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!


Anonymous said...

You poor thing, Erin! Your back troubles in Costa Rica sound just awful--and you seem so young to have such problems. I just stumbled across your 'blog' today for the first time, while doing a Google search for something. Say, I noticed that one of your New Year's resolutions is to find a church. I also live in San Salvador (I work at the Embassy), and we attend a small interdenominational fellowship named Union Church (; you might want to check it out sometime. Although it's nominally a Protestant congregation, several Catholics also attend (and are of course welcome). American pastors of various denominations rotate through every few years; our present pastor, who is Lutheran, is a really great guy--his name is Jeff Jacobson.

Erin said...

Hmmmm...some other embassy people told me about the same church, and I think I might have even met the pastor, but at that point I had no idea how to get to and from that part of town! I'll try to go sometime this month....thanks a lot for the suggestion.