and i'm already tired of it. I have 2 roommates, Claire from San Fran, who is actually leaving sunday and Anna from Germany who will be here for 3 months. The vacation is over for now and the real work begins...Today was my first day at school. The school is called Carmelo and its run by nuns for kids from poor families. The kids either pay very little or get scholarships. Since the school is pretty much solely funded ffrom donations it is still not finished being built so there is construction going on daily during class. So with construction on top of screaming kids it is super loud there all day long! There are 2 other girls working there with me. When we met with the supervisor she said there are 2 english teachers and one spanish teacher meaning 2 speak Enghlis and the other doesn't, that we can choose from to work with. My impression was that we will be teaching the English lesson and then assiting the teacher with other subjects. So i chose to work with the Spanish teacher. Why you ask? Because apparently I like to make things as difficult as possible for myself. Well by choosing her, I am not teaching English but helping her teach regular lessons to 2nd graders..in Spanish!!! The other girls are leaving after a month so hopefully I can take over the English lessons after they are gone. For now I will be confusing the kids even more with my Spitalianish. That's Spanish, Italian and English. I think in English but want to speak Italian while having to translate everything into Spanish. My brain is fried right now. I dont even know how Im typing this. Today i had to help the kids with math. I know numbers in Spanish so ud think oh that cant be that bad, well i had to explain 32 minus 16 so all that take one away from 3 add it to 2 to make twelve then subract 3 from 12 and the other three becomes 2...yeah already confused and that was english! I actually did ok bc the kids were doing the problems correctly for the most part, but it was all Spanish all day! Besides that I love the kids. They are super cute and will come up and talk to me..in spanish so I just smile and nod. They say the only way to really learn a language is to totally immerse yourself so I hope "they" are right. Oh and i have to be at school at 7 so i have to catch the bus at 6!! The last time I was awake that early, besides to catch my flight, was when i was coming home from the bars the night before. So its definitley gona take some getting used to. And then after school I have 2 hours of Spanish lessons! Ay caramba!! Well its 5:00 so almost bed time! I seriously take a shower and get into bed right after dinner!  At least this week. Im finally taking pictures so hopeuflly i will have some posted after the weekend. Hasta Luego!
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Uncle Dan on

Hola, bonita Jennifer,
You are getting the experience of a lifetime. And in time you will know spanish, italian, and maybe some English. Do you need us to send you some Beano? Don't they eat a lot of eggs, too? Take care.
Uncle Dan

Angie on

WOW!!! Sounds like you jumped in with both feet and no parachute. You've got the right attitude though and you're smart so I'm sure you'll be speaking Spanish real soon!! Either that or those kids will be speaking Italian! :)
Enjoy and keep us updated. Love ya lots!!!

angie on

Hey! What's the time difference??

Amy Strange on

Jenny, I just cannot tell you how excited and proud I am of you! I admire that you are so laid back and willing to give anything a try. You are such an inspiration! So glad that you are getting to experience everything you want, and happy that you jump in with both feet! Love your postings, they make me laugh. God bless your positive attitude. Keep us posted with more of your adventures!

Lori Morgan on

wow! What an adventure so far and it's just begun for you! It sounds like you are having a terrific time.....lack of sleep, lack of language......certainly not a lack of new things to keep you busy and enrich your life. I really enjoy reading your blogs so keep them coming. Ohhhhhh, to be young and adventurous again! Have a great time and keep us posted. Love ya lots!

Lori Morgan on

hey, why did my comment post twice???

fran nicholson on

Hola! Donda esta usted? thats all I can remember from 2 years of high school Spanish - sounds like you are having the time of your life - be safe

fran nicholson on

oops - forgot to say "I love you"

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