Sorpresas, sorpresas...

Liberia Travel Blog

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Life is weird. This past week, my emotions have been all over the place. When I first arrived, I was feeling a little lonely and antsy. Then when I started teaching, I began to feel better, and the more I explore Liberia and the Guanacaste region, the more I love it. Taking this job and moving here from San Jose was definitely the best decision I've made since I arrived.

Lindsay and Audrey, the two other teachers I work with here, are great. They're a year older than me, from Virginia, and have done a wonderful job including me and helping me get acclimated to Liberia and to teaching, for which I am very, very grateful. I really like my students and working as an INA teacher too. There is a set curriculum, so I just plan the same lessons for all of my classes each week, instead of having to plan separate ones for every class. I wish I would have learned Spanish that way. I speak Spanish at an Advanced/Pre-fluid level, but what I'm really missing are colloquialisms and idiomatic expressions. In my ESL classes, there are specific sections where I teach the students idioms like "beating around the bush, to be ahead of the curve, and two peas in a pod." That's something I never had in Spanish classes. I can write detailed essays on political oppression in Argentina, but I can't understand most jokes or slang. Of course, I've picked some up while having conversations with people here and in Spain, but I wish I would have had lessons on those kinds of things in my Spanish classes in high school and college.

So teaching went well, and after my class on Friday, Shannon came to visit! It was great to have her here, and Noemy (my new host mama) graciously offered for her to stay here in the house. On Saturday, we hung out, I went to my class, and at night, we went to Bagaces, a little town about 30 minutes away, for Noemy's 60th birthday party! Good food and great people. I got to meet her son and daughter and bunch of their friends, all of whom were curious about what the Spanish-speaking gringas were doing there.

Noemy had told me they were planning on going to the beach on Sunday, but I didn't know the plan, and thought maybe Shannon and I would do our own thing, just so we wouldn't intrude. But as the party wrapped up, Noemy asked if we wanted to go to the beach right then with her son and his friends, or tomorrow with her. Deciding to go with the flow (ooo, that's a good idiom to teach!) and not wanting to waste a second of beach time, we hopped in the car with Juan Pablo, her son. In the car on the way to Playa Hermosa, Shannon and I wondered where we would be staying. Probably some hostel on the beach, since there would be a bunch of people going. But no, as we pulled up to Hotel Condovac La Costa, a luxury resort on the beachfront, we realized we were mistaken. Apparently my new tico family has some sort of time share deal there, in a cabin with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchenette, a living room and balcony. On the hotel grounds, one will also find a fabulous pool, a restaurant, two gift shops, a bar, a discoteque, bus services and more. Sooooo not the beachy, hippie hostels to which we've become accustomed.

So Sunday, needless to say, was spent entirely on the beach and I have a delightful sunburn on my back to prove it. But I did get just the right amount of color on my face, so it was worth it. To those of you who are experiencing fall at the moment and anxiously awaiting snow, try not to be too jealous. I do miss fall colors and sometimes it just way too unbearably hot here to function, but I'll try not to complain.

Now I'm back in Liberia and ready to teach my classes tomorrow. I'm going to get some tutoring gigs and sub for the other girls a few times, so I should be able to scratch out a living for myself for the time being. Gotta balance work and play, right?
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