Thursday, August 26, 2004

We're here!

We're in Costa Rica! Hooray! It was a long day of flying and sitting in the airport yesterday, but we got here eventually and they let us through immigration and customs without hassle. The bus and taxi strikes had calmed down enough that we could get home in a car (Quena's tía picked us up, and her friend Alexis joined us for the ride). The family and all the other guests are lovely and nice, and Quena's room is cozy and Quena-ish. We're trying to plan adventures for the next few days, hopefully going to Tortuguero this weekend. It's a long trip, since you can only get there by boat, but it should be worth it. That's part of the fun, anyway. It's wonderful to see Quena again, and nifty to be in Costa Rica. It hasn't rained yet, but I'm sure we'll get plenty of that soon enough. We'll probably make it back to the internet cafe at some point to post more about our adventures, and possibly some pictures, but that's all for now. ¡Adios!

Monday, August 23, 2004

One more day!

The countdown has officially started. :) I had to wait until I'd finished classes to really get going on planning for our trip, so it's only now finally sinking in that we're really going to Costa Rica!! I went out to Value Village this afternoon and bought some light pants (so I don't have to wait for jeans to dry) and a hat, so all I have left to buy now is the chocolate. Mmmmm. :) I've been making small piles of things to pack for the last week or so, and it's about time to print out my packing list, gather all the piles together and start actually packing them, for real. I like packing for trips; it builds the anticipation level. As if I weren't excited enough already! :)

Friday, August 20, 2004

I'm Done!

I had my oral final in Spanish today, and now I'm all done for the summer! The Spanish classes were actually a lot of fun, and I'm almost sorry they're over. I'm planning on taking third-year, but not until the winter, so I'll miss it next quarter. But I can practice my Spanish with Graham and Quena in Costa Rica next week!!!!! I'm very excited. :)

In even more good news, I found my sleeping bag! It somehow ended up in the pub we ended up at on Sunday after the Ale. I had no idea it had gotten taken inside, so I didn't know to look for it when we left. Fortunately, a team member remembered seeing it, and I just called the pub and they have it. Hooray!

Hugo and I are going to see a play tonight, called The Scandalous Adventures of Sir Tolby Trollope. I have no idea what it's about, but it's supposed to be a comedy. The only description I could find of it on the web was "England 1784 Rather like Tom Jones meets Monty Python." I don't know who Tom Jones is, but it sounds good to me. :) Tomorrow we're dancing at the Estacada Renaissance Faire (a benefit for the Estacada children's library), and then we have a Revels party in the evening, so it'll be a busy day. And after that, can start packing in earnest!

Thursday, August 19, 2004

A Successful Ale

Well, our Ale was a success. Whew! Actually, it was really fun, and I think just about everybody enjoyed themselves most of the time (how's that for equivocal?) We had a couple of tense moments, like when Hugo couldn't get ahold of the bus company to make sure the buses were coming to get us, but everything turned out alright in the end. Our starting location in the banquet room of Bridgeport Brewing was absolutely perfect -- a great dancing space, tons and tons of food (somebody remarked that the pizzas that kept coming up the stairs reminded him of the broomsticks in the Sorceror's Apprentice), and lots of dancers and musicians who were just happy to be in Portland for the weekend. On Saturday we danced at PSU, and my friend Cate from my Spanish class brought her husband to watch. They even followed us to The Bite of Oregon, and food and wine festival benefiting the Special Olympics, and watched us dance there. So that was nice. We got into the festival for free because we were performing, but we passed the hat and collected about $100 which we donated to the Special Olympics, so I think they were glad we came.

Saturday afternoon after dancing at the Bite, we hopped on a couple of buses and made our way down to the Salem 4-H camp where we stayed last year. We were in a different location this year, and had really nice cabins, a dining hall and an amphitheater which was perfect for skits. Our Renegade Rose skit was a take-off on Mad-Libs, with a conversation between a morris dancer and an observer from Southern US. Ellie and I stood on stage and requested nouns, adjectives, etc. from the audience, and then Hugo and Jim Phillips acted out the scene. If the Vancouver Morris Men had had their way, every blank would have been filled with the word "turnip," but we only accepted it twice. :) Here's a bit of the dialogue, just so you can get an idea of it... [S = Southerner (Jim), M = Morris dancer (Hugo)]

S: Hey y'all, whad'ya call that sweaty dancing?
M: It's called Morris dancing.
S: Looks gross to me! Is it from Greece?
M: No. It's from England.
S: Is that near Sussex?
M: Um, yes, in a way....
S: I like that Welsh music!
M: Actually, that's English, too....
S: How old are these dances?
M: We believe them to be at least 7,823 years old, possibly older. We know they date back to at least the Pleistocene Era.
S: So, why are you turniping these greasy dances?
M: Well, my Canadian friend, we believe these dances were originally shagged as part of Republican rituals.

.... And it degenerated from there.

Anyway, it was a very fun weekend, including a champagne brunch at Eola Hills Winery on Sunday and some low-key (hmm, maybe that's not quite the right term) singing at Portland Brewing for the last folks to leave. I actually managed not to get totally burnt out this year, which was a really good thing. I did realize though, that although I managed to track down and recover three pillows that were left at our Friday night lodging and get them back to their owners, I somehow managed to come home without my own sleeping bag. Sigh. I'm hoping it ended up in somebody's car, rather than going back to Salem on the bus. (Which would be highly possible, seeing as we managed to take the luggage of somebody from a different group that was also staying at the 4-H camp -- we gave the bus driver an extra tip to take it back to them the next day.)

And now I get to think about Costa Rica! I had my final written exam in Spanish this morning, and I have my oral exam tomorrow, and then I'm done with classes for the summer! Hooray! And Graham and I are going to Costa Rica in less than a week! Yipeeeeee!!!!!! And then, when I get home from Costa Rica I get to start thinking about going down to California to visit everybody! Yay!!! And then, of course, I have to start classes again. :)