North America

Of Food and Classes — By Lydian Shipp
Central AmericaCosta RicaNorth America

Of Food and Classes — By Lydian Shipp

Today was an overall normal day. I did my homework, and my parents worked. At the end of the day, my mom found a place in Alajuela that apparently had belly dance classes, breakdance classes, Latin dance classes, Spanish classes, and a bunch of other stuff too. I was pretty excited to see this place, I mean, it was the first place we had found that had classes of any kind.So off we went to find this ...
Umbrellas Would Be Nice — By Jennifer Shipp
Central AmericaCosta RicaNorth America

Umbrellas Would Be Nice — By Jennifer Shipp

So I looked online and found a place that offers classes in all kinds of things. It’s called the “Mind-Body Zone” and it’s located in the center of Alajuela. We decided around 4:00 PM to go into the city and try to find it.Lydian was in a bad mood. John had a headache. And it was raining. We started walking down the hill. About 100 yards into our walk, a man backed out of his driveway with an ancient ...
Sick After Breakfast Smoothie — By Jennifer Shipp
Central AmericaCosta RicaNorth America

Sick After Breakfast Smoothie — By Jennifer Shipp

John made a “smoothie” tonight out of the oranges that we have growing in our backyard. These oranges are actually green and we had to look them up online to make sure they were indeed “oranges”. He squeezed the juice carefully and then he was going to use some bananas that I bought yesterday to add some substance to the much coveted “smoothie” tonight. Unfortunately, however, the “bananas” were plantains, ...
Ant Armageddon — By Jennifer Shipp
Central AmericaCosta RicaNorth America

Ant Armageddon — By Jennifer Shipp

Lydian and I stayed in today while John went on an emergency trip to the abastacedor after flour. We had all decided that we were on the brink of starvation and needed cookies. Low on flour, John offered to go to the little convenience store nearby. Someone had to stay here because Bernie the Plumber was coming to put in our new instant-on hot water heater for our shower.As mostly vegetarians who are ...
Scarcity Value — By Lydian Shipp
Central AmericaCosta RicaNorth America

Scarcity Value — By Lydian Shipp

Food variety, and food in general, is rather scarce these days.Plain potato chips and dry bread with honey are the two snack foods that we have in our house right now. Dinner consists of either beans and rice with hot sauce or pasta with vegetables. Oatmeal is for breakfast. Today, we added a rare (but plentiful) new food to our snack time. A CLIF bar! Mine was chocolate-mint flavored. So was my ...
All Right Turns and Serendipity Today — By Jennifer Shipp
Central AmericaCosta RicaNorth America

All Right Turns and Serendipity Today — By Jennifer Shipp

Today was mostly a very normal day.The plumber/handyman came to try to fix our shower with two other young men. This morning, of course, the water was somewhat warm when I showered. I even stood underneath it to wash my hair. The shower must’ve known that the handyman was coming.When he arrived he fiddled with the instant-on fixture quite haphazardly and it started a small fire inside and popped a ...
Much Walking, Two Buses, and Seemingly Dead Leaf Bugs — By Lydian Shipp
Central AmericaCosta RicaNorth America

Much Walking, Two Buses, and Seemingly Dead Leaf Bugs — By Lydian Shipp

Today was a day filled with walking, if I do say so myself. We did achieve our goals, in the end, but I’ll get to that. As we exited the house and checked our bags to make sure that we had everything we needed, and suddenly noticed a “leaf” on the wall. No, it’s a bug! It wasn’t moving, but it seemed to like the lighter shade of yellow on the wall in opposition to the darker shade further to the ...
Costa Rica Is Mostly Not Like Mexico — By Jennifer Shipp
Central AmericaCosta RicaNorth America

Costa Rica Is Mostly Not Like Mexico — By Jennifer Shipp

In my mind, when we came here, I thought it would be a lot like Mexico…only better. But, Costa Rica is not Mexico. It is like Mexico in some ways: people speak Spanish here and they hang out around the house sleeping in hammocks during the hot part of the day. But this place is very different from the Yucatan where we spent 6 weeks last year. I’m still trying to put my finger on it.Today we made our way ...
Pets, Walmart, and Other Things — By Lydian Shipp
Central AmericaCosta RicaNorth America

Pets, Walmart, and Other Things — By Lydian Shipp

This morning, as far as I knew, the original plan was to get up, work on my homework (work, in the case of my parents), work on some Spanish, eat lunch, work some more on my homework and on Spanish, maybe talk to my friends, play my guitar, and whatever else I could do.Well, that plan didn't work out.As we walked out the door, I had already anticipated that today would go by slowly, and at the end ...
Where the Streets Have No Name — By Jennifer Shipp
Central AmericaCosta RicaNorth America

Where the Streets Have No Name — By Jennifer Shipp

We did in fact make it to Walmart and back. We had to walk a little over a mile to a bus stop and then wait with the chickens and several other people for about 30 minutes. This forced “time-out” of sorts is one of the benefits and drawbacks of travel. I am always amazed at how patient people at bus stops can be. They are not reading or writing or getting out their laptops to try to get ahead. They’re just ...
Our Fun Costa Rican Neighbors — By Lydian Shipp
Central AmericaCosta RicaNorth America

Our Fun Costa Rican Neighbors — By Lydian Shipp

I woke up about thirty minutes ago to loud music. I had just so happened to be having a rather nightmarish dream at the time, so when the eerie music seeped into my dream as I woke up, I automatically started to have thoughts about haunted houses, as eerie things seem to do to me. In the beginning, I thought maybe there was an awesome young female singer living right next door (maybe she played an ...
American Airlines Trauma — By Lydian Shipp
Central AmericaCosta RicaNorth America

American Airlines Trauma — By Lydian Shipp

Plane day was off to a good start. All our checked bags were checked, our carry on bags at our sides, and, most importantly, we had made it through the security check successfully. Even our lunch of (slightly cooked) rice with a dollop of plum sauce wasn't all that bad.  Plus, the airline had bumped us to first class!My dad went up to check and see if our baggage was okay, and that our tickets were ...
Finding Food ‘n Stuff — By Jennifer Shipp
Central AmericaCosta RicaNorth America

Finding Food ‘n Stuff — By Jennifer Shipp

Today was our first official day in Costa Rica. We woke up here, in our little vacation rental.  It is a Friday, so all of us had work to do. John programs for the web, I am a writer, and Lydian is doing classes through the University of Nebraska high school homeschool program. Yesterday we endured three flights to get here over the course of 10 hours: Denver to Dallas; Dallas to San Salvador, and San ...
Bruised Banana