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jennifershipp

Central AmericaCosta RicaNorth America

Lydian – Day 28 – The New House

So we moved to the house. Things are a okay. Tonight me and my mom are going to go to belly dance class in town at Su Espacio in Atenas… It seems like a nice place as far as I can tell. This morning, regarding the topic of exercise, we ran up and down the street, which is MUCH easier said than done. There’s a GIANT hill outside that we ran up and down about five or six times, and then there was another hill ...
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Lydian – Day 25 – Two Day Countdown to Comfy Chairs

So. In two days, we’re moving to a new location. I cannot wait. No longer will I be required to listen to the mournful yowling and yipping of the neighbor's dog. No longer will I be required to watch bad children’s programs of TV with the neighbors. No longer will the lawn chair I call my own be of great matter. No longer will these things be. And, at least after you walk down the hill from this new ...
Costa Rica Earthquake 2012 — By Jennifer Shipp
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Costa Rica Earthquake 2012 — By Jennifer Shipp

It was a beautiful morning for an earthquake. The past two days it's been extremely foggy and overcast here, but this morning when I went outside, the sun was shining brightly and the sky was blue. It's the rainy season in Costa Rica right now and I expected the thunderstorms, the lightning and torrential rains. But one thing I didn’t expect when we decided to go on a trip here was an earthquake.I ...
Our Costa Rican Earthquake – September 5, 2012
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Our Costa Rican Earthquake – September 5, 2012

Today’s 7.6 earthquake in Costa Rica was my first. My virgin earthquake. I have never in my life experienced anything like it and we were even 95 miles from the epicenter. I've always wanted to experience what an earthquake felt like (without dying, getting injured, or watching others die or get injured) and today was my big day. I feel like I should have a very dramatic blow-by-blow of the whole experience ...
The Earthquake — By Lydian Shipp
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The Earthquake — By Lydian Shipp

So, at about…. 8:42 or so, there was an earthquake here in Costa Rica. We’re currently located just outside of Alajuela, a city located just outside of Costa Rica's capital, San Jose. The earthquake's magnitude was originally a 7.9, but now the Internet is saying it’s a 7.6. It was somewhere around there. So far we’ve heard some helicopters flying overhead and some ambulances going by, but it’s hard to tell ...
Central AmericaCosta RicaNorth America

Jennifer-Day 23-Kittens, Cookies, and Craziness

If I only had a kitten, I think I’d be okay. I don’t want to admit that I’m homesick (Is that even possible for someone who's lived in 30 different places {+/-} in the past  15 years?). The word makes me think of summer camp and immaturity, but it also makes me feel less like a total loon and more like someone going through the very normal process of cultural acclimatization or whatnot.“Home” is a ...
Central AmericaCosta RicaNorth America

The Right Thing to Do at the Bus Station

I have seen the man in the wheelchair making his way through the middle of the Alajuelan streets begging for change. His legs are withered and he seems to have a death wish hanging out in the very center of the streets amongst the crazy wreckless drivers like he does. It seems like a hard life, to be disabled and to have to beg in the middle of a Costa Rican street.I am soft when it comes to situations ...
Bus Stations in Costa Rica — By Jennifer Shipp
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Bus Stations in Costa Rica — By Jennifer Shipp

We went to visit Atenas for the first time today, to see the new house that we’ll be renting for the rest of our time here. Atenas is, apparently a big expatriate place, but it felt a lot different than La Fortuna (also a big expatriate place). The house looks nice, with a big backyard and soft living room furniture, which was one of the most important features we were looking for after spending the past 21 ...
Central AmericaCosta RicaNorth America

The Perils of Eating Costa Rican Fried Chicken and Chocolate — By Jennifer Shipp

I know that rice and beans is a staple here in Costa Rica, but what I wasn’t expecting to find was a fried chicken stand on every street corner here. And it smells really good. We don’t eat the fried chicken because it’s probably fried in lard (and John is allergic to beef), but we do try to soak up the aroma when we go into Alajuela because it is positively intoxicating in a comfort-food sort of ...
Jennifer-Day 21-More Things to Do in Alajuela Costa Rica
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Jennifer-Day 21-More Things to Do in Alajuela Costa Rica

Last night we went to our second private Latin dance class and our first group Latin dance class in Alajuela. Randall, our private instructor does a great job, in my opinion. He speaks English quite well, which makes the classes less painful for us and he’s very patient. Though he teaches at the Merecumbre studio, he also teaches privately at people’s homes and is willing to travel.Below is the contact ...
Jennifer-Day 20-Welcome to the Jungle
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Jennifer-Day 20-Welcome to the Jungle

I am uncomfortable. The chairs are hard and the rice is…well, bland. I miss soy milk, the Prius, and wind. I am in at least 50% denial about these things most of the time. My emotions are like a heavy fog that lifts only momentarily before descending again to cloud everything up and give every item in my world a cold, wet, slippery feeling. Yes, I put myself in this situation. It’s like I sent myself to ...
Lydian – Day 20 – It’s Almost Been a Month
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Lydian – Day 20 – It’s Almost Been a Month

Last night was our first dance class in Costa Rica together as a family. It was a private dance class consisting of basic Merengue and Salsa dance steps, and surprisingly, I enjoyed it, though I didn’t think that I would. I was exhausted and sweating afterwards, much like my parents, and did suppose that when we went home now that I would finally be able to enjoy the “comfort” of my chair. Instead, we went ...
Initial Thoughts on the Costa Rican Orphanage — By Jennifer Shipp
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Initial Thoughts on the Costa Rican Orphanage — By Jennifer Shipp

I have been putting off writing about the orphanage, but I know I need to do it before my initial impressions wear off from the weekend. It was the first orphanage I’ve ever seen abroad and I'm hesitant to romanticize it. There are some things that we encounter that produce an immediate and striking emotional response. Usually, when I write about these things, my initial impressions are somewhat different ...
The Song, Dance, and Yoga of Language — By Jennifer Shipp
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The Song, Dance, and Yoga of Language — By Jennifer Shipp

Last night we took our very first Latin dance classes ever at Merecumbre in Alajuela. It was a private lesson and we have another one tonight followed by an hour-long group lesson. I was nervous last night, but I expected to be less nervous for our classes tonight having done a class already. But I’m not less nervous. Because tonight, we’ll be dancing with a whole group of other people who understand Salsa ...
Taking Neem for Malaria and Dengue Fever — By Jennifer Shipp
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Taking Neem for Malaria and Dengue Fever — By Jennifer Shipp

About a week ago, I read a news story talking about West Nile virus in the United States. Apparently, the West Nile virus has been particularly virulent this year. I congratulated myself for being here, in Costa Rica while the U.S. is stricken with an awful plague of West Nile (at least this is how new reports made it sound). But then, a few days ago, I read about the outbreak of dengue fever here in Costa ...
Lydian – Day 19 – The Flying Tomato and Other Things…
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Lydian – Day 19 – The Flying Tomato and Other Things…

Day two in La Fortuna began with waking up at about eight o’clock in the morning, like the morning before, and preceding to get ready, without cockroaches, unlike the morning before. “Nathan” was going to take us to see some other rental properties in La Fortuna, along with an orphanage. I didn’t realize that we were going to see rental properties, so I was a little confused, but I was rather glad too… I ...
Grocery Stores and Food in Costa Rica — By Jennifer Shipp
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Grocery Stores and Food in Costa Rica — By Jennifer Shipp

We are not strict vegans. In fact, you couldn’t even say that we’re strict vegetarians. Our diet is based on what works for our health and basically it’s vegan + chicken. For many years, we were vegetarians who snarfed down large portions of cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products at every meal. Then, we learned the truth about milk and dairy products (that they’ll kill you—see the documentary Forks over ...
“It’s My Life” — By Lydian Shipp
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“It’s My Life” — By Lydian Shipp

Let’s start at the beginning. We got to the house. We got unpacked. We had to go get another key made for our rental, so we went with the people renting the apartment to us. The walk was pretty uneventful. We walked, got a key made, and then William (the man renting out the apartment) took us to a restaurant where we got guacamole and chips, along with some seriously heavenly salsa. We stayed there for ...
“It’s My Life” at a Karaoke Bar in Costa Rica — By Jennifer Shipp
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“It’s My Life” at a Karaoke Bar in Costa Rica — By Jennifer Shipp

We rolled into La Fortuna, at the base of Arenal Volcano around 4:00 PM. John and I had both been stressed about the trip from Alajuela to La Fortuna. The map of Costa Rica that we had on our trip was as descript and helpful as the road signs leading from here to there. We were told that there were no road signs indicating which road was which and that there were few signs to tell you which direction to go ...
The Trip to La Fortuna — By Lydian Shipp
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The Trip to La Fortuna — By Lydian Shipp

This last weekend was interesting, though extremely exhausting. The morning of Friday the 24th, I woke up at approximately eight or eight thirty. Five seconds after I woke up, I heard my mom shout, “Lydian, there’s a cockroach in the sink! I need your help!” So, I helped. I washed the dishes. This was my wakeup call.Originally, we were going to work that morning until about ten before leaving to get to ...
Bruised Banana