Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mi Casa Nueva!

For the first and last time in my life, I’m living alone.

Well, kind of. My apartment is at the back of some business offices owned by my school’s director & family. So Monday-Friday 8AM-5PM, I have some welcome company- including dos perros and some elusive gatos.

I am determined to make these two felines my friend, whether they want to be or not.

Some things that will take some getting used to:

-Queen sized bed: oh wait, I’m already thoroughly enjoying this royal luxury
-Outdoor kitchen: learning to follow the “clean before you cook” motto
-Outdoor sink: if the wind blows my hair into my mouth while i'm brushing my teeth one more time...
-All toilet paper is disposed in the trashcans: sometimes you just forget. What they don’t know will never hurt anyone, right?
-Washer, no dryer: clothesline will be my best friend.
-No dishwasher: working on those soft hands.
-The room that never gets used: Every place has one.
-Tall walls around the premise: safe but a little too secluded.
-Sketchy Internet: maybe this will encourage me to start reading more.
-Creepy noises at night: Like I said, I’ve never lived alone before.

Added bonuses:

-Queen sized bed: refer to section above.
-Hammock: too comfortable to do actual work in.
-Coffee Machine at the office up front: hourly lattes
-The room that never gets used: Plenty of room for visitors! Any takers?
-Hot water shower with strong water pressure: a commodity in Costa Rica.
-Mango Trees: scheduled to be ripe in a few months.

My parents left this morning and it hit me like a ton of bricks as they were driving away: this isn't just a nice hotel that we were staying in on vacay. This is my home. Just me. For a whole year. I'm in for the long haul. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

So how’d this happen anyway?

Somehow I got a job as an Elementary School Teacher in Costa Rica without a degree, without knowing Spanish, and without even applying. Sounds like divine intervention to me, don’t you think?

And as after obstacle after obstacle turned into open doors and green lights, I ended up here in Santa Ana, San Jose, Costa Rica ready for the adventure of a lifetime. 

This year, I will be working in a Tri-lingual International School that teaches English, Spanish, and Mandarin. My position will be as a 2nd and 3rd grade teacher teaching English, Math, & Science. I don't officially have a degree yet but I finished the Early Childhood Education Program at the University of Georgia December of 2012 and will be completing my Teaching English as a Second Language minor via online classes this 2013 Spring semester.

Packing seemed like a monstrous challenge at the time but now it seems like a molehill that pales in comparison to my tasks in my teaching job & assimilating to the local culture.

Things that I made sure to include:

--My MacBook, obviously

--My Mountain smith bag

--Chacos (tan lines are cool)

--My new quick dry pants for the rainy season
--A large supply of contact lenses and way too many other toiletries

Things that didn’t make the cut:

--Art supplies (I may be regretting this)
-- My favorite red pea coat, my new sweater dress, and a pile of other cozy winter clothes
--French Press & coffee grinder (big error)

Things that I forgot:

--Retainers (hello, buck teeth)
--Nalgene Water bottle (I’ve been dehydrated ever since!)
--Spanish book (looks like I’m winging this one)
--And more that I haven't even realized yet..

And, after a literal race to gate to make our 6AM flight (not advised), we made it on the plane and on our way.

In just a few short days here, I’ve been reacquainted with the Costa Rican culture and managed to see a little bit of my new community. My parents came along to help out the first week and I know they’ve enjoyed the experience as well. But lets be honest, nobody actually reads a blog post that’s more than a few paragraphs- so I’ll catch you up on that next time.