Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The nitty gritty

I don´t know how to respond to the comment i got from Sara. she didn´t leave contact info...but for anyone out there who is a prospective volunteer or wants to know about the nity gritty details of voluteer life in CR;

Well Sara, i look foward to meeting you in June. I have internet access about three times a week. In most semi-urban to urban towns you can find internet service for about 300-500 colones an hour. Thats something like 55 cents to a dollar an hour. If you´re coming in june you´re program is either youth and family or MED and in that case you are most likely to be placed in a not so rural area.

My cell phone account is in the name of my host sister. Costa Ricans have the right to two cell phone lines each person, or more if they have a business. And only Costa Ricans can open cell phone accounts. So it probably wouldn´t be hard for you to find a friend or even colleague to let you take out an account in their name, Various volunteers do it. Calling the states is 27 cents a minute, but you can recieve phone calls for free. But if you have a phone in your host house, you can avoid the extra cost of a cell phone bill that could get outrageously high, especially with calls to the states. Our stipend demands strict priority budgeting. and one last thing, some sites don´t have cell phone coverage, the coverage in my site is fair, i have coverage on the road but not in my host house.

Some things that make life easier and cleaner
Zip Lock Bags – bring em
Plastic boxes – you can buy em here for about $4

I used a sleeping bag or blanket during training, and I might use it to go camping once
Mountainous places like San Jose get COLD so you will be glad to have that even if you only need it occasionally.

I recommend dresses and skirts and maybe even a few party clothes as well as your favorite jeans and t-shirts

I have my guitar here but I’m not even playing it right now.

My laptop is CRUCIAL to my happiness. I composed part of this blog using it. I play games most every evening, and before the DVD player got testy I watched movies at least three times a week. I however do not yet have insurance on my laptop so I worry about it a little bit, and only really use it in my room.
Some volunteers lose their stuff here because of carelessness. I know fellow volunteers who fell asleep on a long bus trip with their bag overhead and when they woke it was gone. Folks tell me they´ve lost cameras and ipods and clothes that way. My backpack was taken when I set it down while I was making a phone call at an international call center. But I don’t really fear violent crime here.

ok so i hope that helps, anyone else with quwations send em on in! joya

Friday, January 19, 2007

Merry Christmas Ma n Millie

Merry Christmas Ma n Millie!

So New Years, Christmas and my Birthday were fabulous, as I said. See my face on Christmas morning!? It was so great to be back in the states with all the creature comforts I´ve been accustomed to all my life:
warm showers, baths (in clean bathtubs), whatever type of food i want at whatever hour of the day, (ok, well i didn´t always have that, but i could always get that if i put forth enough effort). I just didn´t know how important that stuff was to my life experience. I´m ready to live that way again. One thing i can surely say that i´ve gain out here in rural CR is an understanding of why people want to get to the states so bad. Wouldn´t my Latin American Labor professor be proud!?

You know i think i do want to be a professor; at least at some point in my life. I can also see now that i REALLY appreciate the life of a student. You constantly have a clear academic goal, and you only have to take life in semester long time periods. Its lovely, ooor it could be a bad case of the grass is greener, but i´m ready to be a student again. I know itll take some time and i´ll have to save money in a job before hand, but i´m ready to get back in school and become like a cool professor like my AP stats prof, or Dr. Cowie, or Prof. Adams. yeah....

In other news, i managed to upload a picture in blogger in Spanish without a second thought or hesitation! Maybe i am qualified to teach computer basics in Spanish, we´ll see where that goes. I´m looking for a job, working with labor is great, working with immigrants, anything in the SouthEast. My vision, i think, for now, is to act, sing, dance, travel, and serve for equal opportunity, social justice and social change. Yeah that is what it is. So let that one marinate in your minds for a while, while i do the same... Write the vision, make it plain...

on last thing, i´ve been listening to a lot of gospel music lately. it helps me get thru the many hard moments...

Peace and Love, jlg

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Happy New Year folks. Welcome to my first post for 2007. 07 the year of completion, the year of Acomplishment and Achievement. I passed the New Year with my best friends in the World Lisa and K in Chicago. it was fabulous. Christmas and my Birthday were great too, in Atlanta with my family and friends.
The next trip home may be sometime around Easter, but either Spring or Summer. vamos a ver - we will see.

So I have Costa Rican friends! You can check out fotos of them on my facebook album. I also managed to get a few pictures uploaded from Carnaval Limon 2006, this was in mid-October, so check out my Flickr account!

Running out of internet time as usual, so i´ll leave it at that and bid you guys a farewell with promise of more blogs!

love, j

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

well i'll be

oooh boy, its been a while while while since i've blogged. haven't really been in the mood since the last entry. i wonder if anyone is still looking for new entries anyway. let me know ifyou're still paying attention. i'm working on a Community Analysis Tool of my rural town. I came into the San Jose main office in order to work on the really cool flat screen computers and maybe get some quiet and a nice sterile environment. I've been here an hour so far and i haven't even taken out my materials to finish up the analysis part of my paper. Charts and data entry are all done, but the all important analysis of what these numbers mean to actual community development is my goal. I think ILR (college) gave me enough practice in paper writing (also known as BSing) to come up with some authoritative sounding analysis even tho i'm not anywhere near an authority, i guess perhaps experience in community work gives me some authority, but....if i've learned anything here, i've learned EVERYTHING is different in Spanish (in Spanish language, Spanish culture, Spanish country) ok, well not everything...but maybe we'll get into that later.

I'm almost ready to go home for the Christmas Holidays. i'm really excited about seeing everyone and being home for a while. i'll get a massage ( i hope) and some yummy honey shrimp, and all the goodness that comes automatically with the holidays. Home is always a great place, i feel warm and fuzzy just thinking about it...

Ha i'm watching HBO just now (In the volunteer lounge) and a gospel movie is on! we really do have some things laid out in a posh way. yeah but it is HARD. i dunno if the grass would've been greener or not in an African project. anyway its great that i am still connected to the so called 'developed' world.

I was going to a black Baptist church in Limon Centro, the port town nearest me they spoke English! because there is a large population of Jamaican immigrants in this regions urban areas, but i haven't been in a while, it didn't feel ANYthing like New Life, my home church, and i had to travel 4 hours in one day to attend that church. i'll really enjoy getting back home and settling down in the house of God that i know most intimately.

I have a set of friends out here in my town. we watched two movies last night, A history of Violence and ATL. I love the movie ATL its my favorite with Big Boi from Outcast and T.I. as the main characters. i normally am hesitant, to say the least, about rappers-turned-actors, but Big Boi did surprisingly well and i can't WAIT to see him in IDLEWILDE. oh yeah. and Dre too.

Thanksgiving was awesome in Tortuguero even tho i had a small tragedy with the loss of a bag of all brand new clothes. It hurt, i still have't cried about it yet. i spent about 17, 000 colones on a skirt, pair of jeans and a Great white casual dress that i NEVER got to wear. i almost ceartainly left them in a boat as i was travelling the canals of Tortuguero...it hurt. i've seen cute clothes since then and not wanted to buy them, cause they'll prolly either get stolen or get lost. even tho i NEED clothes because, i got robbed in San Jose the other month, (Nov i think.) i left my back pack in the lobby of a call center while i went into the booth to make a call and when i came out the attendant had not seen my bag disappear. USELESS. and careless on my part, but i was lurred into feeling comfortable in that call center because i frequent it and have chatted it up with the duenos...but this day was a new girl at the front desk and...my sense of security was false...by all accounts this is exactly what Peace Corps security advised us not to do...not to let our guard down when it comes to protecting important property.

Oh no, its been two hours now, There may be a laptop i can borrow tonight to continue working on my paper tonight where i sleep. but i should finish up: life has been unprecendentedly tumultuos, aaaand i may just be the better for it. suppose time will tell. big conversation coming up over Christmas with my love to see what will become of our relationship, oh yeah and i went to visit a british and chilean pair of friends in los Barros de Pacuare i galloped on a horse! and carried baby turles from a hatchery to release them to the ocean AND attempted to surf. thats not all, so maybe when i'm up to it i'll fill in all the blanks of all the great other stuff thats been going on.

ttys love joya

Monday, June 26, 2006

1st for everything?

Well, i've been at my site about a month, and i missed my first big vacation/meeting with some other volunteers because i had my (first) gastro-intestinal infection and parasite. Sooooooo they had me come on into San Jose aaaaand i will spend tonight my third night alone in a hotel room. But i'm not as sick anymore...its just eating that's a little harder to do thru stomach cramps aaaaand my head always feels weird. + BO

But I'm going to pick up a few books and magazines from the Peace Corps office to take back to my site and enjoy, and maybe i'll make another entry tomorow. I'm headed back out to my site tomorow afternoon. ciao.

yeah, so new PC life style lesson:...'little' things like books and magazines are things that must and do make me happy and count as blessings. yeah....i wanted a more simple life, right?

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

1.5 weeks and a cell phone!

Well I have completed 1.5 weeks of official Peace Corps Service!!!!!!!! I wrote this great email tactfully describing how this has be THE hardest adjustment in my life, i don´t need to rehash it again and i´ll actually downplay it with the following bullet points, use your imagination to begin to understand why i wanted to go home everyday last week:

-Food is new and different and greasy
-Cleanliness is on a whole nother scale of relativity
-Sleeping WAS effected by cleanliness and odors but now it is not because of certain effective ´adjustments´ - my D.C. staging officer would be proud
-MUSIC is cool here, most every store and house is blasting some sort of music from reggae to reggeaton to 80´s American pop to latin music.
-btw right now Whitney Houston is ripping it up with I Will Always Love You in the computer lab-
-another btw, they had a country wide Grammy-like awards show on the public TV channel last night, it was inspiring like most awards shows are for me. And I would like everyone to check out a CD titled ¨Reggae from Costa Rica¨ and ¨Mekatelu¨ pronounced (Me Kan tell you) These were two CD´s that were nominated for the best carribbean music and the latter one won! I´m gonna pick up these CD´s as soon as I can find them here, but they may be available online if you wan a taste of the sound of Costa Rica!

Ok and the BEST PART!!! I HAVE A CELL PHONE!!! It makes me feel SO much better out here because I have access to emotional support and conversations with my loved ones, I was telling millie last night it helps me feel like we´re just living parallel lives in different places and not like i´m lost on some deserted Spanish speaking spaceship place. I feel so much more equipped with the cell phone.

EVERYONE: you can call me at country code 506 858-29-36

My mom bought a phone card for $4 and got 50 minutes to talk to me, so I think this should all be within ya´lls budgets. Also, I tried to call Drew Amma and Leon and the calls didn´t go thru, it may be because your phones won´t accept the interntional calls, so if anyone wants me to call them successfully, please go to make sure your phone will receive international calls from country code 506!

Ok LOOOOOOOOOVE I go now to check email!!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

TODAY! is my sisters graduation!!!! Yaaaaaaaaay MILIIIIIIIEEEEE!!!!!!

Milones de felicitaciones hermana mia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!