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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Cartago, Costa Rica

Jul 17, 2014 - Graduation Day

We have just completed our third week of Spanish classes. The girls logged in 48 hours of Spanish instruction each, and I logged in 52 hours. I took two extra classes focusing on medical Spanish to help me at the clinic. It has been very helpful. Our last class was bittersweet. We have come to care for the teachers and fellow students, as well as the stray dogs here. We did our last presentations today, and I wish I could attach them, but I can't figure out how to change the format. It has been raining, raining, raining here. We experienced...

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Jul 13, 2014 - Grumbling hearts

It stormed all night long again on Friday. Saturday, we walked to the bus station and met some fellow students to go into Turrialba to walk around and watch people. The rain finally let up as we got off the bus and it only lightly rained the rest of the day. Turrialba is the biggest city closest to our town. It's about 45 minutes by bus. Not much to see or do but we were all grateful to get out and walk around. It rained all night Saturday night and cleared in time for us to walk to church. Brilliant sunshine! So thankful our laundry will...

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Jul 11, 2014 - Rain, rain & rain- ok, a volcano too!

The heavens have opened up! It has literally been raining for 3 days straight. I don't mean a nice drizzle or raindrops. I'm taking sheets of rain, thunder, lightning and wind. We love the sound on the tin roof, but Emilia and I have cabin fever and are bouncing off the walls. Rebecca is enjoying every moment- reading books, listening to music and writing poetry. Today we were grateful to go somewhere other than school. There are 8 of us students and all of us traveled together to the tallest volcano in Costa Rica. By the grace of God we...

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Jul 10, 2014 - Spanish lessons week 2

It's been a busy, wet week for us. Our school days have been full and afterwards we have been teaching the neighborhood kids until about 4:30 pm. We each had to learn something different about the province of Guanacaste and then present it to the whole school today. Teaching the kids was fun. We played games, taught a short lesson, had snack, and made a craft. The kids favorite game was hide and seek where we hid balls in the yard or in the sala (living room) of the school. Needless to say, our brains have been exhausted when we get home....

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Jul 2, 2014 - School

We are starting to get into a rhythm here. We are woken up each morning about 4:00 am to the beautiful music of roosters crowing, dogs barking, cats meowing and people getting ready for work. We actually get out of bed about 6:25 am. By 6:45 am, we are having breakfast. Breakfast here is very different for us. Traditional breakfasts include, something akin to a banana pancake (but completely different), empenadas of black beans, cheese or potatoes, or ham sandwiches. There is always fresh fruit- papaya mango, banana, apple, guava or...

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Jun 30, 2014 - Settling in

After a few flight delays, we finally arrived in Costa Rica just after 5:30 am on Saturday morning. We made it through customs in record time. A driver from the school met us at the airport and drove us the two hours to our new home "la casita" in Tuis. After meeting our host family, having a bite to eat, and a quick tour of our pueblo, we took a much needed siesta. So I wrote this whole description of life here yesterday and wouldn't you know it, we lost power and it was all lost. Suffice to say, life here is very different. The people are...

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Apr 18, 2014 - Cloud Forest Adventures

Two full days at the Savegre Hotel and Spa in the cloud forest with great weather! glorious! Two jeeps came for us to take us up to the near top of the closest mountain, at over 10,000 feet and after birding, we were to walk down the road back to the hotel. The path called Le Robles (the forest) was a good one and lots of little birds were found by the birders. I found bamboo, palm trees, vines, and flowers to my liking. but after walking again in the hiking boots, I had to wimp out and take a jeep ride back along with 5 others. The...

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Apr 16, 2014 - Costa Rica - Day 6

We had to leave Rancho Naturalista after breakfast, and all the staff were out front to wave goodbye to us. What a great place! We stopped at a shopping mall around 9:30 so that people could use an ATM and do some grocery shopping. Most all of us decided that the salsa we have been eating with our rice and beans and meat was good enough to give as gifts, as it is like a barbeque sauce instead of what we call salsa. People purchased coffee as well. Some bought wine to drink in their rooms since we all retire around 7:30 PM! the other stores...

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Apr 15, 2014 - Costa Rica - Day 5

This morning we went to the ancient village of Guayabo, a national monument since 1963. It was home to indigenous people of Turrialba from almost 2000 years ago. Their homes' foundations, walking paths, and aqueduct were built with stones and rocks from the nearby volcano. The booklet we got for the trip said we would see petroglyphs and tombs, but I didn't see any of those. We walked the short path in the park, not the long one and maybe that's why. The aqueduct still functions, although we didn't see water running from the entry pool down...

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Apr 14, 2014 - Costa Rica - Day 4

We got up before the crack of dawn to go see birds eat bugs off a sheet for breakfast! Barb, Judy, and I snuck a peek earlier than others so we could see the bugs on the screen. The screen was close to our rooms and others met down at the lodge to walk up together. then we all stood around waiting for a myriad of birds. Only a few came, compared to what we were told. They light up that screen all night for special occasions, like all us tourists - not every night. After breakfast we went for a walk in the woods to look for birds. It is...

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Apr 13, 2014 - Costa Rica - Day 3

I was hoping not to have an entry for every day of this vacation, but so far, there are so many pictures to share that I just have to! This is our last morning at Sarapiqui and the rain has stopped, so we had to explore more of the area around the lodge. Erik called it a time for staged sightings of amphibians and crawly critters. After I saw the first staging event, I went on a walk through the nature trail with Barb and Judy. We saw 2 giant iguanas and other good things along the trail. About 10:30, we left Sarapiqui to go to our next...

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Jan 4, 2011 - Playa Hermosa

I met Bobbie Jo and the others from Diving Safaris on the beach and we got a small boat out to the bigger boat. We went to 2 local dive sites, Monkey Head (a rock that looks like a monkey's head) and Virador. Bobbie Jo was very patient with me, as it was my first dive since taking my course. The water was really clear and we saw lots of rays and fish, and bright purple fish eggs on the rocks, it was a really great couple of dives. When I got back, I met mum one the beach and we had lunch at El Valero before an afternoon of relaxing and...

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