Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Waiting for the 5:45

Oh friends, I know I've been a very inconsistent blogger; I'm so far behind in all the things I've been wanting to tell you. Right now I have just 10 minutes or so until the 5:45p bus back to Ciudad Colón. I'm sitting on the cafeteria patio, looking out at the mountains in the twilight. Because of the rain, it's not often we get a relatively clear view at this time. Right now it's merely cloudy and there are flashes of lightening in the distance. Past the trees at the bottom of the hill there are amber lights from houses and towns in the distance and they get more sparsely scattered as the mountains get steeper. It is just so beautiful.
I'm half listening to a conversation in French between a couple of African students and a student from the US. I've almost finished my Power Point presentation on GZT, a German development organization. On my way home I'll stop at the verdulería and pick up a tomato and some kind of green vegetable to make dinner. I'll read my assignment for tomorrow on education for special needs learners, work on our group presentation (educational reform under Michelle Rhee in DC) and read a little bit of North & South before I fall asleep.
As I walk across the little bridge towards my house I'll say to myself as I do every day, "I live in Costa Rica. I'm a student at the University for Peace getting a Master's degree in Peace Education. I am exactly where I want to be."
Here's the bus.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Making Chapati

I learned to make chapati in Burundi but then I must have forgotten because the chapati I made when I got here was all kinds of wrong. So one night Diana M. (left & right) came over along with Kendra (center, who will be moving into Mai's old room) and we all made chapati together. The soda in the background was left over from the potluck. This is my kitchen, by the way. Our chapati was delicious, which reminds me, I'd like to make some more.

The Less Glamorous Side of Life in Costa Rica

I was starting to detect signs of mold in my books so I've instituted a weekly dehumidifying session. Don't they look like little acolytes gathered at the feet of their messiah?
The books, if you're keeping track are: Thomas Cobden-Sanderson's "Credo" (more a pamphlet than a book); The Elements of Style (illustrated edition), a biography of Gandhi, 2 journals, Faith and Practice, and the AP Manual of Style (very helpful for reminding me to capitalize Internet, how to address Queen Elizabeth II and when to hyphenate). Wish I'd brought more books and few clothes. Clothes you can just keep washing and make do w/ a few. However, not enough books, is not enough books.


No time to write, so I'll post pictures instead. This is from the potluck we had a my apartment, almost at the end of our first Peace Education course, 2 or 3 weeks ago. That's Diana on the left, Maricelly playing Diana's guitar and teaching us a song about a cactus and a flower and fish in the sea. Destiny and Myo on the couch. Mackenzie on the floor in front of me. Soooo much delicious food. And I, as the host, cleverly ended up w/the leftovers.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My class!

This is my Peace Ed class and our Programme (we use the UN spelling) Director, Virginia.
From the front left Diana (Canada), Celine (Rwanda), me, Gobina (Cameroon), Rose (US), Destiny (US), Mackenzie (US), Marianne (Costa Rica). 2nd row from left. Rosemary (Zambia), Virginia (Philippines), Mercedes (Argentina), Camila (Colombia), Chisato (Japan), Ignatius (Zambia), Niina (Finland), Jessica (US- her sister was a wardrobe intern for Arabian Nights!), Maham (Pakistan/Canada), Carolyne (Costa Rica), Myo (Myanmar), Maricelly (US/Puerto Rico), Haru (Canada/Japan). The pink flags on the map show all the places we are from and as you can see, several people locate themselves in more than one country.
I am famous for my striped boots.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Doolittle Epistolaries

To the Lizard in my Window Well:

Please don’t look so concerned; I promise not to squish you when I slide the window open. In fact, I’m glad you’re here. Eat all the insects you want: somewhere, someone is making more.

Thanks again,


To the Ants in the Kitchen:

Let me begin by saying, I admire your work ethic. Really. It’s an inspiration to us all. I am supremely grateful that the cockroaches haven’t learned to follow your example.

Now then, on to business. I thought we had an arrangement. I agreed not to destroy you and your families on sight and further ceded to you the territory of the sink. Any of the food clinging to plates or forks in the sink waiting to be washed, you are welcome to. In exchange, you were to avoid the territory of the clean dishes and silverware in the dish drainer. Though it is helpful when you point out an insufficiently washed fork I would prefer that you and your brethren not take advantage of the opportunity to crawl up my arm.

I have no desire to initiate hostile actions, but if we can’t respect each other’s personal space, I fear it may come to that. If there is no trust in a relationship, I’m not sure it’s a relationship I care to maintain.



To the Spider I Found in My Bed the Other Morning:

Your insect eating services are not required at that location. However, if you wanted to open a franchise in the kitchen, I would be happy to suggest a few locations.



PS. Do you like ants?

To the Cockroaches:

Long time no see. I am ok with that.


To the Dogs. All of you.

If little Timmy has fallen down a well, or if there is currently a stealthy band of landlocked pirates crawling, knives clenched between their teeth, towards the unsuspecting, drowsy children of Ciudad Colón, please, disregard the rest of this letter.

If little Timmy is fine and the pirates are all in movies where they belong, then please be so kind as to knock it off. Or at least walk over to the dog you are conversing with so you don’t have to shout.

Thanking you in advance for you attention to this matter,

S. Gmitter

To the Monkeys (please forward):

Where are you?

In peace,