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jennifershipp

Central AmericaCosta RicaNorth America

Lydian – Day 41 – The Grocery Trip

Yesterday, we decided to walk to the store, right before it began raining! Of course, my mom decided not to flag down any taxis earlier in the walk, like I suggested, so we became drenched. Note to all you people coming to Costa Rica, bring an umbrella, or buy a good one while you’re here. You won’t be a very happy person if you don’t do one of these things. Either way, back to the story. We were walking ...
Central AmericaCosta RicaNorth America

Jennifer-Day 41- Nowhere vs. Somewhere Cool

Today, I am tired. The weekend is coming and I feel like I need to come up with something exciting to do. Last weekend we stayed home and nurtured our colds, but this weekend, I think we’ll be on the mend.So, what do we do? We talked about going to Nicaragua. I have a rough plan for how this could be accomplished, but as I already mentioned. I am very tired today. I don’t think I’m faking it. I think I’m ...
Central AmericaCosta RicaNorth America

Dogs in Costa Rica and Elsewhere

I have to say a word about the dogs here in Costa Rica because every single day that I’ve spent here has started with the sound of one yipping. Back home in the United States, I sometimes get weary of the silence. It’s true. I mean, the church bells that ring every hour can seriously interrupt my writing work (especially when they play hymns for 3 to 5 minutes at a time) and the trains that go by about a ...
Central AmericaCosta RicaNorth America

Jennifer- Day 39 (Or something like that) – Down with the Sickness

For the past five days, I’ve had a fever and cold symptoms and haven’t written anything down because frankly I couldn’t put my thoughts together and didn’t care. Lucia, from the yoga place, invited us to go with her to San Jose to see some of the health food stores there, but we had to decline because we were ill. That sucked a little, but I didn’t really care because I was sick. Now I care though, because ...
Central AmericaCosta RicaNorth America

Jennifer- Day 38- Escape from Regret

Today is the Costa Rican Independence Day (September 15th). I could go out, or I could stay home. I could walk to the park or I could take a bus to San Jose. I could read, I could write. It's my choice, which fits well with the theme of the day. But I'm not sure. What should I do?Our trip to Costa Rica has not gone as planned. To be honest, the plan was very sketchy when we boarded the plane to come here, ...
Atenas, Costa Rica Dance, Language Classes, Taekwondo, and More… — By Jennifer Shipp
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Atenas, Costa Rica Dance, Language Classes, Taekwondo, and More… — By Jennifer Shipp

We have tried working through Su Espacio in Atenas, Costa Rica to do things like dance and yoga classes. The place is even owned and operated by a woman named “Tina” from Oklahoma. But alas, it's no use. The native Costa Ricans working there have been nothing but pleasant to talk to and work with, but Tina herself has been rather stand-offish. Unfortunately, her behavior toward us has been very similar to ...
Central AmericaCosta RicaNorth America

Dia de Independencia en Costa Rica

In truth, today is not yet the Costa Rican Independence Day. That happens tomorrow. Tonight the big event happened at 6:00 PM, approximately 26 minutes ago. The Costa Rican national anthem played on the speakers all over the country and patriotic Ticos were supposed to stop what they were doing and sing along.I’ve read about the Costa Rican Independence Day in guidebooks and they sensationalize the ...
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Jennifer- Day 33- The Costa Rican Comfort Zone

Today was a very normal sort of day. I did what I normally do. All day. There were only a few things that were different from my regular routine at home in the United States. First of all, I went for a 4 mile jog UPHILL. This uphill jog was extreme. I am used to running on flat surfaces. There is much huffing and puffing while John and I jog and it isn’t entirely meditative like it is at home, but I’m ...
Central AmericaCosta RicaNorth America

Lydian – Day 30 – Poas Volcano, Sweet Treats, and Milkshakes

I woke up that morning to the sound of the door closing as my dad went out to the car to get it for another day. The night before, I had decided that I wanted to go with, but I had just gotten comfortable on my paper thin mattress that allows my butt to hit the wood holding me and mattress up. It’s not comfy. But, anyways, I heard him pull out, and figured that I couldn’t get out there in time. I found out ...
Central AmericaCosta RicaNorth America

Grateful to Be Complaining

There is nothing in the world as important as a comfortable place to sit when you don’t have one. Or warmth when you can’t get out of the cold. There is nothing like a really good book when you only have five minutes to read. And there is nothing like warm food when you’ve been eating Power Bars for every meal.I complain a lot in blog posts because I’m trying to keep our experience “real”. I mean, I do ...
Central AmericaCosta RicaNorth America

Poas Volcano vs. Reading Rainbow

Volcan Poas. What can I say? It is a major tourist attraction in Costa Rica. It’s near where we live. We had to go. Maybe I sound like a poopey-butt, but I didn’t want to go. The day before we returned from Manuel Antonio National Park and frankly, we were tired and all of us kind of wanted to stay home.But, we had rented a car and it was just too easy to go see Volcan Poas. We felt guilty staying home ...
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Lydian – Day 29 – Manuel Antonio National Park

We got to see a sloth. The likelihood of getting to see a sloth at any national park, anywhere, at any time, is a rare occurrence. I suppose that we’re very lucky people. Actually, I think that we got to see two of these rather adorably ugly creatures. We also got to see some crocodiles alongside a river on the way to the national park. They were HUGE! They were probably 10 feet or something like that. We ...
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Manuel Antonio National Park

It's a major tourist destination in Costa Rica. What can I say that has not already been said in guidebooks? It’s so hard to write about tourist destinations because they are a little bit “canned”. The experience of going to a tourist destination is a lot like riding a train. There is never any question about where the train is going or where it will end up. There are no digressions along the way. The only ...
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Seasons Here (in Costa Rica) and Abroad

It doesn’t actually get cold here, but sometimes I do feel cold. The reason why I feel cold, especially at night or during a major rainstorm is because of the unbelievably high humidity. I can put on a long sleeved shirt and still feel just as cold as when I was just wearing a tank top because the humidity is all-enveloping. It wraps around the body and bathes a person head to toe. Everything is just a ...
Central AmericaCosta RicaNorth America

The Uncomfortable Relationship between Low Probability and Possibility

We are nearing the halfway point of our travels here to Costa Rica. We’ve just moved to a new house where we’ve been for 5 days now. Last weekend we went to Volcan Poas and Manuel Antonio National Park. And today, we’re supposed to go visit the orphanage here in Atenas to see if we are “good enough” to volunteer.I have a generalized feeling of stress and I believe it is coming from the interactions I’ve ...
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Jennifer- Day 32- Working Online in Costa Rica

It is September when kids return to school and parents begin the arduous transition back to a busy schedule that includes very early mornings, homework, and extracurricular activities. Traditionally during this time of year, we tend to have less work. When we owned the web development company, our sales would drop back precipitously for at least 6 weeks into the middle of October. Now that we work online as ...
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Jennifer-Day 31- The Smell of Arrogance and Conceit

We stopped at the orphanage yesterday to talk with someone about doing a little bit of volunteer work. The woman in charge, luckily, speaks English. She’s American but grew up in Papua New Guinea with missionary parents. Her story is strikingly similar to the tale told by the vacation rental property manager in La Fortuna. He had grown up in the Congo with missionary parents. I’m not sure which place would ...
Costa Rica Destinations — By Jennifer Shipp
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Costa Rica Destinations — By Jennifer Shipp

This morning when I woke up, I felt as though I were sleeping in a hamster ball. My mattress must have been used by a very large person for a very long time and it felt as though I was sleeping in that person’s giant body-print. John is sleeping in the other bed because there is only one flat-ish lump in the middle of it for one thin-ish person. Very large giants must have slept together in his bed because ...
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The End of the World is Coming…

I have a habit. I flip through yahoo gossip stuff that is almost always stupid on a daily basis. Sometimes, this stuff pays off, and there’s something interesting. So, y’know how we were in an earthquake a couple of days ago? Well, now the Yangtze River in China is turning red. Seriously, check it out. I don’t know if this plays into Armageddon at all, but I’ve been dropping my phone on a daily basis. This ...
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Jennifer- Day 28- Tiny Living Nightmares

Moving to a new house or accomodations is stressful even if the move isn’t “permanent” or long-lasting. Yesterday we moved from our uncomfortable house with the hard furniture in Alajuela to a new, much cheaper house in Atenas with soft, but smelly furniture. Settling in is always an ordeal and this is especially true for places in the world where there is no winter. No winter means that there are lots of ...
Bruised Banana