I just spent six weeks back home in Costa Rica. The dog and cats were really glad to see us. Its like theyre not even mad that we left for so long. My chickens acted like I never left at all. I really missed them.
There have been so many changes at Hush Valley in this last year. i knew about all of them because my parents talk about our farm a lot but it was cool to see them all in person.
First- we now have coffee trees. There are over 100 trees on the farm now. Hopefully there will be enough so we can have Hush Valley Coffee for our guests. I think it will be great because my dad is really good at roasting coffee.
All the lines on the hillside is where our some of the coffee trees are. But there are more up by the Sediment ponds.
The second cool thing was the mud hut on the hill. You can see it on the hill in the picture above. its to the right of the little spanish cabin. Joe, our friend from Oregon was our farm manager when we were gone. My dad and him both work at the coffee roaster.
joe built this awesome little mud house that has a hammock, and a stove, and a little cupboard literally out of the hill side. it is so cool. I want to build another one up by the tadpole pond. I made a slide show of it below.
The third cool thing was, I am not the captain of my very own sailboat. Even though it was Joe's idea, I have wanted to do this since I came to Costa Rica.
I had so much fun floating around the main pond. Ive been wondering what it would be like to put a fishing pole in and see if a fish could bite and tow me around the pond. That called Green energy I think!
My mom and dad are working on aquaponics for growing vegetables on the ponds now, and ways to produce hydro electric power throughout the property.
We try really hard to be concerned for our environment while we are there. We compost all of our food, and sort all of our recycling. We make soil for the gardens too.
We hardly ever drive into town, and when we do its a full day of errands. I like it when we go to Santa Maria or San Marcos, becasue that usually means lunch out, or a treat!
We have even started taking the bus, when we have to go into San Jose. My mom doesn't like to drive in the traffic, and the bus takes us right into town. It takes about 3 dollars to ride it, and its about a 2 hour ride.
This last time, even though we bought our tickets the day before, there was no room on the bus when we got on. We had to ride on the floor of the bus because it was so crowded. I didn't mind. I felt like Greta Thunberg. I fell asleep. My mom said she didn't but her backside did.
I was really mad when I read afterward that Greta Thunberg actually rode first class.
We never got a seat, but we got to town safely and environmentally friendly.
One of my favorite things about my Costa Rica home is that I have friends there. This time, I got to visit with my friends Athena, Quen, Uran, Luna, and Arlo. They are all cousins and have a big family like mine in the States, Their family bought a farm just down the road from my school so they are much closer now! They get home schooled.
We tried home school this time. I learned math much easier from my dad than from school. It think its because he is so patient .
I did a lot more things I will update you on in another blog. Thanks for reading this!
It was really nice to be back for a while. Not just because I got to miss school either. I had really missed doing all the fun things on the farm. I missed my chickens a lot. And my dog Bobbie. I forgot that i had so many chores everyday, but i didnt really mind doing them. Just not every day. I do like working on the chicken coop though.
At the end of April, some birds started living in a nest outside my window. I noticed the other day that there are some babies in the nest now. They're very loud.
The sun comes up at 5:15 in the morning and my mom usually wakes me up at 6 am because school is at 7 am.
Now I dont need my mom to wake me up because the birds do, when the sun comes up.
All those birds in one nest, make a huge mess too.
The school election is over now. Tomas is the class President, and I am Vice-president. Yulian is Secretary.
I am the very first non-tico vice president of the school.
When we aren't playing futbol, my friends like to play FBI.
Because its letters when they say FBI, it sounds like effa bay ee.
I think that they think the FBI is like the police in the States. Because all of the American movies and TV shows have FBI.
They even made an FBI investigation kit that we play with. We dont let Alex play with it because he is little, and too rough with our stuff.
I really like my school. Right now we are building an organic garden. That way, we can grow our own healthy food, and save the school some money. The more money we save, the more fun we can have on the last day of school.
I also think its cool that our desks and chairs are made from recycled plastic. They're really interesting patterns , and they're good for the environment by being recycled.
We try to walk every day to school, to save gas and because its usually nice weather. Bobbie always comes along too.
Right now, its beetle season. Beetles come out at night and hit the windows like little rocks. In the morning, Lots of beetles can be found on the ground. They are not designed very well. If they fall on their backs, They cannot turn over. Birds like this and other creatures too because they eat them after they die.
This is a fly and a wasp eating an overturned beetle. Its the circle of life.
Last blog I told you my brother came back with us. We had so much fun. Well, not at first because Hayden threw up three times on the way to our house. He said it was the curvey roads. I think that means my moms crazy driving. When we got to Hush Valley, he took a nap in the hammock by the Casita. After that, he felt better.
I think my mom was very happy that he was here. I really wish my sister had come too, but is busy with her new house.
While Hayden was here, we played games like Apples to apples, and my new favorite game from my Grandma called Quixx.
We cooked all of my favorite meals too. Biscuits and Gravy, Hamburgers, Pizza,
We also went to Rafa and Minors house. Their dogs Cici and Phoenix both died last month. Now they have a new dog named Keira. She is really fun. We hiked their Gardens and checked out the fossils in the river.
Last Saturday we drove to the beach. First, we went to Dominical. If you ever want to go to the beach here, and you actually want to swim- do not go to Dominical. It is a rocky beach. With big rocks that crush your legs and ankles in the water. You can hear the rocks crashing around under water when the waves wash in. It sounds like my rock tumbler. We didn't stay very long because we wanted to swim, so we went five more minutes down the road to Dominicalito and it was the best beach. My Mom and I had come to that beach last year and I remembered it was nice. This time, it was SUPER nice. Hayden and I had a lot of fun playing in the waves.
The beach had a lot of coconuts just lying around too. Hayden and I brought one home but we forgot to crack it open.
We also took Hayden to Martins restaurant for dinner. He caught a trout right in the eyeball!
It was gross. Hayden didn't want to eat trout after that.
Me and Hayden helped my mom with all the farm chores too. He fed the fish, and brought all the fish food up hill to the food shack. My brother is really strong. Those bags weigh more than I do.
Its too bad he could only stay for one week. I really enjoyed having him here. It was nice to be able to show him around and let him see what I have been doing. I really love my brother and I hope he comes back again soon.
In the middle of the month, I went to the States. We took Delta again. I still think its the best one. Í really like it when it shows the flight tracker. I like seeing how far we have to go. This time though, when we came back, my brother came back with us! He had never been to Costa Rica before.
This time we went through Salt Lake City. We have been through Houston, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Miami, Newark, Los Angeles, and Charlotte. This was my first time in Salt Lake. Oh and the picture of me and the frog is in Costa Rica. Its a new frog. I like to get my picture with all the animals they have at that airport.
While I was in Oregon, my parents were very busy. Its so weird to be there, while my friends are in school! I found some things to do though, like play with my Legos that I left there, binge watch movies, and find creatures! I found the frog in our front yard, and the lizard at our friends house.
The whole time, I forgot my computer at our friends house in Santa Ana. That means I had to have my mom take the pictures. Now I think Im going to save for a digital camera so I can take all of my own pictures .
I also left all of my homework in Oregon when we left. That meant I had to redo it all when I got home.
I had a test this week on Geography. It included the latitude and longitude coordinates, parallelos, meridianos, it also was about the Provinces of our region and compass directions.
In Spanish, the compass points are Norte, Sur, Este and Oeste. Thats North, South, East and West in English. I think it looks funny to have an O on the compass.
I think having to my home work twice made me learn it better, because I got 100% on my test!
Next week I have a test in Ciencios- thats science. We are studying the Systema Digestivo - thats the digestive system, and huesos y musculos- thats bones and muscles. I hope I get 100% on that too.
The interesting bug of the blog is this beetle. It flies, and its reflective!
It has been a busy week. On Sunday, there were the elections. It was voting day for the new President. Last time, in February there were 13 people running. But it was kind of a tie, so they had a run off with just the two people that had the most votes. My friend Tomases whole family got involved for the election. Tomas even rode around town with a flag on his bike, and a T-shirt with Carlos Alvarado on it. The other candidates name was also Alvarado so everybody just called them by their first names. Carlos and Fabricio.
Tomases shirt says "Its for us, Its for Costa Rica."
We had an election at school on Monday for school President. I didn't want to run for President but my teacher put my name on the list anyway. I don't really know what it means to be President so I voted for Yulian instead. The problem is, I voted for Yulian but Yeffrey voted for Tomas. So it was a tie, just like the real election. I don't know how we decide who wins. In the real election Carlos won, and everybody was very happy about that.
It was Easter Sunday too. We dyed eggs but didn't hide them. No one does Easter eggs in Costa Rica. They don't get why we color eggs. I guess I don't really either, but it was fun. We pretended to give them to Abel for his egg delivery. He looked a little confused. I thought he forgot it was April Fools Day too, but I guess they don't do that here either. He knew what dyed eggs were though. He lived in the States for a year or two.
My mom told me my Papa had run over my Granny's six toed cat named Buddy. She said he squished him right in front of my Granny and that now my Granny couldn't talk because she was so traumatized. I was really sad. I really like Buddy. I told her I wished I had gotten to say goodbye to him, and that I hoped Granny was okay. My mom said I would get a chance to see him another time.
Then she said 'Maybe next April Fools Day?'. I was really really mad. That was a mean April Fools joke. My Mom loves playing April fools jokes.
We had a BBQ on the patio day before yesterday. My dad made some really good chicken. It got dark while we were out there and the coolest thing happened. The hills looked like they were decorated for Christmas. There were lights everywhere! It was because there were hundreds of lightening bugs, or fireflies flying all over. It was so cool! They aren't fast , and you always can see where they are because of the lights, so they are very easy to catch. I caught a bunch and put them in a pickle jar. It was like an natural flashlight. It was so fun!
We went into Santa Maria yesterday and I got my hair cut. At a barber this time. I asked for a hair cut like Tomases this time. My hair is different then his though. I like it anyway. Its a tico haircut !
It cost 3000 Colones which is about $5.35 in dollars. In Costa Rica, it is not common to tip.
For barbers, waiters, even cab drivers. You can, but most people don't. Now it seems weird to me that people tip in the United States.
The spanish word for this blog is Tico. That means Costa Rican. Nico means Nicaraguan, and Gringo means Foreigner. None of these words are mean, or hurt peoples feelings.
We were going to have a fire at the river campfire last night to see if we could see more fireflies, but it rained. We haven't had rain in a long time so I wasn't too mad about it. I asked my dad to make a fire in the house, and we made S'mores wrapped in Aluminum foil and put them in the wood oven.
It worked! They were delicious.
This is the interesting insect of the blog. Even though I think the fireflies are very interesting, we saw this caterpillar on the way to school one day. I'm not sure if it turns into anything or not but the colors are really cool!
Today, my mom came home I was so excited when she came in. She helps me with a lot of things and I like to snuggle with her.
Today is Easter week and a lot of stores are closed. I think it is because they are having a big Easter party. There is a lot of interesting things going on in Santa Maria. All about church stuff. There was a thing down town and lots and lots of people were there.
ave the whole week of of working. Including my teacher. No School this week. I like that, except I don't get to see my friends unless we make a day for playing at each others houses.
The weather has been really warm. Not too hot, but definitely wearing shorts kind of weather.
The day we got home from the airport, the mail man came. He only comes when he has something to deliver. That's not very often. The don't have junk mail in Costa Rica. They don't even send bills in the mail, so when the mail comes it is usually a good thing. This time the mail was for me. My Grandma sent me a package with games and clothes.
I liked everything she sent. We played both games the very first day. They were super fun. I even won the fishing for words game.
Ive decided to tell you a Spanish word every blog. This blog the word is Principalmente. That means Mainly. Este plato chino contiene principalmente vegetales. That means this chinese food plate contains mostly vegetables.
I found an interesting bug this week. Its a moth, and it's dead but I got some good pictures. Some of them even make it look like it is smiling.
It rained yesterday. It hasn't rained for a few weeks. Sometimes we will wake up in the morning and the ground will be wet, but not a lot of rain.
I'm glad there is rain because our tomatoes are growing in the garden. They are turning red now . My Mom will be surprised because when she left they were only green . She has been in Oregon because our friend died. She says she has never been able to grow tomatoes so I think she will be very happy.
This is holy week in Costa Rica so there is no school. Holy week is the week before Easter. Easter is a very big holiday here too. In Costa Rica they don't have the Easter bunny. I don't think people die eggs here either.
That's probably because the eggs are brown and they would be hard to color over the top.
Our new chickens are laying eggs now . The pullet eggs started last week. We have so many eggs now my dad has been making lots of quiche. Usually my mom makes it, but my dad does good too.
Our cats are really crazy. They jump on the windows when they want inside . Sometimes its really freaky! Like when they have laser eyes.
We get to pick my mom up from the airport this week . I am very excited . I really miss her . We video chat almost every day. If you have hangouts I can video chat with you. One time I had three people. Me, my mom and my dad.
I know i showed this bug in another blog but this is a better picture of one, and its still interesting.
Everything is growing right now. There are tomatoes growing in the garden and my mom says she has never been successful at growing tomatoes.
I think it was an accident actually. We never planted tomatoes where they are growing.
All of the fruit is growing too. We pick blackberries every week, and make jam or smoothies with them. Yesterday my dad made Blackberry cinnamon rolls. They are delicious.
We have had a lot of fruit too and my dad has been making yogurt, so I have been making smoothies before school on the morning. They're pretty delicious.
We have breakfast at school but I like making my own.
My friends and I are having a lot of fun at school. We've been playing a lot of soccer. I got a really bad sunburn one day, because we played for a long time.
I have mostly been just going to school and playing with the cats. I think that math is probably the easiest subject because the numbers are the same in English as they are in Spanish.
I have been still doing good on my Duo Lingo program.
We have been playing a lot of Futbol at school too.
One of the cats keeps bringing the creatures she catches into the house. They usually aren't dead. When we see her with alive thing we try to get it away from her.
The other day, she was playing with my Mom's slipper. She kept putting her paw in it and trying to crawl inside it. I finally looked inside thinking a bug had crawled in there, but it was something different. A lizard!
The cats also have been dragging other things in. Yesterday, I helped her clean out under her bed where we found a fish head, a mouse head and a dead lizard. My mom was not happy.
One of the cats is really a good hunter. She will climb all the way up in the rafters to catch lizards. I guess they still get some even with the bells on their collars.
Also this week, a tulip that we planted came up. It also bloomed. It seems weird that it didnt get any bigger, and that only one sprouted when we planted five.
The picture above is this weeks interesting insect of the blog. Its a moth, but it looks like a beautiful butterfly. Except it was on the road and it was squished.
I hadn't had a hair cut since the first one when I got here. I think it took four months to grow out. My mom said I had to get it cut, but we ran out of time in the states. My dad decided he would give it a try. I think he did a pretty good job.
Monday was the first day of school. I was very surprised to see two more boys this year. Now there is Tomas, Me, Yulian, and Yeffrey. Yulian is nine, and Yeffrey is six. All boys.
We play futbol (soccer) on our recesses. I like to play goalie, but I don't mind being a kicker. Yulian is very good at futbol. Yulian and Yeffrey are one team, and Tomas and me are the other team.
Yesterday was Valentines day. My mom made cupcakes for our whole school ( there's only six people). They were red velvet with Raspberry frosting and blackberries in the middle. We picked the blackberries together.
We have been talking about more chickens, so we brought back some eggs from my Papa's house in Oregon. He has lots of different kinds of chickens, so we got a mixture of all different eggs. We asked the airlines and they said it was okay to bring eggs.
Once we got them here, we needed to get a chicken to sit on them. Chickens don't just automatically sit on the eggs. They have to want to. When a chicken wants to sit on eggs its called being 'broody'.
Sometimes, you can make a chicken broody. You make a nice quiet place for her, and put some fake eggs in a nice nest. You don't want to leave real eggs in the nest because they may stomp on the eggs. We decided to use river rocks to make a hen broody. We made a nest, in a quiet place with fake eggs hoping that one of the hens would decide she wanted to sit on them.
We checked the next day and they had made sure that we knew, that they knew that the eggs were fake. They had pushed one weird shaped one out of the nest, flattened the whole nest, and went poo on the other rocks!!
Guess we will have to start over.
The other day my dad saw a rat in the hen house. We know where it lives now. I think we should put a cat in there in the daytime. I know we wouldn't have a rat then! These cats are really good hunters. We saw one jump ten feet and catch a hummingbird. The other one can climb rafters and get lizards. They do catch mice and moles, but also everything. I love lizards and birds. So we decided to get them collars with bells on them. It seems to be working so far.
The cats got fixed today so they wont have kittens. Its called spayed when they are gatas, and neutered when they are gatos. It didn't cost much and it didn't take very long. When we got them home they were so funny! They gave them medicine before the surgery and it takes them a long time to wake up from it. They would fall when they jumped, or fall asleep sitting up, and their eyes were crossed. It was so funny, but I felt bad that they have stitches in their bellies.
This blog's creature is the bird called the Quetzel. It has a tail that is really really long! They eat from aguacatillo trees. This one was in a tree at Hush Valley, in the morning on our way to school.
This week I rode in an airplane, a bus, a motorcycle, an ATV , my bicycle, a train, my dad's truck, my Granny's van, and my sister's car. The only thing I think I missed was a horse.
The first thing was our ATV. We drove it down to where a tree had fallen down in the road. While my dad and some neighbors were cutting it up, one of the neighbor kids rode up on a motorcycle! I was very interested. It was a small motorcycle, but that was good because I think the boy is only five years old. He gave me ride on the back and it was really cool.
The next morning we drove to the bus station to take a bus all the way to San Jose. The bus does not cost a lot of money, It was less than $4.00 per person, and it was really nice.
We traveled on Delta Airlines to the states this time. I know I said it before but it's my favorite airline. They always have nice seats and good programs to watch. And they always have gingerale, that's my favorite soda. I like it when I get to sit with my parents on the plane, but sometimes we are all separated. I dont mind that either. One time, when I had a seat by myself I sat next to Micheal Phelps the Olympic swimmer. He was cool.
We had three planes to catch. So we had to go to a different part of the airport, or what is called a different terminal, to catch the next plane- that's called a connecting flight. The airports are so big, sometimes it's too far to walk. We took a train from one terminal to another one.
When we got back, I was able see my best friend, Kylee M. She has been my best friend since kindergarten. Until this year, we have always been in the same class. I also got to ride my bike too.
I also got to see my sister and brother. I always like to see them when I go back. I got to see my Granny and Papa too. I didn't get to see any of my cousins because they were all in school!
I am cousin number twelve out of fourteen cousins. I hope I get to see them next time.
We had a lot of things to do when we were there. I went to the doctor with my mom.
I really didn't want to get the flu. Before we left, we kept hearing about people dying from the flu. I asked the doctor if she could give me something to keep from getting sick. She gave me all kinds of things.
We missed seeing a lot of people but I did get to see my Grandpa and Grandma. My Grandpa got me some really cool science tools. Magnifying glasses and different kinds of tweezers, and Legos of course! And Bingham got me a drone too! He said I can use it for making videos for this blog. I'm really excited to try that. So far, I have only succeeded in crashing.
Our friend Elly picked us up from the airport. She took us to her house, where she had a pool. I was really excited to be in a nice warm pool. It was probably my last chance for a while because school starts tomorrow. I wish the break was just a little longer.
This blogs interesting creature is a flying insect that has wings that look like leaves!
Summer vacation is almost over. School starts next week. Actually, Im going to miss the first day of school because Ill be in the States. Its time to go back again. This time we are only staying a week because we have a lot more fish to take care of, two new cats, and school is starting.
But, now we have 13 less chickens. My mom, dad and Clara butchered the white chickens last week. It was really disgusting. I went and saw after they were dead. It was really sad. I know thats what kind of chicken they were, and they were really annoying, but it still feels bad when things die.
Last week, we went to an awesome farm! It is a family farm with several generations of their family members living there. So the cousins get to live by each other and see each other everyday. They even home school there. The grandparents that settled there came from the States almost 40 years ago.
I really liked the kids. They even had a boy named Quen. There were three other nine year olds like me! I had fun with Athena and Uran. They showed me some baby goats that were only three days old. They know a lot about living on a farm.
Also, this week some casita guests left a coconut. At first, I didnt know what it was. They dont look like they do in grocery stores or on t.v.
First of all they are covered with a straw like substance. Its very tough so you have to peel it with a knife or machete. Then you find the coconut way deep inside. Then, you have to crack that open with a hatchet. It was a lot different than I thought . We were talking about whether the coconut was a seed like an avocado, or if it was more like a pit. Google says its a fruit, not a nut. Im still not sure.
The guests had already taken the coconut milk out, so it was just the coconut. We fed it to the chickens and they loved it! They eat everything but lemons and onions it seems.
The big trucks are coming and going here, while the new casita gets built. Its fun to watch, but I really wish we didnt have to dig the land out. It looks like the hillside has a painful wound.
They are moving most of dirt to an area that has a big landslide during the hurricane. Its mostly a red kind of dirt
My dad says that means there is a lot of clay in it, so its not good for using in the garden. Thats too bad because my Granny sent a lot of flower bulbs and my Mom and I have been planting them. They are bulbs from North America. Some of those bulbs need it to get to a freezing temperature for at least one night, or they wont bloom. I cant wait to see which ones do.
This blogs interesting creature is a chameleon! Chameleons are cousins to lizards, only they can change their appearance to blend in with their surroundings. They have camouflage. My Dad found one on the Quad and it was yellow!
This week was very busy. We have had friends in the casita. Their names are Molly and Gary.
Molly brought me some spanish books. She knows I have to learn spanish because she reads this blog! She is really good at picking books for kids because she used to be a book seller. These are just a few of the books she brought for me.
We had three days of rain. It just kept coming down. When it does, the dirt and mud come into the canal and then drop into the sediment ponds. So it was time to clean the sediment ponds this week. My dad, Jonathon and I did it. Unfortunately, my boot got stuck while I was shoveling and I ended up falling in the mud. It was like incredibly stinky quick sand.
I read about how to survive quick sand in my worst case survival book. It says to lay down a stick or branch and hold on to it and to spread you body as big as you can so you are kind of floating on the top. I tried to lay my shovel down but it wasn't really deep, and I didn't really sink down so I guess it wasn't quick sand, just mud.
We talked to the people at the feed store about our white chickens. They told us they are definitely meat chickens - for eating, not laying eggs. They also said we needed to to butcher them soon or their hearts would explode. Their bodies are to big for their hearts. The chickens are 14 weeks old. We were supposed to butcher them when they were 8 weeks. The feed store also said they wouldn't lay eggs but I noticed when I picked up the eggs this week that there have been some very small eggs too. They're called pullet eggs. They are usually the first eggs layed by hens. Like practice eggs.
My dad said on Monday, him and Martin and Jonathon are going to butcher them. I think its very sad. My dad says if we don't, their hearts will explode anyway and nothing good will have come from their lives. If we butcher them, then several families will have food because of them. It makes more sense that way, but its still sad.
Peter and Jo were still here too. When they first got here, I got to teach them how to play Quirkle. Then, when Molly and Gary were here too, we all played together while my parents made dinner. It was Molly's first time playing Quirkle. She is now a Quirkle shark.
Molly and Gary and Peter and Jo are gone now. But we have new guests in the casita for two days. Emmie and Tim. They're from England and have really cool accents. They sound just like our friend Kevin. I think Bobbie understands them better.
Its getting better with the wild cats. I can now hold one of them and the other one almost lets me pet her. She always changes her mind and runs off when I get really close. This one is Saladin.
And here is the interesting insect of the Blog. I think its some type of Beetle. There are lots of different Beetles here.
This week has been full of animals! Its been really sunny, and one of our friends told us when its too hot and the grass dries up, the cows and horses dont have enough to eat in their yards, so sometimes the farmers will let them out to go find grass along the road or the river. My mom and I went to San Marcos the other day and we saw this horse. It followed us all the way down Rio Blanco road.
I told my mom I thought it was a stray that needed a home at our house. She told me she thought it was a good reason to keep the gate closed.
When we were walking down the street in San Marcos, we saw a bird that had hit a window. It had a weird eye, so I think it probably didnt see the window. It let me pet it before it flew away.
We went to a restaurant for breakfast when we were in town. The usual Costa Rican breakfast has eggs, gallo pinto rice, fried banana, natilla (like sour cream) and toast. I think its boring but my mom likes it. Sometimes she even makes it at our house.
The next day, we saw our neighbors cows having a 'beach day' across the river from our house. Theyre funny to watch.
One morning I woke up and saw mapache prints on the river bank outside our door. My room is literally ten feet away, but three stories up. I could have seen them!
Its baby lizard season, so there have been tons of baby lizards everywhere. Ive been catching them and letting them go. They're very fast. I think they all hatch brown, and then turn blue or green when theyre teenagers. I havent seen anything but brown lizard babies.
And when we went to the Dairy in Monday, Abels horse was in his front yard. It let me pet its nose. Abel rides this horse a lot.
Yesterday, a really strange thing happened. A bird flew into MY window and knocked itself out. I found it laying on the patio downstairs and I held it for a little bit. When i knew it was going to be okay, I put it in a box the rest. I stayed there so no other creatures would get it. When it felt better, it flew up into our rafters and stared down at us. Im glad it didnt die.
I havent written a blog since my birthday! Sometimes, I have to wait for my mom to add the pictures and make sure my spelling is okay. And sometimes, she takes a long time. But thats not the reason this time. This time, we have just been really busy!
We had a great Christmas! I missed my family in the states but we have friends here that are fun to spend time with. After opening some AWESOME presents, we went to our friend Tony's house. We had homemade pie made by Frances too. She makes really good yogurt.
We have been doing a lot of fish stuff too. It was time to clean ponds again, and move fish over to new ponds while we get ready to put the baby trout into real ponds and out of the tanks. I have learned a lot about trout. Did you know male and female look different? Here is a picture of our trout. One male, one female. The one on the right is female.
I know its female because the females have much more reflective scales and look more more silver. The boys are more brownish. The males faces are longer and there is a lot more pink color. They also have bigger mouths and look like they are crabby all the time. The males also have a lot of freckles.
When you're cleaning the fish, they look pretty much the same but some of the females have an egg sac. Inside the egg sac there are hundreds of tiny orange eggs called 'roe' and they are really soft and squishy! Some people eat the roe, they call it trout caviar. I have never tried it before.
When we are cleaning the fish I like to look into their mouths. They have really sharp teeth and their tongues are white. In one picture it looks like it is biting my moms finger.
I have also been busy with some new animals, a species called Cats! We just got them this week, and they are four months old. They are pretty shy right now. They like to hide under the couch, or the wood stove. They are called 'marmalade' color because they are both orange. But the mother is a tabby, it's name was Blacky. I like having cats, but that makes me have more chores like feeding them and changing a litter box! I cannot wait until they get friendly with us and we can hold them. Right now they only let me pet them.
My Aunt Karma got me a book series that has a cat called Saladin. Its very powerful for a cat. I think I'm going to call the one without the white chest, Saladin.
I have been playing with my B-day/Christmas toys. I got some really cool stuff. I got a lot of art supplies, a gold panning kit, a swiss army knife, a machete, a gerber utility knife and a lot more! I at least wear one knife a day but usually two, my machete. Its very helpful to have tools when Im working outside.
I found this dead dragon fly in the green house. The spanish word for dragonfly is libelula.
I thought it would be a good interesting creature of the blog. I think the pattern in their wings is really cool!
Thanks for reading my blog!
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.
We also got to go into Santa Maria and have ice cream. I really like ice cream.
Im also thankful that my mom and dad like adventure. My mom and I like to go on hikes and discover new things. sometimes way up in the hills, and sometimes in the river,, where we found this animal print. I think its a mapache (raccoon), but I still have to look it up.
We also found some creepy things on our adventures.
These weird things we found on a log. It was super shiny, and squishy too. I poked it with a stick. I wondered if it was a caccoon for something but I couldnt find anything like it on the internet. I asked my friend, and he thought it may be a fungus. The next day, we saw a weird tree across the river. It had a hole in the trunk.
I got a little nervous because we have been watching 'Stranger Things' on netflix and after seeing the weird squishy thing and the tree trunk, it was making me uncomfortable. So we decided to poke one of the caccoon things.
It was just full of dirt! I was very thankful it wasnt an alien or bad creature.
My dad let me kind of drive the quad this week too! I was being really helpful while we were building a chicken coop for the baby chicks and making a storage spot for fish food. He let me drive because he said I was acting responsible.
That was super cool.
On my last blog, my Papa asked about the earthquake we had. Ive never been in an earthquake before. It was a little bit scary because I didnt know what was happening at first, and then it was a little scary because I thought a tsunami was coming. At our home in Oregon we lived at the beach. Thats at sea level. That means, after an earthquake you have to get out of there fast because a tsunami can come. Tsunamis are very dangerous. In Costa Rica, we are way up in the mountains where tsunamis cant reach. I was very thankful for that.
Today, I am flying back to the States to see my family for Thanksgiving. I am really excited about that. I have lots of cousins and my best friends Eddie and Kylee M. too. I cant wait to see them.
Im really happy I get to see my brother and sister and all of my grandparents! I hope everyone has a great thanksgiving.
In September we decided to plant some seeds. We knew it was still the rainy season but we wanted the seeds to be plants when the warm weather got here. The seeds sprouted really fast.
We usually had a garden every year. Although sometimes the chickens would dig it up and eat it.
I like working in the garden. I also like picking the vegetables when they are ready. I don't really like to eat a lot of vegetables but I think its neat to watch them grow.
The other day we were working in the garden. I was watering the garden and pulling out weeds. We had been working on a new garden box and there were was already grass growing in it. I remembered that our chickens used to eat our gardens so I thought it might be a good plan to put chickens in our empty garden box to do the weeding for us. I had to put the dog in the house before we let the chickens out, because she really likes to watch the chickens. I think maybe she would eat them.
The vegetables are getting really big now that the sun is out more often. The days have been really nice for a while now. I'm really glad the rainy season is over.
We went up to the pasture today to check on the tadpoles and the blackberries. The tadpoles are still tadpoles! I wanted to climb the tree for a birds eye view. But I didnt have to. I could they all still had tails not legs. I guess maybe those that grew legs could have already hopped away. But maybe they're just hiding.
The blackberries are just now starting to get ripe. The bulls were very curious why we were up in the fields by the pasture. They were very friendly.
We made a dessert out of the berries we picked today. I think in about three weeks they will be perfect.
I found another strange leaf up near the pasture today. Can you see what it really is?
Ive been helping my mom in the rock garden a lot. One- because I really like rocks ( as you know), and Two- because we are going to have the end of the school year party at Hush Valley! I'm really excited about that. I'm hoping we can get the rock garden ready so we can have the party down there too.
There are some areas that have water running across them, so my mom and I built a bridge to get across.
We have a lot of bamboo, so we decided to use that. There is a whole area on the riverfront trail that we call the bamboo forest. Someday I want to make a bamboo platform there so we can have picnics in the bamboo forest. There are so many different types of bamboo, and not all of the bamboo is strong. Bamboo is cut down with machetes, so one end of it is usually sharp. We have to cut that end off. We also had to find pieces that were pretty close to the same size. Then we had to get two strong boards to screw them to.
Its a foot bridge. That means its not fancy. There isn't a railing or stairs, but it will keep your feet dry.
I think it looks nice, and its on the trail to the campfire so it was necessary.
We aren't done with the campfire area yet, but I really want to get it done before the party. I think it would be cool to have a campfire. I don't think they have s'mores here, but I think it would be fun to show my friends what they are.
My teacher said that there will be pizza, games and a pinata at the party. The last day of school is Deciembre 11 (December). Then we go on our summer break until the middle of Febraro (February). That's a lot different than in Oregon. They have six more months of school still.
When I was down there, I took some more pictures of cool rocks. These rocks were all big ones along the trail to the house.
We joined a facebook page called rocks, fossils, and minerals identification. Im hoping we can figure out what some of these rocks are made of. I'm also going to bring my rock polisher back with me when we go to visit our home in Oregon.
On my way home the other day I saw a weird stick. If you look closer though you can see what it really is. Lots of creatures here have camouflage like that.
Thank you for reading my blog. Im glad you are interested.
Today was a fun day. We didn't have school Friday. My friend Tomas and our teacher went to San Jose for a big school thing, and they won First National place! I don't really know what it was, but I know it was important and they made our whole town proud.
My mom and I spent the day cleaning out the garage. It was dusty work. Because I worked so hard, my mom let me do what I wanted in the afternoon. I decided to take pictures of insects, because there are some really cool insects here.
Sometimes when a bug is really creepy, I have to tell myself that I shouldnt be grossed out, because Im way bigger, and I probably am way more scary to them.
We try not to kill bugs, especially outside because thats their home. But that changes when they come inside our house. We try to put them outside, but if they look like theyre going to get away, sometimes we call the exterminator, aka my dad. We do have a small spider that lives next to the toilet. He hides when youre in the bathroom though. He eats bugs, and doesnt bother us, so we let him stay there.
Then take six lemons, and get the juice. if you dont have a juicer, just squeeze them. You'll need 1 and 1/3 cup of lemon juice. Pour the lemon juice in a pitcher, then pour 1 and 1/3 cup of Jamaica in, then add 1/3 cup of honey or sugar, then add 3 cups of water, and stir it up. Taste it, and add more sweetness if you need to. Its delicious!
After we went to the Lankaster gardens, we drove to the other side of Cartago where the Caribbean part of Costa Rica starts. Its much warmer on that side and it makes you really sweaty. There are even more flowers on that side of the country too. But also, more bugs.
We went to a friend named Mike's house. He is really cool. He used to be a doctor, but now he lives in Costa Rica and has a very amazing farm, and he is a magician.
He did some really fun tricks for us after we had lunch. I tried to see how he did them, but he was too fast. On their farm they have a lot of fruit. There were also some cool statues.
Our lunch was a bunch of different things- nuts, berries, fruit, bread and cheeses that Mike makes with milk from his goats. Mike made Jamaica lemonade for me. Now I'm going to try to make Jamaica lemonade at home.
There were so many animals on the farm! Geese, turkeys, ducks, chickens, peahens, grouse, and more I cant remember. There were also rabbits, dogs, cats and goats.
The goats had a playhouse and yard all to themselves.
The goats make the milk that make the cheese. There are lots of different kinds of cheese. Did you know all cheese is white? Mike said cheese is colored by herbs or spices to make them different colors. There was some blue goat cheese. It wasn't the salad kind of blue cheese, but actually blue cheese. I cant remember what kind of herb made it blue. I have had goat milk Ice Cream, and now I have had goats milk cheese. The orange kind is a sharp cheddar cheese. It tastes different than the cheddar cheese Im used to.
Mike told us a story about the orange and white cheese. He said in the old days, when they didnt have enough milk to finish the cheese, they would put a layer of ash on top to keep the bugs out overnight. The next day they would scrape off the ash and add another layer of cheese on top of it, but the ash would color the cheese. Mike made that kind of cheese but he used orange (sharp cheddar) cheese on the top layer. So I guess I have eaten ash now too.
On Monday we went to drop off eggs at the dairy. Abel was feeding the calves. He let me feed them from the bottle. I have never fed an animal from a bottle before. It was fun.
After the dairy, we went to Tony's farm. We get our vegetables from Tony's. His cow, Gertrude, was sitting in the front yard. She was super nice and let me pet her. Tony also has pigs, chickens, rabbits, geese, goats, ducks, dogs and horses. He also has a huge greenhouses full of vegetables.