Wednesday, December 1, 2010

6 Months [in site]!

So we realize that a couple of months ago we posted a blog called 6 Months...Really?!, but that was just time spent in country.  We have now officially been in our site for 6 months, meaning 1/4 of our time here is done.  We have had days that seemed like they would never end, we have even had weeks that were drenched in the same feelings.  However, we have also had days and weeks that have flown by, and looking back on things, we occasionally wonder where whole months have gone.  So, to give you all a glimpse at all that has passed since that last 6 Months blog, here is another peek into our journal and photo album.

September 4
We discovered our current dream for when we return to the states.  Western New Mexico University.

September 6
There were discs and boomerangs flying all over the place.  It was a safety hazard - it was wonderfully entertaining!

September 9
I don't get it, we were there, we looked through the drawings and essays in the hour + that we waited.  Did no one see us or remember talking to us?

The bands here are amazing.  We're working with some pretty special youth.  We're luckier than some.

September 12
Fail.  Or success.  It all depends on your point of view.

I got going a little too fast downhill, hit a rut/hole and took a tumble over the handlebars.

September 14
Then the kids promptly began setting their creations on fire.  Several small bonfires ensued with multiple faroles being set to burn together, kids started jumping over the fires, the crowd grew and so we decided it was time to go.

September 15
We were up at 3 and started hearing Mike's firecrackers shortly thereafter.

What a great community we live in!

Oh, Independence Day, you have left us exhausted!

September 16
It was hot and sunny, then cloudy and thundering, then hot with sprinkles, then windy, then hot and sunny, a quick burst of hard rain and never failing, hot and sunny.

September 17
He asked us if we would like to teach English to about 40 children who attend the church.

If anything, we have met someone who we think will become a great counterpart as we develop community - youth projects.

September 20
While we were in with 5th grade another storm came.  All of the kids slid their desks close together and as far from the windows as they could get - they mostly stayed dry - however, half of the classroom had a standing layer of water by the time things eased up a bit.

September 23
Who doesn't want to spend their weekend with 60 teenagers that speak a different language (in more than one way!)?

September 24
Some games played today included charades where students acted out TV shows such as MacGyver (complete with a gun made from a watch and some sunglasses), CSI (which was not guessed correctly because the students failed to indicate the correct city - New York), and Superman (with actions of flying and dying from kryptonite).

October 1
Wow, October is already here.  This means we have completed 7 months of service, are starting our 8th - are midway thought our 5th in site - essentially a little more than 25% of our way through service.  20 months left.

October 3
We had our first English class this afternoon.  There were about 25 people.

October 7
We had a video chat with one of Aaron's classes today, it was pretty awesome.

They taught us the Costa Rican version of M.A.S.H. (P.M.R. - Pobre, Millionario, Rico).

So yeah, today was a smile day!

October 13
Today we had two great charlas with kinder and materno students.  We had fun playing "Soap and Water" Tag where we captured the bacteria (kids) in our soap bubble and eliminated them.

October 19
In all, even with the frustrations, today was a good day.  I think the big thing is reminding myself to laugh in moments that would otherwise frustrate me like crazy!

October 21
We went with her after school to check in with her mom who said that if we were going to be at camp then Yanet could go.  That made us feel pretty good.

October 24
So, the overall camp experience was pretty great.  We really saw some young leaders emerge and Michelle and Yanet were involved all weekend.  Yanet came out of her shell and was a group leader and in one activity was selected as someone special to the team.

October 25
My [Tarah] crazy rashes have come back again.

October 26
I [Tarah] spent the day travelling to and from San José.  My rash got checked out and I was basically told I'm allergic to the sun.  Go figure.

October 31
Happy Halloween!  We dressed up as hikers and walked the Progresso loop.  

November 1
It is so nice to have conversations with relatively like-minded people. 

November 2
It was a little sad to see Megon and Kevin go this morning.  We had such a good time with them - we're keeping our fingers crossed that they'll be placed near to us [side note: they'll be less than an hour away!]

We got the cards from Aaron's class!

Today we also picked up a package of photos from Peter - so awesome!

November 4
Today presented us with some highlights for our service so far and also brought some disappointing news.

During lunch today we did a video chat between colegio students and Aaron's class at UNL.  The kids were so incredibly happy to get to talk to students in the US - to see the people they had gotten post cards from and who they had written to.  They ended up using all of Aaron's class time - but we couldn't deny them the chance to talk.  After all, when else are they likely to have the chance to look into the US and talk to someone (in Spanish?).  Smiles all around!

When we got back Susanna met us on the street to tell us that we needed to call Peace Corps.  The rains/floods in CR have moved us to steadfast.  All plans for the weekend are now cancelled.

In other news another CYF volunteer decided to leave the program today.

November 6
It may not have been the Saturday we had planned, but it turned out to be rather fantastic. [see link above]

November 8
The house was full this morning as María and several students worked to fill every imaginable container they could come across with water.  The cuadrantes have been without water since Friday and they needed to be able to clean the bathrooms.  Then it was back here to prepare lunch in our nice, clean kitchen.

November 11
I hope we've seen the last of "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and camp in general. [students prepared a dance to this at camp in September, we had seen it about 15 times over the course of that weekend, on the 11th it came back for a community presentation]

November 12
We returned home when school ended and left again around 3 to go to the planchel.  We played and played and around 4:30 Elvin showed up saying we were going to dinner tonight.  So we finished up our games and around 5 or so we went home to change and headed out with Elvin.

November 14
So much food, too delicious to turn down.

November 15
Olympics are ready to print and present.  Summer camp plans are in the works.  Ideas for how to occupy our time next year have begun to grow.

November 19
Curiosity has struck the colegio and it seems that students are already discussing which class is the best.  Hopefully this will lead to a good participation rate with the Olympics come to town.

On the walk home we were given a new yummy fruit to try.  It's purple and round and grows in the tree at the turn for the cuadrantes.  I'm sure with that description anyone could tell us the name since I can't remember it!

November 20
There were aguaceros several times today.  Once when Chris was getting ready to go on a bike ride - but when he couldn't see across the road he called it off.

November 21
It was raining when we woke up this morning and I'm pretty sure it's still raining out there.

Today marks 6 months as volunteers!  Tomorrow begins our 7th month in site.

November 22
A day at the hot springs!

November 24
We went to the escuela and worked with two second grade English classes to do a letter exchange with Hannah's [a cousin of Tarah's in 2nd grade in NY] class.  

November 25
The food was amazing and mostly vegan.  The tofurkey was delicious and flavorful, there were sweet potatoes with nuts and craisins, mashed potatoes, corn, stuffing, deviled eggs (obviously not vegan) and yeah, it was exciting!  We had pumpkin pie and apple pie with ice cream.  Our stomachs were all very happy! [THANK YOU DORSEY FAMILY!  We had a fabulous time!]

November 26
It is beautiful here.  I miss the mountains.

November 27
We spent the morning exploring with Megon and Kevin's family.  We climbed a little hill into the middle of a forest and played soccer until the ball rolled all the way down the mountain.  It was successfully retrieved after quite some time - but that was our sign to move on.

It's nice to be back, but we had an amazing time.  A "vacation" that was well worth it!

November 28
There were clowns.

November 30
We woke up to the sound of a downpour and promptly rolled over and went back to sleep.  When we eventually made it out of bed an hour later we started making rain day plans for Friday [olympics].  Let's just say we're really hoping for sunshine!