Decisions are made...The email update, blogified.

Here is the update on our lives in Monteverde.

What many of you have been waiting for is the answer to a nagging question. Are they going to really go away for two whole years and leave us in the lurch? Well, the original answer was yes. And in many ways I wish that I could stick with that answer. This teaching gig has been the one I have liked the most. This community is just as great as the one we have back in Montague (heck their names even both start with Mont so I miss-write them constantly). We have played more gigs and gotten more involved with the contra dance scene here than we ever would or will in the states (because without organizing it, there wouldn't be a dance, even if we only have three this year...). I see monkeys, tucanets, mot mots, and various and sundry other wild things on my walks home. There are almost daily rainbows...(sometimes multiples, and often more than one a day in the season we just finished). Anyway, you get the picture. If someone were advertising an amazing place to go and live while the US economy is in an uproar, this location couldn't really be beat, well, aside from the 12 or 17% cost of living increase this year.

That said, we both have been struggling mightily with homesickness. Even though the community is great, it's not ours. Even though the school is great, and there is a library, I have to say confidentially that the library pretty much sucks when you want to read young adult fiction that was published within the last ten years, and that's certainly not the fault of the volunteer librarians who have no budget. It can be tedious to download anything at an average rate of 2-4 kbps. That's the rate my first dial-up connection was in high school. And, perhaps most importantly, we have come to a place of balance with where we want to be.

jordan wants to go back to her work as a librarian (though of course this is one of the hardest times to get work when libraries are often the first cut). If you have any sway in the budget process at schools, now is the time to exert your power. I am ready to be brave and try something I am not certain that I'll be good at, or even like. I am ready to not take my work home every night and that obviously means a career change. While the two possibilities remaining from my list of five possibles upon graduating from college are massage therapist or rock star, I'm not feeling quite that brave. Much thought has been going into the possibilities, and a whole lot of research on the ridiculously slow internets, and I think I might have been right when I was 3. I think, just maybe, I want to be a firefighter when I grow up. So, upon our triumphant return to the greater northeast, I plan on enrolling in the GCC (or other?) EMT course and get started with dual paramedic/firefighter career training. Of course if you have any knowledge about said career path, and no I don't think I want to do wildfires primarily, I'd love to hear it. Finally, we're experiencing a lot of baby-lust and hope that once we get settled and employed and all of that, we can finally figure out how to get that baby thing happening. I'm not holding my breath, so you shouldn't either, but just be aware we wish we were among those Montaguites who were having babies all over the place this fall...

We can't wait to be back, but if you even have the possibility of visiting, we still have room in March, most of April and all of May. Plus, if you get out of school in early June and want to go exploring in Costa Rica with us, you should let us know. Though it won't be a free place to stay, and we won't be up in Monteverde after school gets out on the 9th, we will happily include you in our plans for the Osa Peninsula and maybe some other locations equally amazing.

Your love and support has been amazing. In some ways, it has caused this perhaps unsurprising turn of events with all of the "Come home now! We miss you!" emails. As always, we skype under the pseudonyms funklera and jorjorjorjor. We are facebooking quite a bit lately if you're on that silly thing, though thanks to the aforementioned slow connection, we're not actually addicted. And gchat works when we remember to log in...

As always, we look forward to hearing from you even if it's a "wish I could visit" sort of email. If you include information about your own life, you know, that makes us feel even more connected. We miss you terribly.

Jordan Enjoys Teaching Again

Is it any surprise that the weather affects my mood? Not really. I'm seriously appreciating the dry season, even when it gets really windy and misty, because I'm not wet. I hate being wet. And there is so much more sun. And when it's warm and sunny I can leave the door open and then Toast doesn't whine at me to sit outside with her. Usually because I do sit outside with her. She wants to be where I am, but wants that place to be outside, so she can be a little whiny. I think she's missing having a constant canine companion. Also, she got spoiled when Annie was wogging (walk/jogging) with her a few times a week and now she wants constant attention. I have been walking her on trails in the woods (or should I say jungle) near the house and we both like that. But Annie has been too busy or sick lately to give her the exercise she wants, but I don't have the same kind of endurance.

I'm only teaching one English class this term and I love it. It's basically an advanced class of five students who are all really interesting and funny and willing to try most anything. So we have a lot of fun together. This week they are reading in pairs either Green Eggs and Ham or The Cat in the Hat to practice the short vowel sounds, especially the short a, which is so hard for Spanish speakers. We'll do some cooking together next week. Maybe macaroni and cheese, the fancy kind, like Ken makes. :)

I'm also teaching a few guitar and violin students, which is going well. I'm kind of tired of the guitar as an instrument. I don't love how it sounds (especially since my baby, my jumbo Martin Mahogany is still in Massachusetts, and I'm playing Annie's Seagull) and my calluses are gone and folk music is boring. But teaching is making it fun again. I like the fiddle better, but it hurts my neck and I could probably use a lesson or two of my own. Instead I'm teaching a 6 year old, trying to do some semblance of Suzuki, and an adult who likes to play what I like to play. I just hope I'm not screwing them up forever. I look forward to getting back to the cello when I return to the states, though I probably won't be able to afford one for a while. Anyone know of an extra lying around that wants to be borrowed?

We're going to Playa Hermosa this weekend because Annie gets presidents' day off for some weird reason. I don't mind. It's time for another surf trip and hanging out reading on the beach. Maybe we'll finally get some photos of us surfing. It's nice to have a reliable, cheap dog sitter just around the bend because now we feel like we can go away whenever we want.


Here is one reason why I like teaching at MFS:
Any day you can look out onto the playground and field and see horsies randomly grazing.
So there.


Well hello there...
Lately we've been a little busy. For example, today I sat down with the computer and did a little google verb meme that I saw on a vlog from Hank Green. This is what I got when I googled my name and a bunch of different verbs...
annie needs to release a live album
annie looks like a bit of gossip
annie says you can’t run a linear system on a finite planet indefinitely
annie wants someone to love on '90210'
annie does live here
annie hates shots!
annie asks media to stop publishing untrue reports
annie likes bananas! stinky dog treats; having her belly rubbed; running...and boy is she fast!
annie eats grass
annie wears her holiday best
annie under arrest for poisoning her sister
annie loves God and R~no (R~no is a person that this other annie is apparently in love with so much that her last name on myspace is "loves God and R~no)

Additionally, today we hosted our second open studio book making reality (party). It was good to have a completely new group of people over, but this means that the others who were partway done are now at the same step as the people who started today and we don't have that many curved needles... We'll just keep having book making parties on Sundays and hopefully one of these times I'll get to make one myself. Today's party had some kids, some almost adults and some real adults with kids and stuff. It was good to be helpful, even if Toast didn't really like being ignored. I'm looking forward to the day when one of my students (who did come today) actually gets the book down in writing that he wants to put into the book he was making. We only damaged the table a little bit with the rotary cutter...We miss the self-healing cutting mat more than I can say. And, you know, once we've gotten the ability to pay the morgtage worked out again and have acquired a couch and a bed, I'm really looking forward to purchasing a paper cutter.

On Friday night there was a cabaret. This guy Hank puts them together, making posters, getting the space, organizing the acts. He's a genius with slide shows. Anyway, we were later on in the show which was of course a good place to be. I can't say that I ever really like going first, and things got moved around and that was good because the guy who was supposed to go before us, and actually has a weekly gig at Moon Shiva, wanted to go first so he could get home to his baby. I'd never heard him before and we asked someone if he was going to be a lot better than us because we were nervous, having virtually no time to practice. Anyway, the good news is that he got the crowd warmed up and it just kept going from there. Our friend Tim doesn't normally play his own stuff but he did and it was just lovely. jordan said he reminded her of Dave Mallett. I just can't get enough of listening to him sing. So mellow and beautiful. There were a bunch of movies between the musicians: an older movie from my school that was an ironic take on bullying and a video put together by some younger kids (maybe around 10-12) that was a long string of mini-vignettes. I LOVED IT! It opened with a sketch about a box alien - her face was altered by her computer - who was asking for donations because her eye had been destroyed and there was a war happening on Mars. It just didn't stop. Their comic timing was genius and I especially liked the ones that reminded me of movies my friend Christine and I made with her little brother Billy when we were kids. One of my students performed too and she did a fine job, though I know that she and her accompanist didn't have enough time together, just like jordan and myself. Tricia did the Jabberwocky and that totally made my day. That brings us, of course, to our playing. We played Good Riddance by Green Day, Through to Sunrise by Girlyman and Quest for Spinach. It was a crowd pleasing sort of set. There were so many people singing along to the first and last songs, and I have to say, since Tim et. al. had been playing up the comedy, there was a bit of hamming it up between songs and as we were tuning. I ended up telling the story of why my name isn't Funkler and jordan made fun of me a bunch. All in all, a good night. There were a bunch of Mt. Holyoke students there (and some from Goucher in the same program at the Institute) so they were excited that we said the word Massachusetts and are more excited than I am that I'm legally married.
Anyway, there is a large tired factor happening at our house tonight. No one wants to cook and the pizza guys in Turners don't deliver down here... Oh well.