Monday, October 29, 2007

All Hallows Eve (sorta)

I went out for Halloween (on Oct. 27) with some ladies from work. I was the youngest by 12 years, but still had a great time. I pulled an outfit together last minute by using stuff I had at home and buying some cat ears to transform into an Allie Cat.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

fun weekend

This week we were busy finishing up report cards and having parent conferences. Friday was United Nations Day at Country Day School, and that was fun but time consuming as well. Last week we noticed a flyer advertising an Oktoberfest on Friday, so we decided to check it out. The Oktoberfest was held at the Costa Rican Country Club, which is only a few blocks from our house. It was a benefit for a German school here called Colegio Humboldt. The street outside was packed with cars, and when got inside we found the line to get in just as crowded.
The main hall inside was set up just like a beer hall. Blue and white Bavarian streamers and balloons were all over the dimly lit hall. Long tables and benches were also set up with tablecloths adorned with the Bavarian colors as well. Huge pots of Vienna sausage and sauerkraut were cooking, and dark German beer was on tab. The only thing that did not seem German was the band playing Salsa music on the stage. The band was really talented, however, and they also played meringue and reggaeton music that was great for dancing. A little bit later the school band took the stage. The band was really good, and they even had a conductor, a tuba, and an accordion player to make it all seem very authentic.
The Oktoberfest also had a magic show and the magician was pretty entertaining. It was clear that he was Argentinian by his thick accent, and we were glad to be able to understand a lot of the jokes that he told in Spanish. We ended up staying at the Oktoberfest for hours. The salsa band started playing again and everyone was dancing. There were a lot of traditional outfits, Deutsch land soccer jerseys, funny hats, and giant beer steins. When we left there was still a big crowd outside trying to get in.

On Saturday morning I went to a students birthday party, which took place at the pool of a big high rise apartment building overlooking the city. There were lots of kids and parents swimming and playing games. Actually, I was the only adult who swam because the pool was a little cold, but it was still fun. They also hired hot dog, snow cone, and popcorn vendors to help cater the party. It was supposed to be a surf party, and there were lots of cool decorations, including pinatas that resembled the birthday child on a surfboard. It was really funny watching the kids hit the pinata because they kept running up to punch it, even when it was not their turn. It fell down at one point, and the poor guy who picked it up and tried to save it got mauled by about 40 kids, some of whom were armed with little toy daggers that they had won. Everybody received plastic coconuts with Quiksilver hats in them for party favors.

Allie went out with some of the women from Country Day School at night. They all dressed up for Halloween, and Allie was a black alley cat. The other ladies dressed up as a peacock, a biker, and a tooth fairy. They had a fun time going to club and checking out the costume contest.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

United Nations Day

Last Friday was United Nations Day at CDS. It is a special day for our school since there are students from about 40 different countries enrolled there. The kids came to school dressed up in clothes from their countries. There were flags around the school from all of the different nations, in alphabetical order. The students went to their flags, and then marched to the gym. It was really neat because each they played traditional music and announced the names of each country as the students marched out. Costa Rica, Mexico, and the United States seemed to have the most representatives.
Each grade also studied a different country for UN day. Third grade studied Germany, and Fourth grade studied Eretria. The kids practiced dances from the different countries for a few weeks and performed them at the assembly. Our students danced the Waltz and a traditional Eretrian dance. Also, we were recruited to perform a hip-hop dance in front of all of the students and parents. We danced to one of the songs from "High School Musical 2," which is a really popular movie and soundtrack with the students. We spent a few lunch periods practicing the dance with a choreographer, and on Friday we all wore red shirts, jeans, and baseball hats. The dance went well and the kids thought that it was really cool. We even taught them the moves when we got back to class. Rumor has it that we will reprise the dance for an assembly at the end of the year too.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Around the House and on the Road

Today we spent the morning cleaning up the house and planning out the busy week ahead of us. We have turned in all of our students' grades, and next week we have parent conferences in the afternoon. After planning our meals for the week and making a grocery list, we hit the road for a Sunday drive.
Escazu has A LOT of traffic, and Sunday is the most mellow day for driving. The weather was bright and sunny, so we drove into the hills on the old highway that goes through the neighboring town of Santa Ana. We kept going to Ciudad Colon, which is even further out in the country. Some parts of Escazu are quite developed, so it is very refreshing to get out into some open space. We kept going through Colon, on a steep and windy highway which we thought would take us to the Peace University.
The narrow road was a little bit hairy to drive on, although the views were breathtaking. We traveled high into the mountains, where the vegetation was thick with diverse with pines, banana trees, ferns and the occasional coffee plantation. We drove for a considerable amount of time, and never saw any other Peace University signs, so we must have gone the wrong way. We did not see any signs for that matter, just occasional shacks, cantinas, and artisenia vendors. The road kept getting steeper and windier (I don't know how that was possible), and when it started raining we decided to head back. It was easy enough to find our way back, although a few of the turns required close attention to find.
The rain became very heavy, and the roads soon became flooded. It was satisfying to find our way back home and become more familiar with the surrounding towns. The scenery on our drive was beautiful, with lush plants and brightly painted houses. However, the best part was seeing all of the people going about their ways and the many adorable little dogs that we saw hanging out on the side of the road.

Monday, October 15, 2007