Saturday, 26 April 2014

More Surfing More Spanish and Some Yoga in Costa Rica

Two more weeks at the School of the World in Jaco, Costa Rica have flown by now and I'm supposed to have only one week I decided to extend my stay by one week (una semana mas) in order to learn a bit more Spanish and to hopefully figure out this surfing thing (grrrr).  In total, my stay will be 5 weeks at the School of the World and it is currently the weekend before the fourth week two more weeks left now.

Spanish class continues to be challenging and I'm astounded at how much there is to learn and at how slow I am to pick it up.  Pronouns confound me.  Spanish Labs are always fun and we have done a whole variety of different activities in the labs to practice our Spanish.  We took a trip to a small town (pueblo) to see some local fruit, a tiny church, the rodeo grounds, and what a typical peublo is like.  We also went to the feria (farmers market) to talk to the vendors, sample some things, discuss the local produce and foods and buy some things.  Lucia, our instructor, cooked lunch with Rodin and I so we could learn about typical Costa Rican food and ingredients.
The red cross emergency room at the small rodeo grounds.  In Costa Rica it is encouraged for fans to enter the rodeo...not just professionals.  Injured souls are passed out of the rodeo through this small gap for quick first aid and sometimes removal by ambulances.
Carlos, the photography instructor (also a surf instructor) showing us inside the Red Cross room at the rodeo.

Star fruits

Tiny mango 
They may be small but there are lots of them!

Cute little church
Rodin (left) and our Spanish instructor Lucia sitting down to enjoy our typical Costa Rican lunch of Picadillo de Chayote (a hot dish made with chopped squash called Chayote, onions, red pepper, cilantro, and corn seasoned with salt and pepper), corn tortillas, guacamole, and patacones (savory fried plantain chips)

Rodin and I eager for lunch

Rodin, Jon, Lucia, and Laura at the feria (farmers' market)

Guaba (sounds like guava but doesn't look or taste like it!) long pods containing sweet white furry fruits which have big brown seeds inside.

for one Spanish lab we accompanied the photography class to Playa Escondida (hidden beach) and spent the time chatting in Spanish

It's not all sufing and Spanish, I also did yoga classes for 1.5 hours each day last week.  I really love Yoga and plan to keep up the practice when I return home.  I also occasionally skip Ines delicious home cooked meals for some socializing out on the town with the other students or to go out to watch the Saturday surf competition at Playa Hermosa.
Chili Guarro shots.  Made with hot chili sauce, lime juice, and local overproof liquor called Guarro...surprisingly tasty

Students of the School of the World (Aarti, Missi, Joanna, Kara, Laura, Grace, Larry, know who you are)

Jasper del Mundo, the School of the World cat taking a Shavasana in the yoga studio

Nightly entertainment outside the bar "Swell" where people try to balance on a balance board... basically a skateboard set on top of a plastic cylinder. 

Grace, Robin, Rodin, and Missy from left to right at Swell

Missy, Joanna, and Jamie at Swell

Carlos explaining to us that surfing isn't a's a lifestyle.
Rodin and Laura

Grace, Leticia, me, and Levi

The whole crew out for sushi...(from left to right around the table; Jon, Rodin, Laura, Analou, Elle, Kareem, Grace, Letitizia, me, Levi, Tina, and Andreas)
Clubbing in Jaco with Elle, Kareem, Rodin, Kara, and Laura

 Playa Hermosa Saturday Surf Competition
I finally took some photos of the homestay where I am living.  On a quiet Sunday morning.  Ines, Eric, Antonio, Gabrielle and I went to a beach which is one of Ines favorites last Sunday.  It was really beautiful with lots of rocks and fossils, some small caves, and a very sheltered bay for the kids to swim in.
My bedroom

The front veranda

view out of my bedroom window



Antonio (almost 3), Gabrielle (7) and Ines

Beach near Punta Leona

Eric (Dad) playing with Antonio and Gabrielle

Red Macaw in the trees at the beach
Tuesday and Wednesday the waves were too large and not "buenas formas" (good shape) for surfing.  We tried on Monday despite the conditons not being swell (excuse the pun) and we got crushed!  It took all we had to get outside the break and once we were there it was pretty terrifying trying to catch a wave.  Only a few people were able to catch the waves and I was not among them.  I personally got worked over by the surf that day!  I took my board in and went for a swim instead.  I was much more successful body surfing than real surfing.  On Wednesday the instructors weren't keen to take us out because the waves were even bigger so we used the time for a balance workshop instead.  The instructors had each one of us pop up and show our surf stances then they corrected us individually.  Next they balanced a surfboard on two bosu balls and had us pop up into our surf stances on that to practice our balance and getting the correct position on the board.  We also got to try the balance board (like a skateboard on a small cylinder of plastic).
Kareem being instructed by Alonso

Derby holding the board for Jon

Levi on the balance board.

Joanna with Alonso

Laura with Alonso

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