Monday, January 29, 2007

Travelling Woes, and Thanks

So, here I am, still in San José, Costa Rica. I came last Tuesday on TicaBus from San Salvador, a ride that took about 20 hours and $20 in border crossings. I've done long bus rides before, but I must say that this one was particularly uncomfortable. I presented at the annual NCTE conference at the Centro Cultural Costarricense Norteamericanco, which was a good experience. I talked about Blogging across Boundaries: Connecting Students through Online Journaling on my own and presented Moving out of the Comfort Zone: Innovative Teaching through Self and Peer Evaluations with a co-worker from CCS.

And why am I still in San José, even though it's now Monday afternoon? The other ELF had just left, and I was packing my suitcase (not even a big one, for those of you who have seen me moving from country to country with large cardboard boxes, just a little carry-on). I was sitting on the floor in the hotel room, zipped the suitcase closed, and then reached over to push it upright...when I threw out my back. This was about a quarter 'til 10...took me 40 minutes to get back up on the bed and roll over to the phone. Which didn't work, because I didn't have the list of numbers to be able to call down to reception. Finally, at noon, checkout time, they called up to see what had happened to me. I couldn't hardly move at this point, let alone stand up. So, the reception girl basically ignored me for another two hours, until the bell boy got there, and they helped me move to another room, since the one I was in was taken for that afternoon. A friendly maid from Nicaragua lent me her cell so I could call my friend that was still here, and brought me some tea and pain meds that she had been taking for back problems.

My friend came and took me to a clinic here (Clinica Biblica, is that a sign or what); via a very nice taxi driver who didn't even charge us. I was there for five hours, I think, in which they gave me various iv's, pills, and something called an infiltracion directly into the ligament in my back. From there, the next twenty or so hours are a little blurry. The doc said no going back on the bus, and that I shoud rest until Tuesday. So, tommorow it is, back on Taca to San Salvador. And, to top it all off, Citibank decided to deactivate my banking card completely and not bother to tell me about it. Everywhere I went it came up "negado." I spent an hour talking to them this morning, and they're going to overnight me a new card. What a mess! I'm glad that I had another card with me. And I'm so thankful for the people here that have been helping me out...Greg, Frank, Ana, Scott. It's nice to be around Christians again!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Should we call him Elvis or Yesaidú?

The crazy names that parents give their kids in Latin America...check it out in today's New York Times. I had a class with at least two Darwins in it in Barranquilla, some Leidys (also with several other spellings and various pronunciations), a Boris, and a Janer. I've ran into some different names here in El Salvador, too, like Iluvny (I love New York), and several Elvises. And you gotta love Yesaidú (Yes, I do)! But I like the fact that parents are free to use their imaginations to come up with new names and spellings! I applaud the man that named his daughters Yusmary Shuain, Yusmery Sailing, Yusneidi Alicia and Yureimi Klaymar!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Lo que siento por ti

"Pero si no sientes lo mismo que yo
Quiero pedirte un gran favor
Daría toda mi vida
Si te ofendí
Por que perdones a tu amigo
Que se enamoro
De ti "

Alux Nahual

Resolution #11 for 2007: try to not take my bad culture shock days out on certain other people that most definitely don't deserve it, even though I know they understand it just happens sometimes!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Ferias y Fiestas de Colombia

This is what I love about Colombia. The first puente (long weekend) of the new year, del Reyes, and this is how many places have a party going on:



18 antioqueño towns

2 tolimense towns

Boyacá (Duitama, Moniquirá y Cucaita)

Coveñas (Sucre)

Back here in El Salvador, there's no puente, which means I have to work on the day that my beloved Buckeyes play Florida for the national championship. Actually, there's no puentes, ever. They don't know what they're missing!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Resolutions for 2007

  1. Buy a car
  2. Find a church I like (when I get a car)
  3. Stop eating tortillas at lunch
  4. Publish at least one paper this year
  5. Sign up for estimated tax payments
  6. Go to the gym (if I get a car)
  7. Keep up with salsa lessons (if I get a car)
  8. Get back to work on the third language (if I get a car)
  9. Read more
  10. Convince salvadoreños that pedestrians should have the right-of-way and that arms, hands, and heads shouldn't be used in place of a turn signal.

Colombia Vacation, December 2006