Saturday, October 31, 2009

October Reflection

Disclaimer: from now on, I cannot be held responsible for grammatical mistakes because Spanish is melting my brain.

Today begins the normal "busy season" in our household. Our anniversary, several birthdays, plus the regular holiday season tend to make money tighter, time thinner, and tempers flare(ier). This year, we have added pregnancy to the cauldron. And as if that wasn't enough, we've also scheduled two trips during the busy season.

We're heading to Dallas next weekend. Well, Sara gets to go for five days while I have just over 24 hours there. It's hard to take trips during training because I don't get per diem for leave time. And since our apartment is part of that per diem, we become financially responsible for our rent during leave days. It's not the end of the world to take a few days off, but a couple of hundred dollars a day added to a vacation can really stack up.

I also want to keep my out-of-town time short because missing Spanish class no es bueno. I had my first evaluation a week ago and scored a 1+/1+. If you're interested in the grading scale you can read about it here. I feel good about my progress after eight weeks starting from a 0/0.

I start in a new Spanish class on Monday. They use the evaluations to make ensure students are in the appropriate classes for their skill level, rate of learning, etc. My class is being broken apart and sent to other classes. While I really enjoy the company of my current classmates, I'm excited about the change because the new class is on the early schedule at FSI (8-2) instead of the "late" schedule I've been rocking (10-4).

Hopefully the early morning classes will sink in so that I can get to a 2/2 by the end of November. That's what I need (officially) to participate in the immersion trip to Guatemala. But since I already bought my tickets, I'm pretty sure I'll make it. There are eight of us going from my A-100 class, and we'll spend two weeks in language school while living with local families. Some of my other A-100 classmates are going to keep Sara company while I'm gone.

I also want to say that I'm getting more and more excited about Costa Rica. I've been reading the Costa Rican newspaper and learning about local issues. We've also been in contact with some friends who live there, and soon we'll get our diplomatic passports.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Puke Couch

A new couch appeared in our apartment today with no explanation. Perhaps it was because our old couch had a huge (at least 20" diameter) puke stain on one of the cushions. The stain originated with our family, but I won't name names. When we mentioned it to the cleaning staff (several months ago), they recommended that we simply turn the cushion over. Problem solved! But today, the puke couch is gone, replaced by something approximately the same size and shape that doesn't quite match the loveseat, and without the familiar stains.

Spanish is progressing well, at least I think so. I have my first informal assessment on Friday. They will evaluate my progress and make sure I'm in the right Spanish class for my level and pace. Tomorrow I also start area studies (Central America). Two A-100 classes have finished since I did, and a new one starts next week. Someone from the last class is going to San Jose with us, and he and his wife live at Oakwood as well. Hopefully, we'll get to know them before we go.

It was cold and rainy here for the entire weekend, which pretty much meant we just say around. It also made me wonder if I'm ready for winter.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Costa Rica!

Nosotros vamos a ir a Costa Rica!

Our departure date is not until May of next year, so we have plenty of time for visitors and whatnot. As many of you know, Sara lived in Costa Rica for a few months before we got engaged. She's very excited about seeing her old friends. Malachi is very excited about volcanos, jungles, beaches, and monkeys. I'm excited about getting off language probation and maybe, MAYBE, finally doing some scuba.

Sorry about the terrible banner. My computer with photoshop is not functional at the I'm stuck with paint.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I love breakfast. I could eat breakfast every day. Wait... Maybe more than once a day. Anyway, today's breakfast was steak & eggs, bacon, sweet rolls, and orange & grapefruit juices. Delicious.

We knew several great breakfast/brunch restaurants in Dallas, but we haven't had much luck around here. I know they're out there, we just have to find them. Fortunately, we aren't suffering from a lack of restaurants in general--we just need the time to find the good ones.

In other news...

Have we found out where we're going, yet? Yes. Can I post it here on the blog? No, not yet. For a few reasons, I can't publicly announce our assignment for a few more days. I CAN say that we are happy(ish) about it, that I'm still in Spanish training, and that we'll be in DC for a while.

More info to follow.