February. Wow. It's done and over with. That means time is really coming to a close here. Two years ago we were anxiously awaiting this adventure called Peace Corps. In the two years since then we have had ups and downs, have wanted to leave, have been excited about what we are doing, have been anxious about what the future holds, have been content with living in the moment. It is amazing how a person can change in such a short period of time. This month, like the other 23 that we have experienced here in Costa Rica has been a challenge, has been full of success, and has given us reason to celebrate.
Aaaaand.... here we go. February in a glance (OK, maybe a little longer than a glance).
Even though the fence has been taken down the chickens are still hanging out in the hen yard. Perhaps because Maria and Rafa are still feeding them.
Orlando and Maikol were at the school today, so we caught up with them and are on the books for dinamicas (ice breakers) next Wednesday [the first day of school].
After lunch we walked to Malinche and talked to Marlon (the artist we met a couple of weeks ago). We have ordered a toucan/macaw sculpture and a jaguar sculpture. It will be nice to have locally made artwork.
Kennedys came over tonight with Anyerieth and Lobo to say good-bye to Emma. I'm glad that they've gotten to spend more time together this visit.
I sat and talked with Maria for quite a while this afternoon. I think this was one of the first conversations that we have had where I've actually been able to squeeze a few words in. It was nice!
We had a shot camp session this morning. Masks were wrapped up today and the kids went home with their creations.
Hopefully we'll meet some teachers tomorrow since classes start on Wednesday.
Michael came over this evening to work with Chris on some English. He has a workbook that he has been using. He stuck around until about 7.
Matricula (registration) is slow going. They don't know how many students they will have this year.
After checking in at the escuela we walked out to the cole. Florybeth's dad was there and he was super excited to see Chris since they had bonded at graduation last year.
The first day of school has arrived! There were few kids, perhaps half as many as are expected this school year.
We finally figured out a visit to Orlando and Alejandra's. We had a great time. We probably spoke more Spanish than we have since December. If only we had been able to do this more often from the get go.
Chris was called out to the cole to figure out CRUSA stuff. They are short on materials again. Chris ended up going out to La Virgen with Rodrigo to pick up some stuff, but they are still waiting on tile to be delivered.
The sun was shining and the breeze was perfect. Clothes dried in a little over an hour. I love when that happens.
I put together a full [sample] bouquet for Sarah today. I think it turned out pretty well considering my material was old cut up t-shirts!
Chris cut off his beard and trimmed his hair today.
The new directora called tonight and Chris explained the CRUSA situation to her. Hopefully things work out while we are gone.
Today we hit double digits - 99 days 'til home!
We stopped at Teatro Nacional to see if anything will be playing when Sarah is in town and ended up going to a lunch-time dance performance! It was a great little surprise.
The ride was quite different from that to Panama. We only stopped to pick up passengers and at the border.
We could see the lake and the volcanoes from the window and got excited about finally getting to the island.
We stopped at the panaderia for breakfast. We talked to the owner, a sweet older lady, for quite a while and walked away with two whole wheat rolls and a chunk of smokey cheese.
We went to the race office and met up with a couple of other runners/volunteers for the island trash clean-up.
We went out with Chico Largo Canopy Tours. It is a Nica developed, managed and guided company. It was wonderful!
While we were hanging out we spotted Theresa and Jessica (from Tico 19, but extended for another year of service) wandering through town. They just so happen to be on the island for vacation.
Charco Verde was beautiful. We watched a wonderful sunset, talked to new people and ended the evening watching some baile tipico.
2:15 a.m. RISE AND SHINE!
The energy at the race office was a little intense. I guess that is what happens when you have about 45 people waiting to start a 50k or 100k race!
We got to sleep a little this morning. I was up and out the race office at 7 this morning to wait for my ride to go help out with the kids' run.
The post-race celebration was nice. Josue identified winners, finishers and volunteers. It was a nice way to wrap up a wonderful event.
We ate delicious pizza and chatted with Matt and Christian this evening. Funny, of the four ultra runners that were at the restaurant only one drank beer. I wonder if that has ever happened before?
These long days just won't stop. We got on the ferry a little before 6 this morning and didn't get home until 9 tonight. A long day of travel.
[Read more about the whole Nicaraguan adventure (Feb. 14 - 20) here.]
3 months. Crazy. In three months we will be flying back to the States.
Chris spent the day running around trying to get CRUSA taken care of. Nothing happened while we were gone.
We went for a walk this afternoon and found Ningy flinging rocks from a plastic spoon at the ceiling of the bus stop (then he would jump out of the way or try to catch them as they ricocheted back at him). We all walked around the block and then raced back to his house at which point he looked over his shoulder at us and yelled "adios!"
Chris spent the day running around trying to figure out CRUSA. This morning he went to the cole and finalized the last list of materials needed. Then he went to La Virgen to exchange some things. Now he just needs to wait for Denis to get back from vacation so he can get the last check.
I talked with Maria and Rafa while making dinner. I think we're all starting to realize just how close the end is. I think we've spoken more since they got back from their Christmas trip than we have previously.
I'm sharing a dorm with two women from Israel. They are pretty interesting to talk to. Unfortunately we all need to be up super early so we called it an early night.
SARAH'S HERE! The look on her face when she saw me was priceless. It's so good to see family. Yay!
No snorkeling for us, darn. The ocean is so strange right now.
We got to watch a beautiful sunrise over the park this morning and then went on a quick walk to see if any animals were up and about yet. No luck, but we ended up back at the Swedish Bakery for a delicious breakfast.
It was a long day, but it feels good to be back home (even if it is only for two nights).
We had another early day. We had an awesome [chocolate] tour and a great time on the trails.
Today ended up being another long day and we have another short night. Off to San Jose in the morning.
Our last conference with Peace Corps has begun.
Happy Leap Year!
This evening we spent a couple of hours with the CYF/YD peeps working on the project presentation that we have to give in the morning. It was nice to spend some more time with everyone. Time's getting short.
And there we have it, another month gone by. The days are now sure to get shorter as we have big plans for our remaining months. We surely won't have enough time to squeeze it all in, but we'll try our hardest. Action is the best way we can come up with to show the community just how much we have come to love it. Hopefully we're given a forum for the action! If not, if there is one thing we have learned (or at least tried to learn) here, it's pura vida. Life is going to happen and we only have so much say in how it is going to happen. It's time to go with the flow and embrace every moment.