Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Time for an update

It's been too long my friends!  I have a free period right now so I figure I should try to write a blog.  And by "free period" I mean my class is full of unruly 2nd graders with a teacher that can't control them.  Headache.  (oh wait, it looks like they're going somewhere else today!  Freedom!)


My trip home was FABULOUS!  We had way too many parties and beers.  I got to see lots of my family I haven't seen in a long time.  It was really great to be home.  Here's some pictures!!

My mom and her high school friends.

My cousin Otis.

Bloody mary's for breakfast!

Me and my godfather and his partner.

The cake toppers!

The kids and mommy.

I brought this tap handle as a wedding gift.  Good thing too, they would have been one short otherwise!

So I had a really great time.  I think one of the coolest parts was I went and bought my first pair of high heels since the car crash in 2009!!!  I got them from Aerosoles, a "comfortable" shoe store where I used to work back in high school.  I bought not one, but TWO pairs.  They're not exactly what I'm used to, and look "comfortable", but I'm pretty damn psyched I can even wear the damn things at all.  One pair is higher than the other and I wore the lower heel to the party and danced ALL NIGHT in them.  Pretty big step for me.

Oscar and I also managed to bring back a couple things for us.  My dad got me two really nice knives for my birthday, my mom got us high thread count sheets, and we also brought back a ton of wedding cake (which Oscar's coworkers gobbled down pretty quickly).

My residency stuff is going.  I got my comprobante number and now I just play the waiting game for it to get approved (or denied!).  I expect at least 5 more months before I hear anything, and I don't expect to get my cedula (Costa Rican ID) until December at the earliest.  One of my coworkers told me there's some "push" to get foreign teachers their residency quicker, but who knows if that's true.  And even if it is true it might not mean anything anyways.

Work is going well.  My first week back after my week vacation was spent in parent conference meetings.  And that wouldn't have been so bad, but one of my coworkers thought she needed to talk for 15 minutes to every single parent.  It was exhausting.  These meetings could have been so much quicker.  I think the most time I ever took to talk was five minutes.

Perlita is doing well.  She came back from her boarding place completely full of fleas.  I gave her a bath and I must have washed off around 100 fleas.  There were so many they were jumping on me!  At one time I looked on my arm and I had 10 fleas on it.  Sheesh!  So we've been spraying her bed stuff with flea killing stuff once a week.  I've given her a few baths and have sprayed her with anti-flea stuff (which I'm not sure works).  Also, I've started feeding her garlic.  I wanted to avoid that, but I think risking a little garlic is better than being covered in filthy, itchy, disease ridden fleas.

Well school goes on "winter break" in July which is exciting.  I was planning on going to Germany with my sister but it's been hard to find a ticket reasonably priced (I'm talking less than $1500) that has good flights.  One I found for a pretty good price but one layover was only 40 minutes!!  No way that's enough time and I don't want to waste a day of an already short trip trying to get on another flight.  So we'll see how it goes.  Sitting around for 3 weeks would just be a travesty, so I need to figure out something.

Guess that's it for now.

UPDATE:  Just bought my ticket to Germany.  Hell yeah.  I was trying to buy this one ticket and for whatever reason every time I tried it wouldn't process.  Well I finally tried another website, and it went through!  I got a great deal, too!  Flying to Frankfurt in July!  *happy dance*

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Looking forward

Today has been a good day.  Yesterday, even after all the mess of Amendment One, my president, Barack Obama formally stated he is in support of marriage equality.  He's the first US president to do so, and I'm really happy for that.  It's about damn time!

I have another reason to be happy today- tomorrow I leave for the USA!  My flight leaves at 4:00pm and I was trying to figure out a way to get to the airport on time.  I wrote my director asking if I could leave at 1:30pm and she finally wrote me back today saying I could leave at noon.  She can be really awesome.  Throughout my residency process she has pissed me off royally at times, but she's so busy I wouldn't expect her to put my residency on the top of her list.  That's why it's on the top of mine.  And although I was told by a few people to put pressure on her and tell her I was disappointed, I never did.  Because that woman is good to me.  I asked for a full week off of work after working at the school for one month.  She gave it to me without batting an eyelid.  I asked to leave a little early to make my flight, and she gives me half the day off.  I have to keep perspective.  Even when she's a little slow with paperwork, it really seems like she has my back when it's important.

So tomorrow I head to Miami where good friend, fantastic host, and overall great guy, Jay, will be picking me up yet again and letting me spend the night on his futon.  Then Saturday I have an early flight home to good old North Carolina where the party will start and won't stop until Sunday.  (Well going to get my documents apostilled in the Secretary of State won't be too much of a fun time, but I'm sure beer drinking and porch sitting will follow)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A shameful day in NC

I'm way too enraged right now to write anything articulate.  Not that I'm articulate to begin with, but I do try.

Yesterday "Amendment One" was put to vote in North Carolina.  The Amendment stated that "Marriage is only between a man and a woman."  Now before we get all excited, gay marriage is already illegal in NC.  The Amendment would just change the constitution to say so as well.  There was uproar from opposers saying not only does it name gays as second class citizens, it also would take away women's rights, unmarried couple's rights and child benefits.  Those last three things are up in the air depending on how the courts decide to interpret the law.  But the first part is hands down 100% true.

The Amendment pass 69% to 31%.

I put in my time and made sure to vote against all the way from Costa Rica.  My facebook news page flooded with opposition to the amendment.  But, the county I happen to be from is very liberal and not at all a good sample of the rest of the state.  But I still had faith in my fellow North Carolinians to do the right thing.  To make sure there are no second class citizens in NC.  To make sure that "separate but equal" truly is a thing of the past (a post I saw from the supporter side states that the bill doesn't say gays can't "enter into contracts with each other".  Oh yeah, because that's the same thing.)  To give natural human rights to all humans.  But it seems like the rebel flag wearing lunatics (yes, still plenty of rebel flags in NC) turned out in the numbers and passed the Amendment through.

I'm really shocked to see how much this result is affecting me.  I'm so angry and disappointed and frustrated.  My eyes well up with tears when I read an article about the election.  I want to shake the people who supported this inequality.  I want religious people to keep their religion out of my government.  You voted for hate.  You voted for prejudice.  You voted for ignorance.

I'm happy to see that the Triangle (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill) did the right thing.  Durham voted NO 70%, and Orange voted NO 79%.  At least when I go home I'll be around sane people.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Don't get too excited

But I finally got my comprobante number.  I'm so excited things are FINALLY going through.  But there's still a few things to get done.  The lawyer says I need to register with the USA consulate which confuses me since there is no US consulate in Costa Rica.  There's an embassy, of course, which has a division that deals with consulate things, but no actual consulate.  I've also already registered with the embassy, so now I'm worried there's something else I need to do.

BUT I have my paper.  I have my number.  And I'm hoping that will be enough for me to no longer leave the country every 90 days and not need a return ticket to the USA when I fly in.

Knowing this country, I don't want to count on anything until my cedula (Costa Rican ID card) is in my hand.  But things are moving.  Progress is happening.  And it makes me very very happy.