Wednesday, August 15, 2007

El Balcon

Monday night I was invited to my families Mothers Day family gathering taking place at the grandparents house five doors down. I was warned that the family was quite large but for about two hours I was introducing myself to different people as a steady stream of people arrived most of whom looked slightly alike! There were well over 40 people and just three generations but they seem to have been keeping the family name alive quite well! Intrestingly they all speak fluent English and some have studied in the US but I didn´t really get to find out too much about them as the aunts kept on shouting over whenever anyone spoke to me in English so I was left to deduce what I could from my smattering of Spanish.

This week the Spanish seems to have suddently come on a lot. I spent quite a bit of time at the weekend reviewing what we had done in the week and also for the first time in my life I have sat down and learnt verbs and vocabulary - I don´t think I ever had that resolve at school! So today my teacher had printed some info from the UNHCR website and so I translated a document all about refugees and migrantion in Costa Rica which is definitely not something I would have thought I could acompish in such a small space of time. Great teachers who have really pushed me along with one to one classes have really made the difference.

I have been having trouble with the shower in that I can get it on but can´t get it hot with days ranging from luke warm to icey cold which is not such a bad thing when it is quite close anyway (I don't think I am fully aclimatized yet) but whenever I run the tap for a glass of cold water all I can get is lukewarm even though in both my bathroom and the kitchen the hot tap is not hooked up... I think this is one of the mysteries of plumbing which is too complicated for me to look into but thought it worth a comment.

The other thing that I have been coming to grips with is the time difference. I have worked out it is now 7 hours different. This is the first time I have really been ahead of the UK and it feels a bit strange becuase you all have your days while mine is stretching ahead. When I go to bed I flick on to CNBC (for Sarah) and watch the opening of the Australian markets or the warm up to Europe and then lots of things happen while I sleep and then I wake up with the Amerian markerts. So it kinda feels that my day is playing catch up the whole time because I am trying to email/ get in contact before people go to bed.

Sent an email to my next family over at UPEACE in Spanish and awaiting the reply to find out their exact address. With all my bags I am going to take a taxi over and so need a full address and to find out what time is good for them.

Going to try my Spanish out and buy a printer for my computer tomorrow or on Friday. Went browsing on Sunday and they seem for inkjets to be from 25 pound upwards so I think that would be a good investment for the year. I´ll try to pracitce a bit in my lesson before being unleashed onto Office Depot sales assistants!

Been eating lunch in a place called Él Balcon. There are only 6 small oine tables to 2. It seems to be a family run place becuase there are family photos and they look like younger versions of the cooks. The place is really popular with the business men and women around and i have overheard German so I think they were from the nearby embassy. Not only is it one of the cheapest places for lunch but also the plates are full with rice, beans, fried plantain, salad, cooked vegetables and tortillas and I have it with grilled fillet of fish ususally but today I had a great Spanish tortilla with it. Taking my teacher there tomorrow becuase she has not been before and wants to try it out.

Moving to UPEACE on Saturday like i said so the adventure is about to begin.


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