Thursday, May 1, 2008

This is where we will live next year!

Last week we took 1 and 1/2 days off of school to visit Country Day School Guanacaste, where we will be teaching next year. It is about a five hour drive to Brasilito, where the school is located, from San Jose. The closer we got, the hotter it became, and we wished that the A/C worked in our car. Guanacaste is the driest region in Costa Rica, and the end of April is the end of the dry season, so the heat was pretty intense.
We stayed at a really nice B and B called Hotel Conchal, and on Friday morning we got up bright and early to check out the school. The school is huge and it is less than a year old. The classrooms were giant and the campus was gorgeous. We had visited the campus once in November, but it was during Thanksgiving, so no one was there. This time we got to meet the other teachers and students, who all seemed really nice. CDSG has a very relaxed atmosphere, and people wear shorts and sandals all the time. There were only 10 or 15 kids in each grade, and it was cool to see how well the small groups worked together. Guanacaste has a big ex-pat population, so there were a lot more native English speakers than our school in Escazu. We saw the apartment that we will be living in next year, and although it is smaller than the place we have now, we won't be paying rent. The apartments are close to the campus, but not too close, so we won't have to drive to school.
Some teachers invited us to a Japanese themed party at a really fancy resort called the Beach Club. We were able to get in because one of the CDS moms put us on the list as her guests. The party had cool decorations, sushi, Geishas, martial artists, and lots of very posh people. There were also a bunch of little kids running around and playing with glowsticks. They were all CDS kids who we had seen earlier that day.
The following day we went to Playa Langosta, just south of Tamarindo. On the way there we noticed that our gas was super low, and we went to Tamarindo to try to fill up. We figured there would be a gas station there because there has been so much development in Tamarindo (they have a Pizza Hut right on the beach). However, there was no gas station to be found, so we had to keep asking and searching. Finally we found out about a hardware store that sells gasoline.
We hung out at Langosta for awhile, then went back to Brasilito for some lunch. After lunch we went to the nearby Playa Conchal, a beautiful beach with bright turquoise water and ground up shells instead of sand. We rented some snorkeling gear, and checked out the many tropical fish swimming between the rocks. The only bummer was that our masks didn't fit well and there were a lot of jellyfish in the water.
After leaving Conchal we went to another beach, Playa Grande, to surf and read before sunset. Later we went to a great little Italian place owned by some CDSG parents.
We loved visiting Guanacaste, and the slow, rural, beachy way of life made us feel at home. Seeing the campus, housing, students, and staff assured us that we had made a great decision to transfer there in August. We were sad to leave, and we can't wait to move there next year

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