This morning, my dad made me breakfast in bed. Chocolate chip pancakes and scrambled eggs. I told him I couldnt have asked for a better breakfast.
My mom has been annoying me by calling me Nine-year old Quinn. Like Im a different person today. But she did let me open a present in bed. I chose the present from my sister because she always knows what I like. It was a great morning.
Now, we are going to have a party at our house. I cant wait. Lots of people are coming.
Today is my Birthday!
Ive been looking forward to it all year. Its really hard to have a birthday in Christmas Eve. This year especially because my Granny sent all the presents home with my mom last week so I have been looking at Christmas AND Birthday presents all week.
Yesterday, we went to coffee at Rafa and Minors. Their whole house is decorated for Christmas! People decorate a little different in Costa Rica. There isnt a lot of Santas and Reindeers but there are a lot of Nativity scenes. Minor made a really beautiful one that even had a waterfall.
We had guests in the casita for a few days. It was the first time we had kids here. Mikka and Annie were 9 and 11. We had a lot of fun playing futball, hiking, and painting rocks. One of my rocks is the penguin.
Yesterday, went to a party at some friends house. They had a very nice Christmas tree . They have lived all over the world including Egypt and Saudi Arabia. I took pictures of the ornaments made from paper. Theyre from Saudi Arabia. They do not celebrate Christmas there. In fact, if you get caught celebrating Christmas you can be arrested or killed. People who celebrate have to do it very quietly. They make the ornaments out of paper or food so they can easily be destroyed if they have to. Im glad its okay in Costa Rica.
I also noticed that both on Cindys tree and on Rafas they had very old Christmas lights. They all have different colored liquid in them, then the light heats the liquid, and the liquid bubbles. Its a little like a mad scientists beaker I think. Pretty interesting.
I cannot wait for Christmas ! Every home is decorated here. My mom and I got a Christmas tree yesterday. Its very simple, but nice.
Im not sure what this blogs creature will turn out to be, but its pretty weird in its chrysalis stage.
I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!
We had a field trip the day after school was out . I dont think they do it every year, I think it was a special one because our teacher and Michelle and Tamara are leaving this year.
They kept it a surprise from us. We knew we were going to San Jose on a tour bus, but we did not know where.
Tamara and Michelle had never been to the City. They've also never been on a plane.
Sometimes I forget that things are different here. The country is smaller so they dont have to fly anywhere to go see their families.
We got on the bus at 6am. It took three hours to get to San Jose. The night before, Monkey gave me an early birthday present. It was the new Diary of a Whimpy kid book. Tomas and I read it on the bus on the way there.
We went to an amusement park called Parque Diversiones. I think it means 'Fun Park' in english.
They had so many cool rides!
A lot of the rides were water rides. I think theyd be great on a really hot day, but it wasnt really hot when we were there. It also wasnt really busy, so that was nice. The first ride we went on was a roller coaster. In Costa Rica, a roller coaster is called a Montaña Rusa.
We also played some games. Ball throwing, Shooting games, and other things. Nobody ever won anything though.
One of the rides we went on was in an inner tube. It went down a water slide then, it turned into a very slow drift down a lazy river. I thought it was a little boring but nice, because my mom only went on this ride and the train with me. She doesnt really like rides. Especially if you get wet.
My favorite ride was the big splash water ride. I went on it five times. We went on it so many times we didnt have time to ride all the other rides. But it was so fun!
This was us . Tomas, me, Tamara, Nicole, Sharon and Michelle. We spent the whole day together.
We have more guests in the casita this week. There are kids too! This will be the first guests with children this year.
My dad took the picture of this blogs interesting creature.
Its hard to see, and when you first see it, it looks like a snake. If you zoom in though, you can see it has legs.
Unfortunately, its been raining for days. Really cold too. So we couldnt have the end of the year party at Hush Valley. It was really fun though! We watched Diary of a Whimpy kid. It was in spanish, but they made the subtitles English.
We all got lots of nice gifts from the teacher, too. I even got a blue tooth speaker! It was a fun party.
Today, we had a graduation ceremony for my friend Tamara. She is going to a different school next year in Copey, because she finished the sixth grade.
it was a very happy time, but kind of sad too.
In Costa Rica, when a student graduates the sixth grade, they go to the next level called collegio . After the graduate 12th grade, they can go to University.
This is a picture of my whole class, and my teacher- actually, the whole school! I will miss Tamara next year.
My teacher, whom we call Nina, will also be moving to a new school, so we will have a new teacher. Next year, it will only be Tomas and I in class. Unless someone new moves into the area. Its sad that my teacher is leaving. She was really a good teacher.
At the graduation, the families of the students were there, and so was the school board. There was even some people who graduated from Rio Blanco school, that are adults now. We sang the national anthem and we did a flag ceremony. I got to carry the flag with Tomas! Ive never done that before. We didnt do that in my old school. The flag for Costa Rica is also red, white, and blue. Like the States. Did you know a flag is a symbol for a country? Thats why flags are never supposed to touch the ground.
After the graduation ceremony, we had cake and food. Everyone had a really nice time. They even had ornaments for each student and their families, with their names on them! These were our first Costa Rican Christmas ornaments.
Even though I like my school, and the other students, Im really ready for summer to begin. I have to learn a lot of Spanish before the next year starts though. The teacher told my mom and dad that I have to be fluent, or it will be really hard for me, because they aren't going to let me speak English next year. I have been practicing on the app Duolingo. It really helps me.
We are still working very hard on our new project at Hush Valley. There has been lots of leftover wood. My mom asked if I wanted to make a small project out of the scrap wood. She kind of tricked me though.
First, we took some small cut off pieces, made them the same length, and then spray painted them different colors.
Then, she had me think of all the things I do around the farm every day and make a list. Then, we painted the things I do on the wood sticks. Monkey helped us paint the sticks. He wasn't feeling very good, and it was raining outside, so he helped us.
Then, we took a few more pieces of wood, screwed them together, and drilled holes in the bottom to twist some hooks in.
After that, my mom painted the board, and I helped Monkey drill holes in the little sticks.
I didnt know we were making a chore list for me, but it was fun anyway. My mom says it will help me remember my responsibilities. The red ones are chores for everyday. and the blue ones are chores for some days. The orange ones are just reminders for things I am supposed to do, but not really chores.
When Im done with each job, I take it off and put it on the little shelf. When the hooks are empty, I get free time. I hope it works. Im still saving money for my ATV, although I'd rather have a horse I think.
Well, my mom is losing the bet with Greg. The tad poles really are growing legs. She is not happy. She does not like to lose.
My dad says they are kissing tadpoles in this picture.
There are so many cool creatures in Costa Rica. Ive decided I will show you one each blog. This blogs cool creature is this caterpillar. Minor says its called a Gusano de ortiga. That means nettle worm. It looks like it has flowers growing on it. Monkey found this one, near where he found the walking stick.
I cannot wait to go on our field trip tomorrow!!
I guess my last blog post was missing the bottom part of it where I said my friends came back with us to Costa Rica. Not my school friends, but my grown up friends Greg and Monkey. His real name is John like my grandpa, and my uncle, and my great grandpa, and my great uncle. But we aren't related. I have called him monkey since I was little but I don't know why. Once I showed him that here in Costa Rica we have money with monkeys on it.
After we got off the plane, we got a taxi to go home. It was a van kind of taxi because we had so many bags and so many people. The ride home was crazy. It took a very long time and the traffic was really bad. A couple of times we almost crashed into a bus or a motorcycle. Motorcycles drive crazy here. If they think they can get through, they will.
When we got to Santa Maria, we got our car that was parked at Allen's house, and then went to pizza. It was the first time I had eaten pizza in Costa Rica, besides the pizza my dad makes. I think the pizza was pretty good. Not too different than the States. My favorite pizza is hawaiian.
It was nice to have dinner with my friends again.
The next morning, we went on a tour of the farm. I took Greg up to the pond where the tadpoles are. He said I should get a jar and capture them to see how long it takes for them to get their legs. I decided I would take two, and when they got their legs I would let them go.
The tadpoles are at a very weird stage. Its like their bodies are see-through.
Greg said the tadpoles were going to get their legs any day. My mom said we have been watching these tadpoles for months and they haven't ever gown any, so she doubted it. I've written about the tadpoles twice before now, and none of them ever got legs. Greg said he bet they would have them by the time they left Costa Rica. My mom bet him they wouldn't.
On Sunday, we went into town to get some more hardware from the store, The hardware store is called a 'ferreteria' in spanish. But sometimes we forget that most of the stores are closed on Sunday so people can go to church. This Sunday there was a festival in the park to start off the Christmas season. We got to walk through the market, and I got to go in the bounce house. There were a bunch of kids I didn't know there. They were nice, but I think they thought my name was No Espanol, because they would talk to me and introduce themself and another kid would point to me and say No Espanol. I know that meant I dont speak spanish but I do speak a little. Its just that some people talk really fast and its hard for me to understand. I wish the market was every Sunday. I even saw my friend Tomas there!
On our way back to the farm, we stopped by Martins restaurant. At his restaurant, you catch your own trout. He will clean it out for you, then he takes it to Clara in the kitchen who cooks it up for you. I really love to fish, but I hate that they have to die. I don't eat trout anymore. It was fun to watch Greg and Monkey fish though. I caught my moms dinner for her too.
While Clara was cooking, we played foosball. I am a champion foosball player.
When our dinner came, I didnt think Monkey liked it. He said he did but his face looked like he didnt. I think its because the fish come with their heads, and eyes and everything. My dads fish even had its teeth.
Monkey and Greg are here working on a project with my mom and dad. I have been helping a lot too. We have been playing frisbee and we played a game of Quirkle too, which I won. My mom calls me a shark. We have shark colones too.
While we were working, we found a walking stick. It is so cool! It really does look just like a stick. It has some kind of sticky feet that let it cling on to things. I played with it all day. While its on me, it walks. when I set it down it freezes, like a stick. I wanted to keep it, but my mom made me let it go.
We have been feeding the tadpoles ground up fish food. They seem to like it. My mom says there must be growth hormones in it because when we checked on the tadpoles yesterday, one of them had started growing legs. I hope they turn into frogs.
(I hope they turn into frogs.)
I know I havent posted in a long time, but Ive been very busy. My family and I went home for the Thanksgiving holiday. If we had stayed here, I would have been in school on Thanksgiving.
I like thanksgiving because it makes me think about things Im Thankful for.
I am really thankful I got to see my grandparents . All of them! and Im thankful I got to see my cousins and my best friends in the States .
I also really like Thanksgiving food. Its just delicious.
We had a feast at my Aunt Karmas house on Thanksgiving, and another delicious feast at my grandmas house on Saturday.
This trip was really fun. The plane rides can take a long time though . We had a layover in Houston for eight hours, but we got a different flight out so we wouldnt have to wait. This time, I got to see the San Francisco, California airport. Its fun to see the different airports . Also, they got a new toucan statue at the Costa Rica airport. The airport is called Juan Santa Maria Airport.
Our friend Al took us to the airport. He used to live right by us in the States
I was a little worried about my dog, and the new baby fish while I was gone, but they did fine.
Bobbie was waiting for me at Martins restaurant when I got back. I think she really missed me.