McCanns in Honduras

Let the nations be glad & sing for joy!

Packing Up

Above: Lu testing out our carry on.

After moving 5 or 6 times in our first 3 years of marriage, we have enjoyed the last 10 months in the same apartment. But alas, we are on the move again. Tomorrow night we fly out of San Jose for Miami, where we’ll spend the night, and then on Christmas Eve morning we’ll fly to Atlanta, and then drive the Augusta for Christmas. The following days will bring us through Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and back again, when we’ll fly out of Atlanta to Honduras in January.

But with all that ahead, the task for now is simply packing. We’ve said most of our good-byes, sold or given away a lot of our stuff, and now are trying to get everything into 6 50 lb bags.

We’ll continue to post while we are in the states, so check back for our travels, and then in a few weeks as we finally head to Honduras!

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December 22, 2008 Posted by | Lucy, Our Costa Rica Life | 2 Comments

El Registro Civil

Above: The civil registry, or big government building in downtown San Jose.

After 5 visits, hours of waiting, and lots of bad Spanish, we finally have Ellie’s official Costa Rica birth certificate. One interesting thing about it is that all children here have two last names, and so Ellie’s official name is Nancy Eliot McCann Wall (Wall is Lindsey’s maiden name.) We’re going to the US Embassy tomorrow, and we’re hoping this little name difference won’t be a problem.

One interesting anecdote, 2 of our 5 visits to the office resulted in us being turned down at the front door. The first was because we arrived at 3:15, and the office closes at 3 (turns out official business hours here are 7-3, instead of 9-5 in the states.) The second time, the president of China was in town for some business, so they closed down this huge government building and all the offices in it. Go figure.

All that to say, Step One is down in getting Ellie’s paper work to leave the county is completed (Costa Rican birth certificate), Step Two (US Passport) starts tomorrow at the US Embassy, while Step Three (permission to take a Costa Rican minor out of the country) starts some time next week.

November 25, 2008 Posted by | Ellie, Our Costa Rica Life, San Jose | 1 Comment

Quite a Mouthful

Lucy and her bud Will hanging out on some teeth.

Above: Lucy and her bud Will hanging out on some teeth.

Last week, during our vacation from school, we took a trip with some school friends to the Children’s Muesem in San Jose. Lucy and Will, her best friend in Costa Rica, had a blast exploring all sorts of toys and exhibits. One room that was quite a hit was this one, the mouth room. As you can tell they liked sitting on the teeth, though the giant toothbrush with a smiley face kind of put Lucy on edge.

In other news, we’ve just completed our first week of our second (and final!) trimester at Spanish school. This trimester promises to be more challenging than the last with tougher classes, longer assignments, and grammar lessons that seem to get harder by the hour! We both really like our teachers and classmates, and we’re excited about how much Spanish we’ll be able to speak (theoretically) in 4 months.

September 7, 2008 Posted by | Language School, Lucy, Our Blog, Our Costa Rica Life, San Jose, Spanish Language | 3 Comments

Summer’s Over

Above: Lucy enjoying some homemade, chocolate pancakes, one of our many family fun activities on our “summer” break.

Well as of tomorrow morning, our summer break from school is officially over. Calling it a summer break is a bit generous, but our 2 weeks off from school was a relaxing break and a needed time of for our family to spend together.

Some of the highlights of our break include:
– Traveling with Lindsey’s family.
– Translating and speaking lots of Spanish on our travel.
– Sleeping in lots!
– Spending nights reviewing Spanish grammar.
– Lots of relaxing time with family and friends.
– Relaxing (or trying to) while reading a Spanish novel (or trying to).
– Beating the rain by going to the park almost every morning.
– Killing time while it rains reviewing irregular verb tenses.
– Homemade, chocolate pancakes.

We had a great break of relaxing with our family and trying to keep studying Spanish (the whole reason we’re here). We really enjoyed this time with just the three of us and can wait for the months to come as we study Spanish, attempt to learn the subjunctive tense, welcome our little girl to the family, and move to Honduras!

We’re hoping this restful break will last through the new year and beyond!

September 1, 2008 Posted by | Family, Language School, Lucy, Our Costa Rica Life | Leave a comment

Hospital Clinica Biblica

 

A few days ago we went to downtown San Jose to tour the hospital where Lindsey will deliver our little girl. Hospital Clinica Biblica is a very nice, updated, American-style hospital with great facilities and an excellent staff. Like many hospitals, the maternity ward was the nicest spot in the building. Once inside, we didn’t know if we were in San Jose, Costa Rica or Charlotte, North Carolina. Sean is especially excited because there is a real bed in the room for the dad and wi-fi throughout the ward to accommodate our e-mail, blog, website, and Skype calls.

We have just over two months to go, and I think it finally hit us at the hospital that we are going to have another baby, not just another Lucy! Although we got through it two years ago, we almost feel just as unprepared the second time around, having forgotten much of what is involved in caring for an infant. And yet despite any trepidations we may have, we cannot wait to meet our little girl and bring her home to our new family.

August 29, 2008 Posted by | Baby Tico, Family, Our Costa Rica Life | 2 Comments

Hot Summer Days

Above: Lu playing in a field near our house.

We’re two days into our two week summer break and we’ve been having some great family time together. We’ve done some shopping, gone to lots of parks, slept in, hung out with friends, and played a lot with Lucy.

The weather here has been hot lately. It really heats up early morning, so we like to get up and go early. Then after lunch it usually starts to rain, so we all relax and nap, still recovering from a long semester.

Lindsey’s family is coming into town tomorrow, so we’re going to have a little driving tour of Costa Rica, with pictures to come soon.

August 16, 2008 Posted by | Family, Lucy, Nature, Our Costa Rica Life | Leave a comment

Two Down…

Above: Lucy and Sean feeding the ducks and pigeons in Parque la Paz.

…one trimester to go. Yesterday we finished our first full trimester at language school and our second Spanish course since we’ve been here in Costa Rica. Though we’re moving up, it is amazing that the more Spanish we learn, the more we realize how far we are from fluency. Classes have been great and we seem to communicate better ever day, but we are in the midst of an uphill climb with much more ahead than behind.

August 14, 2008 Posted by | Family, Lucy, Our Costa Rica Life, San Jose, Spanish Language | Leave a comment

Spanish Word – Mono

Above: Lucy riding with our buddy Pratt checking out some friendly monos in Manuel Antonio National Park.

A couple weeks ago, while we were at the beach, we met tons of monkeys (monos). Now Lucy has always loved monkeys the zoo, on TV, or in books, but we weren’t sure how she was going to react to monkeys in the wild. Turns out she had a mixed response.

The good: We saw a cute little squirrel monkey outside our room the first day to whet her appetite. Then over the next few days we encountered many traveling packs of white-faced monkeys both on the beach and up on the hill where we were staying. They were friendly and active and Lucy loved them. We sat out on our porch for almost half an hour watching 20 monkeys move through the trees below us, and the next day we got face-to-face with some on the beach (pictured above).

The bad: The third type of monkey we saw was the howler monkey. These guys are HUGE, as big as a big dog, and move slowly but loudly through the trees. They are intimidating and unleash some very loud roars that scared Lucy.

The ugly: On our last morning at the beach, the howler monkeys set up shop outside our room around 4 AM and started going to work. We found out later the the howlers are the loudest of the land animals and their howl can carry up to 3 miles. We of course were woken up terrified, and Lucy work up in abject fear that her short life was drawing to a quick end. She got in bed with us and somehow managed to sleep with us the rest of the morning.

Our monkey experience was fun, but Lucy will no longer think of cute little Curious George when someone mentions mono in her presence.

August 5, 2008 Posted by | Beaches, Lucy, Nature, Our Costa Rica Life, Spanish Language, Vacations | Leave a comment

Spanish Phrase: Sin Agua

Translation: Without Water (seen ag-wa)

Every once in a while, about ever few weeks or so, we loose water in our home. It is not a big deal, it only goes off for a few hours, and usually by the time we go to bed, the water has been turned back on.

We thought this was the case Thursday morning when the water shut off around 9 AM, so we didn’t think anything of it. Unfortunately, is was a big deal, as we still have yet to have water restored, at 6 o’clock Sunday night.

Some guy with a backhoe was working outside Thursday morning when he struck a water line and cut off water for over 400,000 homes in San Jose for over three days.

We’ve been all over looking for water, putting out buckets for rain, and even joining 50 other Tico’s chasing down a water truck, as you can see in the above picture.

Today around 12 a water truck parked on our street (the picture is taken from our front porch) and we all lined up with jugs, bottles, pitchers, trash cans, coke bottles, Tupperware, whatever would hold water. We got about 25 liters and used it to flush our toilet, do some dishes, and give Lucy a bath.

Water is supposed to come on tonight, we’ll keep you posted…

July 6, 2008 Posted by | Nature, Our Blog, Our Costa Rica Life, San Jose | 2 Comments

Happy 4th of July

Above: A patriotic Lucy.

What are Americans living in Costa Rica to do on the 4th of July? Go to the American Embassy’s Independence Day party of course.

We had a great time eating hot dogs, ice cream, and popcorn, waving flags, and hanging out with hundreds of our other fellow American citizens.

Hope you have a great day.

July 4, 2008 Posted by | Lucy, Our Costa Rica Life | Leave a comment