When we arrived in Panama I grabbed a Panamanian paper called “The Visitor” and read a great little article written by a guy named Jack. The article was called, “Tourists or travelers,” by Jack. While I’m not going to post or repeat the article here, he made some interesting and worthy distinctions between the two,Keep Reading!

4:30 a.m. is never an easy wake up, but our destination in Panama was well worth it. We had a great couple of days in San Jose, but were happy to return to the beach and ocean breezes – this time on the Caribbean side of Panama. Our flight from San Jose was 50 minutes,Keep Reading!

we’re not in Tamarindo anymore… Matt and I have laughed a few times about the notion that we have anything truly valuable to say about Costa Rica, as a country. Granted, we have spent some time in Costa Rica, but when it comes right down to it, we have spent almost all of our timeKeep Reading!

Jacob turned 8 on April 29th. His birthday will be the only one we celebrate in Costa Rica this year. Jacob knew that this birthday would be different without the typical fanfare surrounding all of our celebrations. But all of us counted down they days for weeks prior, enjoying the excitement and anticipation that comesKeep Reading!

Goodbye’s are hard. We are anticipating ours – one month from today. It’s difficult not to “go there” yet, considering we have had so many happy Hello’s as of late. We have been blessed over the last five months in Tamarindo to have made so many new friends while also welcoming friends from home toKeep Reading!

Jeffry was cleaning the pool at “our” house long before it was our house. Houses here are different – they come with a whole history – written in Spanish on lined paper. They are not owned by people, they are owned by a corporation that gets passed from owner to owner. Most people we haveKeep Reading!

We arrived in Costa Rica on December 5th, a very beautiful, and very quiet time here in Tamarindo. When tourism and the start of the Costa Rican summer season picked up mid-December we were told that the crowds we were seeing were just the beginning of a very busy, but important time in this smallKeep Reading!

It takes a lot to make me laugh. It’s not that I don’t get amused. I chuckle and smile a lot, but a good, solid, bring me to tears kind of laughter session has never been at my fingertips. Most often, this happens when I am with my family or with really close friends. OurKeep Reading!

We had our first visitors since we arrived in December. The kids were counting down the days until Matt’s parents arrived at Casa Xanadu. They arrived late enough that we had to put the kids to bed in anticipation of early morning hugs and kisses from YaYa and Grandpa Buzz. And the morning came earlyKeep Reading!

We spent our last morning in Nicaragua at the “Chocolate Factory.” It was located on one of the main drags in Granada. Like every other door we walked through in Granada, there was a whole different world past the entrance. First, we bumped into Julian, a friend from Spanish School. He was in class withKeep Reading!

Our trip was motivated by a number of factors, but first and foremost was a desire to expose our children, (and ourselves) to a life beyond the walls of our home and community. While Tamarindo, Costa Rica has been different and challenging, (in relatively small ways), it has not been a shock to the system.Keep Reading!

During our whirlwind one day tour of Nicaragua, we had the opportunity to see Apoyo Crater Lake between Masaya and Granada, followed by a trip to the Santiago crater at the peak of the Masaya Volcano. We finished our day with a quick boat ride on Lake Nicaragua. We glimpsed some of Nicaragua’s natural wondersKeep Reading!

We returned from Nicaragua last night about 8:30 pm. This is a fairly reasonable time for our kids. None of us sleep while traveling – car, plane, train, bus – be it two in the afternoon or two in the morning, we are all generally alert. But during the last half of our trip homeKeep Reading!

We are off to Nicaragua at 4 am tomorrow morning. This marks the official half way mark of our “set time” in Tamarindo. Reflections thus far… It’s gone by WAY too fast. It’s going by way too fast. I just want time to pause for a second. Wow, the greatest gift I have received thusKeep Reading!

Well, we have been here for three months and since day one I just crossed my fingers that we would all remain perfectly healthy. Knock on this wooden table, not even a sniffle to report. We have had lots of new food, have only been drinking tap water, have had lots of sunburns and bugbites,Keep Reading!

To celebrate the new year and escape the holiday madness in town, we took a trip with friends to Rincon de Vieja on New Years Eve Day. It was at the top of the highlight list since arriving a month ago. Two weeks ago, we were delighted to meet another family of five staying atKeep Reading!

During the first two weeks we were here, we had the kids spend a little time each day writing in their journals, practicing piano, doing some math, or reading a book. It wasn’t much, but in light of all the transition, we wanted to have some structure during our day. These last two weeks, weKeep Reading!

We haven’t had an Internet connection for several days. Not a huge deal for me, (a bummer to not have email and Skype), but for Matt, this is a major inconvenience/problem. Needless to say, we haven’t been online, outside of a moment here and there. That’s all I have to say about the Internet! 😉Keep Reading!

Spanish – No comprendo! No se! Tengo una pregunta! Repita, por favor! We had four hours of lessons this week, and learned a lot. CSI is a full immersion program, so the instructors don’t speak English and we don’t learn the language from the “ground up.” Matt and I are in a semi-private class withKeep Reading!

Who knew??!?!?! Yoga was supposed to be my comfort spot, my familiar terrain, my home base. But, I got rocked on Thursday. Completely stripped down and removed from my comfort zone all over again. I found a studio just down the road – Ser Om Shanti. It’s a nice spot – small, with a tileKeep Reading!