Hi again! The first week here in Costa Rica has gone by super quickly. A blur of many different things. Many times, when I walk past a store, or see a certain room at the Spanish School, my mind still gropes around, and for an instance there is a flashback from 10 years ago that I can't place. We've seen some of our old amigos lately, and made some new ones. :) Our dad has us running two miles every day at the nearby track, except for weekends, so we are getting back into shape. It doesn't come quickly though!! That, added to the fact that we walk everywhere (I've only been in a vehicle once in the last week, and that was a bus!) has made for a week of very sore legs that protest at even small exertion. I love the routine here. Here's what a typical school day looks like for the Meek kids and their Principal. :)
6:30 - Wake up, and make breakfast
7:45 - School begins
10:00 - Snack time - usually bread from the bakery :) Mmmm.
12:00 - Work out!! 2 miles at the Track
12:45 - Lunch Time
The rest of the afternoon is mainly resting, visiting, doing homework or shopping, if there is nothing else planned. :)
I feel like it's been a major change in schedule, one that has been really good for me. The weather has also been beautiful, no rain, and not too hot. One of the things that I have been doing a lot in my free time is writing. All kinds of stuff. Most of it connected with the book I'm writing, whether actually writing it, or just spending time writing out pages and pages of ideas and brainstorms. I had an dream the other night (borderline nightmare) and woke up at 6. I spent 45 minutes writing the whole dream out - it was super complex and sounded like the perfect base for a short story. It dealt with time, past, present, and future, and going between the three - it was so complicated that I look back at it now and wonder what I was writing. The concept of changing the time, interfering between two different times, and being able to see both happening at the same time is hard to grasp - it made so much more sense in my dream though!! But many things have been the subject of my writing here, and when it comes, it does so in large quantities, periods of fast scribbling to try to keep up with my line of thought. I never can seem to write fast enough. The novel I'm writing with my friend is going better than I dreamed - we're starting chapter 10, and all is going well. There is that slight problem of the large vague spot fast approaching after the next few chapters, involving the main flesh of our story, but I'm sure we'll get that thought though soon enough. It's just a matter of sitting down and conquering it. :)
The last week has been a mix of peace, fun and activity. Here are some of the highlights of the past few days:
Saturday, January 5:
Today we went to the Ferria - the market place that is held in a park every Saturday. A path through the middle of two rows of temporary stalls that hold everything from tomatoes and pineapple to ginger root and cacti. We had been given a long list of items to acquire by my mom, and Team Meek set out to track down some fresh produce. Charlie and Lucy quickly deserted ship to play up at the playground with our neighbors, but Annie and I and our Coach started to fill up our cart with food. Mangoes, potatoes, ginger, plantains, onions, pineapple, tomatoes, beans, and more. Also limes. We bought 20 of the little guys for under two dollars. Later, when we got home and cut one open, we found they weren't exactly limes: the insides were as orange as any orange. Zeidy later told us that they were like limes, but slightly sweeter. We ended up using the whole batch to make a sort of limeade drink that was so good! After a while of shopping, we rounded up the kids and headed back home. After lying everything out on the table for mom's approval, we did the math and the whole day's pickings came out at just over 20 dollars!
Our friends Edwardo and Paola came over for dinner. Their two children, Andres and Jacob are getting to be so old! They are the cutest. At ages 6 and 1 and a half, we had a fun time playing with them. It was also great to catch up with them. I am beginning to feel that my Spanish is reviving; speech is starting to come easier, and I am slowly getting more comfortable with just talking even if I'm not sure if what I'm saying is correct.
Our friends Andres and Jacob
Sunday, January 6:
Sunday, we went to church today. Visited the church we had belonged to when we were here almost 11 years ago - the church Berea. The worship time was amazing, just being there was so good. My mind again tried to recall and recognize the church without too much success. I did remember some though. Annie and I went up to a youth group for 13-15 or-something-year-olds. I met some girls there - I can't wait to get to know some of them! Monica and her family came over for lunch, and just hung out for the rest of the afternoon. We had a Blitz tournament with us girls, while the men went out for a bit. It was really fun to just hang out with them for a while. :)
Monday, January 7:
Another day at the track...and the first official day of school! I am keeping up with my classes at Brighton, (Biology, World History, and Writing) as well as the usual home subjects (Math, Reading, and Geography). Everything is going very well with that. Later in the day we went to the Central Mercado with Zeidy and Monica. We had to catch bus to get there to rendezvous with them. First time this trip, and we got a double-decker! Those are pretty rare around here, you hardly ever get one. It was amazing, driving along, almost even with the roofs of the one-story buildings. When we got off, we walked a while to meet them. There were so many people there, all so unique too. In Costa Rica, I have really loved how the people are so friendly. At least two of three times while we were on our way, someone helped us, by giving us directions, or walking with us some of the way. I really like that. The Central is a large, crowded place where there are a ton of people selling different things. Hammocks, tee-shirts, coffee, and fresh fruit, you name it! We got a few things, then went to a different market. After shopping for a while, we stopped by the ice cream store Pops, and got a treat! My favorite is the Brownie Dynamite - So. Good. We sat down at the edge of the the big square of downtown. There are a ton of pigeons here, so of course Charlie was occupied immediately after finishing his ice cream. He seemed to find it extremely amusing to make a game out of chasing them....... as for the pigeons...I don't know. I doubt they had such a fun time of it.
I also took this picture of a palm tree with the sun directly behind it. So beautifully bright.
Wednesday, January 9:
At the Sojourn Academy that is connected to the Spanish Institute, there are a couple of after school activities you can do, even if you don't attend the school. Annie and I got signed up to do volleyball! It is a group of boys and girls grades 7+. I have never officially played volleyball, unless you count out in the backyard with a beach ball....... It was really fun! I have wanted to play a sport for a long time, and I think I am really going to enjoy this one. Everyone there was really nice, and I met some girls too that seem really fun. :) Our team has 17 total...13 girls and 4 boys. A great day!
One more note: Charlie found two more coins on the street in the last few days!! Lucky! He's going to get rich if he makes a habit of this!!
At Monica's house
P.S. All ye take good note of what happens when children are left to themselves un-monitored for thirty minutes with duck tape. Just for future notice.