Sunday, February 28, 2010

Pancake Day!

Today we had pancakes for breakfast!!! I literally did a dance when I saw them! I didn’t take a photo of them, though because I was too busy CHOWING down! I put some banana cinnamon jam they have here on mine and topped it with honey. mmm MM! Pancake day.

Below: a portion of the group on the chocolate tour (don’t worry, I talk about it a little later).

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We learned more poses today and practiced assisting. We all had to pick three poses to work on and I worked on my wheel pose (a backbend). I also have headstand, handstand on the wall, and chaturanga. The last one I added because I need to build strength to do all of the above better. I was a little sad at first, because I’ve built SO MUCH strength with yoga… and then realized I needed more. oh. But now, I’m embracing the challenge (and it’s also better because my push-ups are better!)

Me doing one-legged bridge.

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THEN, for lunch was refried beans and guacamole in corn tortillas!! AWESOME!! I was SO excited! It was a day of fantastic foods! Dinner was average, but after that breakfast and lunch, they could have served me just about anything and I would still be on a high from pancake day. pancake day. mmmm.

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Anyway, it’s been raining again. None of our clothes have dried so smells now include mildew mixed with sweat and wet-person. I’ve decided not to get my hair wet in the shower because it doesn’t dry. All day. For 24 hours – not dry. Rob, get ready for one stinky suitcase coming home!

Frog in the yoga room (I noticed him while doing a backbend and named him Kermit in remembrance of the frog that lived in our houseplant).

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That day, we also saw a SLOTH! Actually, we saw three – a mom and baby, and another that came down to ground level and posed for all of us to admire him! I didn’t get any good pictures but others have volunteered to share. In the meantime, here’s the mom and baby. If you look for a patch of fur, that’s them!

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Tomorrow morning (7:30am) I am teaching my first class here! I’m kind of nervous, but mostly excited because now I’ll get some really valuable feedback! I really want to be a GOOD yoga teacher and this experience, however scary, will help me get there!

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Yesterday, we toured a chocolate farm. It was neat to see the fruit and taste it before it turns into chocolate. We learned about how the tribal people did chocolate before Costa Rica was settled. It was pretty interesting. Most people bought chocolate, but as I’d already stocked enough, I bought some awesome coco butter! Can’t wait to moisturize in dry Abilene.

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And here’s a pose for you all to try at home – Crow Pose!

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sounds and Smells

I’d like to take a moment to write about the great many sensory experiences I’m having here.

Good sound: the many birds and frogs that make the rainforest a never-quiet place!

Bad sound: the sound of a frog coming from inside your shower (not me, but still)

Good sound: Howler monkeys in the distance with their mysteriously melodious cacophony.

Bad sound: Very loud dying-werewolf-sounding howler monkey while the instructor is leading the class… “Exhale… ow ow owwwwww… and inhale…” It’s hilarious!

Good sound: Thunder rolling in and the soft patter of rain on the large tropical leaves. I have my own live relaxation CD! Cool, God!

Bad sound: Continuous sound of rain resulting in non-drying clothes and mold spores on roommate’s duffle bag.

Good smell: The smell of the rain is amazing! It’s like every form of fresh smell you can imagine all rolled into one! It’s like a fresh cucumber, but more multi-faceted. Or like fresh rain smell with woods, and leaves, and grass, and flowers woven in!

Bad smell: Lowering face down onto a yoga mat towel that smells oh-so-very-strongly of feet and sweat! Mmm, pungent.

Good smell: The intoxicating flowers outside our window wafting their divine fragrance into our room!

Bad smell: The waste bucket full of toilet paper that can’t be flushed down the delicate system.

And good smell: The incense they burned today during yoga practice! To me, it smelled like the color green – fresh cut grass and a piney, woodsy smell. Yum!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Beach Day!

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So, today was our day off! But, we still did a yoga practice (it is a yoga teacher training, after all!) And WHAT a yoga practice we did!!

It was an hour of sun salutations (vacillating between challenge-loving and life-hating moments). Sun salutations are very vigorous, in case you don’t know. Then, we did handstands and forearm balances. Then, we did abs until everyone groaned. THEN, we did six 10-breath wheels (I could only manage  3 very short 10-breaths, then 3 bridge poses). Then, we did headstands (which is where I expended the very last of my energy) and finished with legs-up-the-wall pose. In all, it was almost two hours!

The fact that I even completed such a crazy hard yoga practice makes me happy! I was wiping sweat out of my eyes with every other forward fold.

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So, those of us whose rooms were close enough, rushed to take showers and grab a quick breakfast before going to the bus. We rode to Punta Uva beach (apparently one of the top ten beaches in the world) and it was GORGEOUS! Of course, pictures don’t quite do it justice.

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Florida is comparable, but in a different way. This beach had a very tropical feel with its dense rainforest lining the beach. I started a light dip in the ocean, which turned into a long dip because it was so divine! The water temperature was just how I like it – not cold; and the waves rolled gently, giving me the feeling that I was in a whirlpool, or getting a little massage. Plus, the water was very “clean” – no seaweed, very little sand creeping under swimsuits, etc. Perfect.

Plus, the water lowered my body temperature back to normal! After the rigorous yoga practice today, I thought I would be sweating to cool off the rest of the day! I took a little nap in the shade and recuperated. It was lovely.

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For lunch, we stuck to our vegetarian diet and I had hummus, bread, and gazpacho. Mmmm! But, the big deal for me was the ICE CREAM!!! This place also had great ice cream (a little like gelato) and I had mango and sweet lime. It was DELICIOUS! And I was so happy to have sweets!!!

Oh yea, there’s no sweets here. We only get dessert two or three times a week. There’s sugar for coffee and tea, but no goodies. I think the instructor has it as part of our “detox.” Oh well. I miss them the most. Someone mentioned cupcakes the other day and I would really love someone out there who can to eat a cupcake for me! My thoughts will be with you. Longing.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Flying

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Some acro-yoga – Sky is flying our instructor, Jen.

Already the time is flying by! Sunday, we had our first anatomy lessons. A lot came back to me from Dr. Daddy teaching me when I was little. I can’t imagine this course with no anatomy background whatsoever! It really helps to know the names of the muscles, bones, and how they interact.

My roommate has a scientific anatomy book and every time we learn something “weird” about the chakras or awakening the nardis, we look up what it would be relating to in the body. And, it’s not far off. I think it just depends on how you approach the body. Those ancient Indians were very spiritual and as they learned about the body, it was of course colored with intangible ethereal things. Our anatomy was approached from a typically atheist view and accordingly “what you see is what you get”…  I probably won’t be leading a class with the purpose of opening the throat chakra or something, but I’m not sure it doesn’t exist. That’s where I am with those. Anybody know more about the chakras?

We’ve talked about more yoga virtues – non-greed and purity. For non-greed, I interpreted it in the vein of  nonattachment and talked about how the military teaches me nonattachment – you don’t get attached to your stuff because it may get lost or broken and you go without it for a time each time you move; you don’t get attached to where you live, but you certainly enjoy it while you’re there, etc. I think I do good justice to the awesomeness of military life – any single pilots want a hot yoga chick? I could probably set you up…

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For purity, a lot of people talked about de-toxing the body. But I chose to emphasize the “de-toxing of the mind” and not taking in bad things, dwelling on good things, etc. I said the Bible was my Scripture and I used it to “cleanse my mind” as it were by reading it often and applying its teaching to my life. (at least I hope that’s what came across! It’s hard to remember what I actually said because I was a bit nervous, unsure that the Bible was an acceptable Scripture here!) But it was well-received…. I’m pretty sure.

One of our recent assignments was to look at ourselves in the mirror and notice details – do I stand evenly? Is one leg shaped differently? Are my hips the same height? Are my shoulders the same?

So, as she was assigning this, I was thinking, “Aw, I’m not going to find anything, my body doesn’t have kinks and weirdness.” Ha! I was wrong! Apparently, my right hip is higher than my left; my left foot rotates out slightly; my left achilles tendon is bigger; my humorous bones are longer than my head and neck (makes me need a blanket under my head to do a correct headstand!); and my left foot is bigger than the right. Yea! So much for perfection! :-)

ALSO, we were to listen to the sounds our body makes. “Sounds? What sounds?" She meant things like hips popping and the like. Again, silly me thought, “Well, my body doesn’t make any sounds.” Ha! It showed me! My ankles have lots of little pops; my wrists as well; my scapulas seem to grind down my back when I open my shoulders; my knees pop every so often; and of course my stomach gurgles when I move it breathing, and usually during quiet times…. of course.

Interesting, huh? It’s been a great study of the body! We’re meant to try and make our own connections in these observances before she teaches us more reasons these things happen.

Maybe more on that later. This is more of us learning poses and how to assist them.

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Today, we practiced teaching again, this time a 20-minute flow. I end up going a lot slower than I think and have to cut things out, but that’s better than having to throw stuff in unplanned because it’s not long enough. This was a my beast teaching practice yet! I felt confident and comfortable instructing. I was able to demonstrate and jump up to assist throughout the practice! I want to work on describing the pose more. Like rather than say, “come into downward facing dog” say something more like “lifting your hips toward the sky, lengthen the spine, push through the hands and feet, coming into Ardha Mukka Svonasana.” Yea, doesn’t that sound cooler? Okay, maybe the sanskrit is too much, but it’s good practice using it.

Tomorrow, we have a a morning yoga practice and then we’re going to Puerto Viejo for the rest of the day! A welcome break for everyone! I haven’t written because we’ve had lots of homework and you all know I’m a little bit of a nerd and like to learn, so I read ahead some and review my notes more, etc. But it’s just so FUN!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Beach

Today, we were introduced to our anatomy teacher. I am SO excited! She seems great! And I love how the body works! That’s one of the ways I know God is amazing (and that there is a Creator!)

We had a heart opening yoga practice this morning and my thoracic spine area hardly ever gets this much attention! It was so nice!

The afternoon, we had free! I went to the beach to study and listen to the surf. Even though it was overcast, it was peaceful and nice to be in an open space again (although the rainforest is nice, I didn’t realize how much I miss the horizon!) See the black Costa Rican sand?

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Then, I went to the pool to read.

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Here’s some more pics of my beautiful location!

Flowers abound! In fact, there’s some intoxicating perfume of nature wafting in my window as I type!

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This is the short path from the yoga room, dining room, and pool to our “eco-cabina”

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Our “eco-cabinas”

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Mine and Sarah’s is the one on the bottom left. We get to walk by all the pretty flowers.

We’re learning to live with a variety of bugs. These ants visit us every evening. We’re not sure why they do, but we’ve deemed them harmless and allow the apparent scouting ants to quietly dissipate as we get settled after dinner.

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I think they might live in the desk… I like to imagine them in a little world in there like James and the Giant Peach or something.

Tomorrow is anatomy learning!!!! I’m stoked!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Stock Phrases

We’re practicing teaching a lot more. I’m so glad! I really want to polish my “stock phrases!” You know how yoga instructors say the same things a lot, like “spiral your ribcage toward the ceiling” “lengthen the spine” and “draw your lower belly in.” Anyway, I want to refine my stock phrases. Anyone got any they really like?

How does your teacher explain something that really makes you go “click! I get it"  ?

Also, we got tiny bananas for breakfast today! Look! Aren’t they cute?

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Getting Into It

The days follow the schedule pretty well. The past few days have been very similar. I wake up a little after six when the sun has brightened the sky. I don my yoga clothes and quietly walk up the path to the dining room to get some morning coffee. I walk over to the yoga room (all these rooms are open air) and set up my yoga mat for meditation practice at 7.

Meditation has been fine. We’re not supposed to meditate on anything in particular, we’re kind of just going for thinking about nothing. I know, it sounds kind of boring. Tomorrow, I think I may go rogue and be inspired by visualizing the ocean or thinking about a Bible verse to get started. Actually, my first meditation day was great and I started with Ephesians 1:17 – may God give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation, the eyes of your understanding be enlightened. Cool, huh?

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After meditation, we do a yoga practice. Jacqueline led the practice for the first time yesterday and I sweat like a waterfall! It wasn’t even that hard, just slow, steady, and consistently warm! It’s a serious workout!! I’m thinking it is a MUCH better yoga class to be longer than one hour, because you can spend more time warming up and therefore getting more out of the intense poses. In an hour-long class, you only end up with a couple intense poses. Maybe I can get an hour fifteen at the gym in Abilene….

After yoga, we go to breakfast, which is totally my favorite meal of the day!! I LOVE it! It’s loads of fruit – pineapple, mango, papaya, bananas, watermelon… with bread, homemade jam, granola, and yogurt. They also have a rotating “entree” with maybe eggs or oatmeal.  There’s fruit juice too! Coconut juice, mango, watermelon, mixed! I could eat breakfast all the time!

After breakfast, we go back to the yoga room for a lecture. Today, we talked a little about yoga history from our reading books. I’m proud to say I recall more than most and I think she’s stopped calling on me to answer questions. Don’t worry, I won’t let it go to my head… I know I’m a little bit of a nerd, but I also feel a heavy responsibility to learn the information well because I’ll have classes when I come back PLUS I’m supposed to relay to the other teachers in town what I’ve learned.

We also go over more yoga poses. One person models the pose while Jacqueline shows us how to instruct it and modify it and assist people in it. Then, we split into partners and instruct our partner and practice assisting them. It’s really helpful! But I know I’ll still need a lot of polish to be at the level of teaching I want.

This is where we practice yoga and have lectures. Nice, huh?

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We also discuss the yoga “virtues.” Today was "non-stealing.” It has a few facets, including non-coveting and generosity. I talked about the military life and how the culture has such generosity – our squadron commander’s wife gave me her car for the summer; we stayed in the Jestice house; when you move somewhere they stock your hotel with food or send you brochures about the town…. People rise to help when it’s needed with no expectation of return! AND it inspires others to do the same – I know I’m all too eager to orient new spouses because I had such great ladies show me the military life! Thank you, if you’re reading this!

Usually, after our lunch break, we’d go back for more lectures and learning poses until dinner. It almost feels like two days and the return after lunch is the beginning of another day! It’s not that time drags slowly, we’re just doing so much! Then, after dinner, there’s not that much time to take a little shower, check emails, read, do homework, and shoo the bugs out who are attracted to our light, before we really should be sleeping!

We saw this beetle in town! Wow!

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This afternoon, we had free and some of us walked into the town of Cahuita. I needed more bug spray – my little travel-sized one is almost gone and I’ve still got itchy bites in spite of using spray every day! We could take a taxi, but some of us chose to walk. It takes about an hour and we putted around after we’d found our goods at the grocery store. After we’d made the hour-walk back in the rain, I was a little tired, but exercised! Now, I’m using my remaining time to send a little update and then head to dinner, followed by homework and the next day!

Thanks for the prayer! I’m appreciating it!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Daily Schedule

This is our daily schedule:

6:30 tea and coffee, if you wish (thank you, I do wish)

7am – 7:30 Meditation

7:35 – 9:30 Yoga Practice

9:30-10:30 Breakfast

10:30-1:30 Session (listening and taking notes on poses or philosophy)

1:30-3:30 Lunch

3:30-6:30 Session

6:30 Dinner

The meditation times comes a lot easier to me than most of the other people and I’m thankful for the ritual of “quiet times,” for study and prayer in the Bible. Today, I let the Spirit lead my thoughts and tried to simply observe what He wanted to show me. It was really interesting. I haven’t done that style much since college, but I really appreciate how the Spirit works in that regard, showing me things I maybe need to deal with in my life or convictions, or simply worship or communion with God.

Most people find it really hard to stay still for that long and I only have a slight advantage with no ADHD and my QT (quiet time) practice.

So… yoga is hard! Unfortunately, our main teacher, Jacqueline, broke her wrist slipping on the slippery floors here; so her present assistant, Skylar (a guy) has been leading yoga practice. Being a guy, he already has certain strength advantages PLUS he’s a power yoga instructor (a strength-emphasis style). That, combined with my absence from Paul’s challenging teaching in Florida has made me soft! It stretches my limits! Plus, it’s like doing yoga in a humid sauna (not even kidding!) with the climate here. Happily, though, the heat keeps muscles from getting very sore. I’m picking up a lot to use on the military base classes I’ll be teaching when I come back. :-)

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So. the food here is AWESOME!!! It is savory, delicious, tasty, and every other good tasting adjective you can think of! I do not miss meat at all! This morning, we had watermelon, pineapple, yogurt, granola, eggs with peppers, onions, and lots of veggies! Lunch was marinated vegetables, green beans, salad, guacamole and a corn tortilla. Everything has been excellent! I want their recipe book!

This morning’s session, Jacqueline went over how to teach about 5 different poses and how to modify them and how to assist students into them. It was SO beneficial! It’s great to practice direction and explaining precisely and accurately to get a student into a pose. Plus, the assists are really helpful to practice and even gave me help in my pose! I’ll have to practice on some of you later! :-)

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Yesterday afternoon’s session was packed with info about yoga philosophy! Again, thank God for my awesome Christian roommate who took some great philosophy classes in college and has helped me tremendously in phrasing what I believe without the Christian words!

Our first homework assignment was to write a few paragraphs about what ahimsa (non-violence) means to us.

Whew! I was so struggling at first! The examples the teacher gave were things like non-violence toward people (no killing), non-violence toward animals (that’s why yogis are vegetarian), non-violence toward the earth, and being kind to others.

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Well… my husband is in the military and part of his job is to kill people, so I didn’t want to write about that…. I believe that animals were put on the earth by God for us to master and eat…. I believe I am to be a good steward of my resources, but I’m not a nut about the earth… and being nice to people just seemed lame to write about…

SO… I thought about why is it listed as “non-violence,” why not just “be nice?” I figured that people who are actively violent and have aggressive nature toward others are not desirable in any religion and it’s probably easier to simply NOT be mean. I remembered some (many) Scriptures about being nice, having LOVE and changing ones heart motivation: “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth will speak.” Luke 6:45. I thought about filling my heart with love and letting it overflow and then “how do I fill my heart with love?” It’s from God. How? Then, I remembered I John 3 “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us… My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” Ahimsa for me would manifest in filling my heart with the love of God and letting it overflow into my actions. We’ll discuss it this afternoon as a group, so we’ll see…

Monday, February 15, 2010

Yoga Camp

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So, our first day was spent on a bus in the morning as we drove to the resort, near Cahuita. So, big shocker! – there are a whopping 38 people taking the training! I’m a little disappointed that so many are here because I wanted a little more one-on-one instruction… But, oh well. We’ll see if it makes a lot of difference.

We had our first vegetarian meal and of course it was very tasty. I find it pretty easy to eat vegetarian (poor Matt came to dinner one night dismayed to find my cheese fondue meal had no meat! – don’t worry, I cooked him a chicken breast). But, it remains to be seen how I do with it long term.

I am THRILLED to report that coffee is allowed!! I was in denial, not wanting to know whether or not caffeine would be permitted. I figured I’d just wait until I was here and found out, rather than stressing about it. But, I did purchase some chocolate covered espresso beans, just in case… But, when she said “tea and coffee will be served at 6:30…” Horaaaay!!! went through my mind.

It felt great to unpack and put things away and establish that I live here for a few weeks. I am so happy for my roommate! She is laid back and sweet, kind to everyone. She is also the one who I know is familiar with the Bible. God picked us. Yay!

This afternoon, we basically had an “introduce yourself” time (which took a while, as you can imagine, but very fun to meet everyone!) and an orientation… throw your toilet paper in the bin, not the bowl; maintain your vegetarian diet, even when you go out to dinner in town (no cheating, really!); and please no chatting from our 7am yoga practice until breakfast at 9:30. I’m kind of thankful for that one. We have got some chatty girls here and I’m just not a morning person. :-) It’ll be really nice to wake up slowly.

I’m turning in for tonight. Feliz Dia del Enamorado a todos,  pero, en particular a mi esposo, mi querida.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Spanish Victories

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I do love speaking Spanish. That's no secret if you followed me on my trip to Argentina a while back. Therefore, I also love other people's Spanish victories. Here is Cathy and Alejandro with Cathy's grocery list IN SPANISH! Yea, she's awesome! And sweet Alejandro went to the grocery store while Cathy and I got our hair cut.

I was a little scared about Spanish haircut vocabulary, and was going through how to say I want a trim because I'm trying to grow out my hair. It's "quiero dejarlo crezer mi pelo," by the way, if you're ever in that situation. Happily, though, my guy spoke excellent English and communication about how to cut my hair was no problem.

Later that afternoon, we had Spanish lessons with Cathy’s tutor, Grace. It was great to keep up the Spanish and learn a few new words. I already hear Cathy improving and I love it! She’s much faster now and not having to think about each word. Victories are great!!

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Today, Cathy and I did the coffee plantation tour at Cafe Britt. It was recommended and delivered indeed. It’s very informative and entertaining too! I learned about how they grow and pick coffee, the history, and how to process and roast it. It’s SO interesting. At the end, we could taste a few different coffees, chocolate covered espresso beans, cocoa bits, chocolate covered macadamia nuts, and other deliciously coated items. I picked up a few gifts for people back home…. and a few extra for people who are really nice to me! :-)

After the tour, Cathy took me to this great new Japanese place they found! Hey, no jibes about not eating local food! It’s San Jose, this IS local! Anyway, it was really good. Their namesake sushi roll was incredible! This is what is looked like – isn’t it just beautiful? It’s good too.

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Here’s some pictures of the Tracy Family and their life in San Jose. It was so fun to meet them and spend time with them!

Cathy in the papa chair chillin’ out, checking email. And me in the mama chair doing the same. We sat together most nights in the living room. Perfect.

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And the adorable young couple: Alejandro and Ashley!

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Now, I have arrived at the hotel with all the other yogis. I’ve already got a little taste and I’m happily anticipating more interesting discussions about life, backgrounds, philosophies. Most of them have a pretty surprised reaction when I reveal that  my husband’s in the military. I’m not quite sure what to make of it yet.

I am so pleased in regards to my roommate tonight (not sure if tonight’s roommate is for the entire program)! When she asked what I was reading and I answered I was doing a study on Ephesians, she revealed her involvement with her church back home! And just from a little this afternoon, I’m sure we can have wonderful and encouraging talks about how this yoga philosophy will fit into our lives. Score!

That’s about it for tonight. I’m excited about the next few weeks and can’t wait to see what God brings! Love you all! Thanks for praying!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

At the Tracy House

After my first night’s sleep in San Jose at a rather nice hotel for only $55 (Hotel Luisiana, if you ever want to know), I woke up and had my first Costa Rican coffee in Costa Rica. Take a moment and appreciate it with me. ahhh. Divine.

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I partook of my first CR coffee on my hotel balcony in amazing weather – not sweltering at all! 75 and sunny with a breeze. I’m sorry for all of you right now enduring miserable winter weather. I really am. It just doesn’t sound like I am. I’m sorry.

I took a taxi to Cathy’s place, which she warned me was difficult to find. True enough, it was. Plus, I got the only taxi driver in the city without a cell phone so he had to ask for directions on the street rather than call Cathy. Oh well.

Inside Cathy’s compound, from the door to her cabana.

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Cathy is basically the cousin of my mother-in-law. I think it’s more complicated than that, but that’s how we explained it in Spanish to her Spanish teacher that morning. We spoke Spanish the entire morning with her teacher and it was fabulous! A perfect first day in a Spanish-speaking country!

Later, we took the train to the store to buy groceries as I’d offered to cook that night. This is a photo of the train station sign. Awesome.

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Cathy and I at the brand new “train station” (a concrete platform with a shelter). Love it!

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Today, Cathy and I went into San Jose to shop at the artisan market and central market. I am in love with the beautiful batik fabrics here, but haven’t made any purchases in that area yet. Mainly, we looked and I got an idea of prices. At the central market, though, we bought coffee!! Boy, did we buy coffee! Cathy bought almost 8 pounds to take back to friends in the States. We spoke Spanish with the coffee guys as they prepared both our orders (I bought 3) and learned that these guys were proud of their coffee. I was delighted when they compared it with wine. “Poetic,” I said (except in Spanish because we’re trying to practice more). :-)

Me at “Pigeon Square” in San Jose.

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We ate with the locals and I tasted some of Cathy’s yummy ceviche and have resolved to order it myself when I have the chance. Delicious!

Always a challenge in a new city, we both considered it a great victory when we reached the correct bus stop to return to her suburb of San Jose!

Cathy and I happy to be on the right bus.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Flying Standby

This is a short tutorial on how to dress to fly standby. It sounds restrictive at first – no denim, no sleeveless, no shorts, business casual, etc. It’s difficult to incorporate one’s standby outfit into the rest of the clothes one plans to wear on a backpacking, hiking, or beach vacation.

This should help you. Go skirt. For Europe, I wore a strappy black dress that, on its own was a great little versatile number for going out or heading to the beach.

Go layers. I covered up that black strappy dress with a brown sweater and belted it at the waist. Paired with your most comfortable heels, you look classy and are blissfully comfortable!

Go non-wrinkle. Today, I’ve donned some grey dress pants from Express, a black long-sleeve knit top, and covered it with a white knit sweater. It’s a very cute outfit, if I do say so. What’s more, I can wear the sweater over my yoga clothes as a wrap, the black long-sleeve tee anytime, and these great polyester blend pants won’t wrinkle in my cramped bag!

So, you’re standby travel outfit doesn’t have to be it’s own thing – you CAN incorporate into your travel wardrobe. For those of you who don’t fly standby, you CAN look nice when you travel. It’s kinda fun. :-)

So far, so good. I’ve made it to Miami and am chillin’ out the USO here, swingin’ some free internet, free food, and free drinks. I will SO volunteer at a USO one day! They are great!

I’m hoping to get on the flight to San Jose tonight, but it’s looking really tight. We’ll see. Thanks for all your prayers!

[8 hours later]

I got on the flight!!!! I’m in San Jose now! And the hotel I’m in is pretty stinkin’ awesome for $55. But, now that I’ve showered the many hours of airport off me, I’m struggling to stay awake. I’ll leave you with this picture of the shower in my room.

Isn’t it awesome!? I love shower/rooms!

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Friday, February 5, 2010

Happy and Sad

As you know, I'm really looking forward to my yoga teacher training in Costa Rica! But, I'm also sad that I'll be spending so much time away from Rob. It's different when the military sends him away - this time I've elected to go! So it is with equal parts excitement and gloom that I start packing.

Another slightly dismaying aspect of my trip is the flight. I'm flying standby because I married into not only a wonderful family, but one that provides me with very inexpensive standby flights to indulge my travel fancy. Seriously, THANK YOU!! Anyway, I have to be in San Jose by 8am on the 14th to catch the bus to the training. Unfortunately, the flights on the 13th, 12th, 11th, and even a little on the 10th are booked. There's a chance someone may miss their flight, but in order to have a better chance of making it to Costa Rica on time, I've changed my departure date to the 9th. Happy to be able to fly standby, sad to have to leave early. Ah, lament to leave Rob sooner, but hooray to spend some time in San Jose to tour! Equally sad and happy.


On another note, the Moores visited last weekend and we had a great time touring Abilene, discovering a great noodle place, and eating at Perini Ranch. It's the third best steakhouse in Texas, according to Texas Monthly, and a little ways outside Abilene. It probably deserves its own post because it is very very good!

Here's my new decor addition - I finally figured out a good way to hang the beautiful piece of driftwood Rob and I picked up on the coast in Connecticut on our New Hampshire-to-Florida Subaru Outback drive. Pretty, huh? And a great reminder that home is where you make it!