Arriba, arriba y lejos! Y en las nubes vamos!!

I am writing from gorgeous, beautiful, sunny, amazing Monteverde. When I arrived from San Jose it was the most beautiful drive up the mountain to Monteverde. Let me start at the beginning, when I flew into San Jose I was fairly jet-lagged from flying in from Germany and hadn’t made any arrangements for transportation up the mountain to Monteverde or a place to stay in San Jose. Needless to say the next hour or so was not my smartest. I left the airport which took almost 2 hours because of the huge line to exit the airport. I was greeted by many extremely enthusiastic taxi drivers wanting to know if I needed a taxi. They were not as badgering as the taxi drivers in India though and they didn’t get in fights to get my business. I wasn’t quite sure where I wanted to go so I found a taxi driver who took me to a hotel in the sketchiest part of town. A part of San Jose called the Coca-Cola district. Where the public busses leave from. The hotel was perfectly fine, somewhat overpriced for what it was and the neighborhood it was in but fine.

Anyways, after arriving at my hotel I had to figure out how to get to Monteverde the next morning. When I first called a shuttle they told me they were totally booked for that week, but they told me to wait on the phone and after 10 or so minutes on hold they told me there was a space the next morning. I get the sense that if there is something that you want that is not available for a long time, if you just wait a place will open up.

Once I arrived in Monteverde it was a lot touristier than I thought it would be but a really nice town. I was promptly greeted by Katya, a worker at the Cloud Forest School (CEC). We went out to lunch together and then she gave me a tour of the school and the town. I met my host sister who is 14, the same age as my sister back home. She speaks perfect English which was really great because I felt like the last 48 hours were such a whirlwind that I needed to be able to speak English and settle in a little better. At that point I had a 23 year old host sister that was also living in my house, who has since moved away, to Tortugara ( not sure how to spell that).

My host family is a very well-known family. For the first week that I was here, we had some people over every single night. It was fun but I also felt like I just didn’t have any time to just sit and rest. But, I met a lot of people, and drank a LOT of coffee. Now, my host family is just my 14 year old sister and my host mom who are all great. My mom is a chef and so I get amazing meals. Not all just typical Costa Rican food. I had Japanese food the other night.

The school that I am working at is absolutely amazing and in the most beautiful place that it could be. It is located on lots of acres of cloud forest and is used really well as a classroom. For some classroom activities like reading and writing, the kids can go out into the woods and find a nice place and do work there. It is so nice not to just have the classroom as a place that kids think of as class but also the woods. And, they really show it, I feel like all the kids really enjoy being at school. My lead teacher is great too; she is a mom of two boys, one in first grade and one in third grade. She is the second grade teacher at the CEC and her husband is a teacher at the Friends School, which is the Quakers school in the area. We both work really well together and we have gotten so good at communicating so we can just make eye contact and we will know what the other one wants. Last weekend was my one monthiversery teaching at the school and it felt like it was only one week. I can’t imagine how fast this whole internship is going to fly by. It’s crazy to think about.

My Spanish is getting better, and I have Spanish classes once a week which is nice. I have only had 3 classes so far but just talking with Costa Ricans around town and using it somewhat in school meetings, it is getting better. But, for now, that is it.

Love to my family; Emelia, John, Carolyn and Bettye

And to my Shiva Fam; Shayna, Marge, Tiger Lily, Julia, Grant, and Avy