Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hola amigos! Time for a quick catch up session on the last month...I've been on vacation!

We had final exams in all my classes and the students generally did really well. Then my girl Grace came to visit from Atlanta and my vacation began. Unfortunately I spent the first weekend sick with a sinus infection and a bit of a fever. I felt bad that I got sick just at the same time that Grace arrived, but she was a good sport about it and went and did some activities on her own while I rested. It's funny, I haven't gotten sick much in Costa Rica, and the only other time I did get sick was right after the TEFL course I took back in August. This time it happened right after my first semester of teaching ended. Looks like a pattern to me…post stress release sickness…but at least my body knows to wait until I'm finished working!

For July 4th weekend, Javier and I went to Samara to visit friends. It was so nice to have a mini vacation, and Miss Geo (the car) did great on her first road trip!

We rented a room at Sol y Mar just down the street from where I used to live with Marisol. My friend Krista from Chicago was in town for a few days with her boyfriend and then a few days later my "little sister" Mareike arrived from Germany.

It was great to be reunited again, and Marisol invited us all for a BBQ party at her house. Samara was beautiful as always, and I ate some of my favorite ceviche from the street vendor there…YUM!

When we got back I had two graduation ceremonies to attend for my students in Santa Teresa and Montezuma. It was an honor to present my students with their hard-earned certificates. I am so proud of them and how far they've come! There were a few representatives from the ICT and the Municipalidad de Cobano that came to speak to the students about the program, and I spoke on a microphone both in English and in Spanish! What a great feeling to know that I've helped change so many lives. This is what teaching is all about:)

On Saturday Javier and I made the move from Cabuya into our new house in Mal Pais and we really love it! I finally have my own kitchen to cook in and we have a washer and dryer, hot water showers, TV, and internet. It's a small house but it's nice and clean and perfect for us.

Last time I wrote about another place in Santa Teresa, which was beautiful, but when we found this place it was obviously a better option for the both of us, and at a better price. The best part is we have baby coconut trees here so we've been drinking young coconut water everyday…fresh and free!

Class started back in Montezuma on Monday and we had a registration day for the seven new classes in Santa Teresa which will be starting next week. So far it looks like I will be teaching around 80 students total and there will be two brand new beginner groups in Santa Teresa. I'm excited to get going and I've got a lot of new ideas for more conversation oriented classes. I've got to get these guys speaking more comfortably! I am also making a new rule for myself: no Spanish in the classroom! In my TEFL course, I was taught to do all my classes in 100% English, but when I started teaching beginners that had no English I found it was necessary to explain some things in Spanish. Now that they have the basic foundation however, I've got to cut out all the Spanish and go with pure English. I think this will be a tremendous help for them, although it may be hard for me to get used to. I guess I secretly like practicing my Spanish with my students, but I'll have to save that for outside of class!

Ok gotta run, we are cooking some fresh fish Caribbean style in coconut milk for dinner...pura vida

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