jordan will use her fast connection and write a witty, interesting post about spending time in chicago. the wind finally died down here and i got my keys back so I don't have to climb through the skinny bathroom window anymore. (not that I did after the first time, but if I had locked the other door I would have needed to...) the doggies are feeling rightly neglected and though I'm feeling guilty, that hasn't prompted me to much action. oh well. here is a picture of me being bored.

the blahs and the jordans

So, jordan is leaving tomorrow to go and visit her family. Yay for mama's having their birthdays! And yay for neighbors who grew up close to where jordan grew up but now live in Montague so when major holidays come around, they all decend on the north shore of Chicago for family time. These things are excellent for people like jordan and the lovely people from 59 Taylor Hill Road whom we adore so much. I'm sure you are all figuring out by this point that this is the part where I start whining. I wish I could go along. I wouldn't mind some winter-like weather and seeing friends and family. But alas, I will have to wait until December 17th to see my own momo and longer than that to see friends.

The major stuff in my life right now is trying to get everything done. I'm sure this comes as no surprise to most of you that I'm behind on the paperwork that is associated with teaching here and it's overwhelming me. I'm hopeful that with jordan gone I'll not be distracted by her beauty and may actually get some writing done that is due next Wednesday *no exceptions.*

I am totally enthralled by the weather here lately. The windy misty season is more of both of them than I expected. The wind comes whipping through, sounding like it's going to pick up the whole house some mornings, and it seems like you won't get too wet when you go out, but once the relatively light mist is blown up, down, and sideways into you, it's like you've been through the automatic carwash without the dryer at the end. (That runon was just for Julie Ann Carroll). The bonus is that even though it's strong, it's not nearly as loud as a downpour in my classroom so there haven't been many days lately when I lose my voice from overuse and maximizing my volume.

The contra dance was awesome. I begged out of the band for the second dance before most of the people had shown up. We did a pretty good job playing, considering the caliber of musicians we're working with and the relatively low committment to practicing over all. jordan ended up calling seven dances and there were only a few minor flubs. One comment afterwards was that she's got the schtick down. Another person called and left us a message about how it was the most fun she's had dancing in years. We're hoping to have another dance, probably in February, and hopefully we can make more connections with the Tico folks who come to the square and english dances sometimes. Maybe they were busy. It's kind of interesting because they tend to show up in large groups, often wearing matching t-shirts about various god associated things. The one I remember best says, "Jesus wears jeans." If you can help me understand the message I was supposed to get from that one, I'd be grateful.

Anyway, as a group, they're fun to dance with because they smile a lot and don't have a superhigh expectation of their own dancing (or so it seems) so it's just fun. The gringos have very similar behavior, I just like it when there's actual mixing, even if there's a bunch of progress to be made on the talking to each other during breaks front. Our fiddler even played a hambo and a waltz so I ended a very happy girl. jor got to dance the hambo with a dancer who is excellent, and well matched height and gravity-wise. They were spinning crazily off into the night and she had to hold on to the post at the end to stay vertical.

That's the not so brief update from here. I'd love an update from wherever you are if you have time.

turning 30 apparently means...

that I get to have entirely new feelings. Well, feeling. Just one. I´ve not been homesick before that I can recall. I´m having a hard time following the advice that I´ve given as a camp counselor. Or when I follow it - being busy, doing things I enjoy, etc. - I just slide right back into homesick when I´m done. Bother.

ex-pats and televisions

So, the good news is that we got to watch the elections on a real live television. It was mainly a collection of teachers and parents at the two bilingual schools and a few of the other ex-pats in the community. When there was a part in one of the speeches about people abroad listening to the returns on the radio, I was pretty glad not to be one of them. It was amazing to see the crowds in Chicago and the group outside of the White House and I'm glad to have a visual memory of this event to go along with the emotional one. There were many things about this election season that concern me - taking away rights by popular vote without the support of the legislature and against the will of the supreme court of CA is of course the one at the top of the list. I'm left wondering if there were any similar things that happened in the transition period when interracial marriage was becoming legal. I guess I'm still frustrated because ultimately, I don't think that marriage should be something controlled by the government anyway, but rather by the people who want to be in unions with each other. Oh well.

I don't think I ever wrote about our experiences getting finger printed for our visas. When it came time for the are you single or married question I was slightly flustered, in part due to the spanish nature of my interview. In MA, I'm married. According to the US government, I'm single. So I told them I'm married to jordan and then when she was fingerprinted, they asked her if she knows me (but not if we're married, which was weird) and of course she said yes. When the lady who was processing me brought me over to the guy to do the finger printing she felt it was necessary to pull him aside and whisper about (presumably) my confusing status as a girl who is married to another girl (though they didn't ask jordan's gender during my questioning). Anyway, I know it's a Catholic country and all, but I thought they knew that those crazy gringos up in the states occasionally have same-sex partners that they're committed to. And some of them even get government (state government, anyway) approved papers in support of their committment. That's an aside, but ultimately, I guess, I'm pretty happy that I don't have to stay down here for 4 years, and can still come back after 2, though I'm betting I'll still have to figure out that whole war tax resisting thing. Too bad there's not a quaker opting out box on the tax forms...I'll happily pay for schools and health care and roads (though I'd prefer to pay for bike trails and renewable energy investments). Ramblerambleramble.

Why you need to come and visit

Right now there are several reasons why you should be visiting us:
  • Every morning when I take the dogs out to play, there are rainbows. Our yard is strategically placed for optimal 7am rainbow viewage.
  • Our foster dog, Flora Segunda Panqueques, has finally started to learn to not jump, though she still does some, but she's gotten really good at the "abort, abort" motion which looks like she's going to jump on you and then she does a quick 90 degree turn.
  • The mist blows around and sometimes thinks it's rain but mostly just thinks it's mist and that's fun because it's not quite enough to need a raincoat and not enough to get drenched either (most of the time, unless you've forgotten your raincoat and then sometimes, I admit, it does start pouring just to prove me wrong).
  • Toast is the best dog ever and you miss her dreadfully, unless you've never met her and then you still miss her.
  • You want to bring us things like maple syrup.
  • We miss you as much as you miss us, sometimes more because we're in a new place, so you should skype us or call us or email us at least, even if you can't come and visit (or send us packages to jordan's mom's house because she'll be there on the 21st for her mom's birthday!)
  • We see morphos and motmots almost every day
  • We're mastering some new cuisines - eg. beans and fried cheese - and I think, maybe, you don't know what you're missing and that's why you aren't here visiting.
  • The sunsets are to die for, additionally, a community gathering time just down the road, sometimes complete with Spanish tourists (who we had to give directions to twice, separately), but more often just with our neighbors and dogs.
  • We're having a contradance on the 15th. We've got extra instruments for you to play...and we need more dancers who know what they're doing...
  • You haven't yet experienced the yin/yang dogs. Sometimes the black dog and the tan dog sit with each other all curled up and looking like a little yin/yang symbol. Or just opposites. mmm. cuteness reigns.
  • You want to know what it's like to wake up in the middle of the night to an armadillo love fest. (the dogs have been bringing it to our attention regularly)
  • We've heard rumors that the coffee here is tasty, and we know several people who have little coffee farms, and you like coffee... It's local...
  • Bananas and pineapples and oranges and tangerines and melons and lychees and avacadoes... all in season right now. Mangoes and bananas and pineapples and guayaba and guanabana and many other things that are in season now will be in season when you come to visit. It's all local too.
  • The cheese factory makes excellent milkshakes.
  • There's a frisbee game on Saturdays. It can be really really fun, though when played in a downpour sometimes slightly dangerous on the sloping field.
  • We have a soccer field in our front yard and there's a regular pickup game with guys we don't really know, but they seem really nice...
  • There's a bamboo fort area in our yard too
  • And there are trees for climbing all over
  • And we live in the cloud forest - I finally went to the Monteverde Reserve this weekend. Yay for 40 species of orchid on one tree (according to the signage).
Anyway, that's the list for tonight. I have a math test to get ready for, or maybe I'll just go to bed. Yay election eve! We voted a week ago. I hope you get to vote by the end of today. And especially if you're in Montague I hope you enjoy the little dinging box. We made the sound for each other when we were done voting so we wouldn't feel left out.