Innovation on Earth

Global Citizenship Resources for Innovation Academy and Beyond

Guest Blog: Costa Rica Adventures

Innovation Academy is truly a global school.  Senora Schmalz, one of our extraordinary Spanish teachers, is currently in Costa Rica with her family.  Check out this extra special guest post from the other side of the world.

Hola de Costa Rica! The kids and I have been here for a week and a half.  What a beautiful country!  We spent the first few days adjusting to our new surroundings.  For the kids, the biggest adjustment was the language.  For me it was the driving out here, which is very interesting.  No street names anywhere, no addresses, very few lines on the road, no real clear driving rules, and very impatient drivers.   We’ve laughed a lot every time our GPS says “turn right on road,” which it does often.  Which road- this one? That one?

Our first trip to the market was interesting.  We were hoping to stop at the Mega Super and do some quick one stop shopping- no luck.  Here in Costa Rica, the grocery store sells some basics but if you want things like bread, meat, fish, fruit, cheese and even shampoo, you need to go to different individual stores for that.  We’re so used to our “quick shopping.” We were a little put out at first- mainly because we were hungry and wanted to get back to our place so we could cook dinner.  We had cereal that night and returned the next day to buy the other stuff.  We had so much fun shopping and getting more personal with the shop keepers.  Lots of great opportunities to practice our Spanish!

I just read Ms. Krakauer’s entry about games and we also had a great game experience.  One day at the pool, the kids were playing in the water surrounded by Spanish speaking kids.  Everyone was curious about each other and wanted to talk but there was a language barrier.  I asked one of the Costa Rican kids if they knew how to play Marco Polo and guess what?   They did!  The language barrier quickly disappeared as all the kids played Marco Polo for an hour, taking turns counting in both languages.    They all had so much fun together that the next day, they invited my kids over for a family birthday party.  Thank you Marco Polo!

~Senora Schmalz

The Schmalz family would love to hear your comments and questions.  Let them know if you liked their post, and if you want to hear more!  I’ll try to get some other friends from Innovation to write guest posts too.

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10 thoughts on “Guest Blog: Costa Rica Adventures

  1. Anna S. on said:

    This post is awesome!! Costa Rica must be a fun place!!

    Do you think Costa Rica is mostly wildlife, city, or both?
    I wonder why Costa Rica doesn’t have many driving rules . . . Why do you think the driving is like that?
    I’m curious to know why you think Costa Rica sells their food separately. Do you think it’s because they don’t want to get them mixed up?
    What food dish was that in the picture? Was it made by you or by a restaurant in Costa Rica? Does it taste good?
    Also, how are the people there? Are they nice?
    And where were you guys in the last picture? Was it a national park? A wildlife refuge?
    Looks like you guys are having a lot of fun there!! Especially with the Marco Polo game and the birthday party!!

    I can’t wait to hear more!! ;) ~ Anna

  2. Stel on said:

    Anna- muy buenas preguntas! So far the only big city we’ve seen is San Jose and even that wasn’t that big compared to boston . We have gone through many small “pueblos”/villages. This country is mainly forest- rainforest and cloud forest. We’ve also seen a ton of really cool wildlife: howler monkeys, spider monkeys, peccaries, tree frogs, a tree sloth, lots of unusual bird and the largest moth in the world- all while we were hiking and driving around. As for driving rules- I’m pretty sure they exist- they just don’t really follow them. Not sure why. The funny things that I haven’t seen any accidents yet.

    I think they separate their food because it’s a good way of keeping everything fresher. They don’t seem to import things like we do so the food hasn’t been sitting around on trucks and in the store for a week- it comes right from the fields in CR. ts is easier to do if you have specialized stores.

    The dish is called a “casado” and it is very typical here. I wish I could cook this-it was really good.

    The last pic was taken during a hike in Monteverde Cloud Forest. That is a ficus tree and it was hollowed out and huge!

    • Anna S. on said:

      iGracias Senora Schmalz!
      The answers make Costa Rica look REALLY interesting!!
      Can’t wait to hear more!!
      ;) ~ Anna

  3. Lovinia on said:

    that’s really cool! my friend went every year. one year he got stuck there because the air lines were down and was there for an extra week!

  4. Stel on said:

    Lovinia- I so hope that happens to us!

  5. Melissa Kapeckas on said:

    Senora, Araceli, and the Schmalz family- Enjoy your time exploring in Costa Rica. Pura Vida!

  6. Sophia M. on said:

    Your trip looks amazing! I did costa rica for my menu rubric so i know a tiny bit about it. Have you got to try the gallo pinto tres leches or arroz con leche yet!
    Have more fun in costa rica!

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