Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Reflecting on 2012

In January, the Hubs and I unpacked and repacked our bags for our move to Costa Rica with the Peace Corps.  We were originally going to live in El Salvador for our two year service with Peace Corps, but that changed because of safety issues there with in a month of our leave date.  While waiting to leave I subbed, we visited DisneyWorld with the Hub's family, we moved out of our first home together, and fretted.
Love these people

February brought us good bye parties, time with family and friends, favorite foods devoured, and new friends.  In the middle of the month, we said our final byes and first hellos.  We met our fellow Peace Corps trainees, landed in tropic Costa Rica while the Hometown had freezing temps, and started our training to be real volunteers.
First photo all together

March was a hard month for yours truly.  We started our training which included Spanish classes, living with our first host family, and practicums in a local school.  It was a time of learning flexibility and patience (something the parental units said I always lacked), but also a time of building relationships with my Tico 23 family.  We did a lot walking and talking to and from training.  We had a few small trips to visit the capitol and a real PCV.  
The Hubs and I in training (photo credit to my Spanish twin)
April came in and brought trips out of our community, learning where we will live for 2 years, and meeting our counterparts.  This month passed quickly.  We planned a party for our first host families as they planned a secret party for us.  And we continued training and teaching.  

These lovely ladies are our counterparts

May was a big month.  We threw the party, we swore to uphold the Constitution,  and we moved to Santa Cruz to start working. 

Our surprise party thrown by the training host families. 
Yep, they let us in.  We are official. 
June was spent sweating, getting to know our new home and host family, and jumping right into work. Oh, and meeting three members of Combate (a HUGELY popular game show)  
Just some family time

They are anxious and I am tired after 2 hours of waiting.
July  = fiesta time!  July 25th is the day that Costa Rica celebrates the annexation of Guanacaste from Nicaragua to Costa Rica.  Man, do we have pride!  I believe we celebrated for two whole weeks.  And the Hubs dressed in traditional clothing to be on his school's float.  Plus we saw the President of Costa Rica and met the minister of Education.  I also go to chat (in Spanish) with the first Tico to climb Mt. Everest.
Looks just like a traditional Tico, verdad?  

August brought official time with other volunteers during our week long training, a visit from the in laws and surprise of my mom, and starting new projects for the Hubs and I (a review course and conversation club).
Zipping into fun
September was dominated by the 7.6 earthquake and low key Independence Day celebration.  Honestly, I do not remember much from September except that earthquake (and its aftershocks).
That is our room after the earthquake
October rolled in quickly after with continuation of our projects, a trip to a beach with PCV friends, the All Volunteer Conference (all Costa Rican volunteers together for 2 days), and celebrating Halloween PCV style.
We have a spelling bee, a nerd, Dora & Diego, JWOWW & Snookie, Rice & Beans, and the two plates that rocked Guanacaste 

  November snuck in unannounced.  We finished up our biggest projects, moved into our own house, watched some parades, enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving with an Embassy family (and time with our friends),  and visited my fourth country (Panama).  
Run, Forest, RUN!
Then came December, how I waited and yearned for it to be here.  December meant a visit home to see those I love and hold close to my heart.  The month that both took forever to get here and showed up rather quickly.  It sped by so fast I was afraid to blink.  Our short time home was wonderful and I wish it could have been longer.  I didn't take enough pictures or had time to see everyone I wanted.  We got to see snow and hug on lots of people important to us.  
Represents all the celebrations 

I can't believe that 2012 has come to a close.  This year brought me many trials and successes, new adventures, and restored or built friendships.  With 2013 upon us, I hope you have the year you desire and many good things come you way.


  1. Hi!

    I'm Elliot and next month I will be visiting Costa Rica with my girlfriend for a little vacation and wanted to get some tips from PCV's in country. I served in Armenia from 2008-2010.

    So, where in the capital is good to stay? Should we rent a car or not?


    1. Hello Elliot, Nice to meet you. In San Jose there are a few options of hostels or hotels to stay. What are you looking for? Party place? Quiet (and cleaner) place? Cheap? Nicer?

      Regarding the cars, you can rent one for a reasonable price, I hear. But our bus systems within the capitol and to and from larger cities elsewhere are reliable. The thing with buses, as I am sure you know, they are slower and not quite as convenient.

      Anything else you would like to know. I will do my best to answer any questions you have.