Happy New Year everyone. Quick update: spent New Year's in Cahuita with Maria and a 21 year old local. Good news: standards are still in tact and Maria and I rang in the New Year toasting (hoping) for better prospects in '06. Spent most of New Years day traveling. Holiday travel is even more exciting here since the buses barely run. I mean that both in the literal (bus died four times on the road between Limón and San José) and figurative (there were only about four internal buses running in San José) sense of the word. I finally made it back to my site at around 7pm.
I got some wonderful Christimas packages. Thank you family and friends. I will be trying to stretch them into the new year as far as I can.
On the home front, I am hosting a community meeting next week to officially introduce myself. I even made flyers with my pictures on it which I am sure will haunt me for the next 21 months. In the very least, I am hoping that when I run by in the mornings, people can say, "Ah, there goes that gringa" instead of "Who's that gringa?" Baby steps.
I am working on moving out of the house with the family and into a "cabina" out back. The PC rule is that all volunteers have to live with a family for the first year. My aptitude at finding loop-holes has not failed me and as long as I am in the same "yard" as a family, it counts as living with them. I am really excited even though it will not be unlike camping in that I will be sleeping, cooking, reading, etc. on the ground. I will also make a (hopefully) smooth transition into manually scrubbing my clothes and living without refrigeration. That should be fun. But, I do get to control my rice intake. Yeah! The big move should happen in February. I will keep you posted on contact information. It should all be the same except for the phone number, which I won't have.