I'm sitting here at the bakery in Playa Carmen using my laptop today. It's been a slight adjustment getting used to not having internet in the house, but thanks to my iPhone and a super cheap pre-paid line from ICE, the Costa Rican phone company, I've been able to stay pretty well connected. Somehow full time internet on the 3G network here works out to be less than ten cents a day. Calls are about 10 cents a minute. What a difference, I was paying almost $90 monthly in the states! I feel like it's too good to be true, like it's only a matter of time until they catch on and realize that they're offering these plans for way too cheap. But for now...I'm rocking my jailbroken iPhone in tico-land!
The first month of my second semester of English classes has gone really well. I’m excited that we have seen an increase in enrollment in the courses, and I'm hopeful that most of the students will stick with it through December. I worked closely with the Camara de Turismo in Santa Teresa-Mal Pais to get things organized for this semester, and I felt proud that they really wanted me to stay. I really do love teaching and even if I’m having a bad day by the time I get in the classroom and interact with my students it cheers me right up. Attendance has been pretty good overall and it seems the students are enjoying the classes. The two new groups of beginners are particularly enthusiastic, which is fun for me. I have a total of 93 students enrolled right now!
I feel like I've become a better, more efficient teacher, and lesson planning is starting to come quicker. One key thing I've learned: Preparation is everything. Having back up games and extra activities planned always helps, because you never know how things will go. Sometimes a group goes through material way faster or way slower than you expect. Each class in unique and you have to be prepared to cater to the students’ needs and interests. I think I'm getting better at that.
In my personal life things have definitely changed a lot over the past two months! I just moved again after realizing that the adorable little house my boyfriend and I were sharing was a little too expensive for us. We loved it but we came across a better option in Santa Teresa so we decided to take it. Now we should be much better off (read: financially), and the place is pretty nice too. It's a gringo style vacation house that normally rents to tourists, but it had been abandoned for a few months so lots of things need to be fixed up and repaired. A friend of mine is taking care of the house and overseeing all of the repairs, so we are getting a great deal and just have to put up with a few minor imperfections, but once everything is fixed this place will be pretty pimp. I definitely miss living with the family in Cabuya, but we try to pass by or meet up with them ever so often. They are such wonderful people. I especially miss my baby sis, Tiffany. What a little love! But I do love that I get to share a life with my sweet boyfriend, and we have a great time hanging at home cooking, watching movies, and doing little art projects. I don't know what I would do without him, especially now that the rainy season is in full effect. He has made life so much easier and more fun!
I do have days where I miss home, and they've been happening more frequently as of late. I don’t know why, maybe because of all the moving and not having all of the comforts of home, or maybe because I’ve been here over a year now and I’m just starting to really miss my people, but those feelings have definitely been popping up. Then again I look at where I am and how many interesting and unique experiences I’m having and it all fades away. I think too it’s because the rainy season can be a little bit harder to deal with here, and lots of the friends that I had here have gone back to the states or where ever for the low season. But again, I love my work, I live on the beach, and I'm super happy with my boyfriend...I don't think I can complain too much :)
That's it for today...my girl Meredith is coming to visit tomorrow so this week will be extra special! I'll get some pictures up of the new place and the latest adventures soon! Besos de Costa Rica!