Monday, December 31, 2007
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Friday, December 28, 2007
Christmas, this year, we knew was going to be different. First time away from home, first time with a fake tree at home, first year without a Christmas Eve dinner, etc, etc. And no egg-nog latte's from Starbucks...sigh... Our trip to Panama came about from many different levels. First, we knew we had to leave country because our student visas hadn't been approved. We didn't want to be illegal! As my 40th birthday was on the 21st, it seemed ideal for us to leave during that time. So - Panama it was. Christmas day was quiet. We brought Madison's gifts with us (our only gifts to each other, Mike and I, was the trip to Panama). So, Madison opened her gifts, we enjoyed her enjoyment over all of them (thanks to her grandma/pa Pettengill, grandma/pa Brumm, and Aunt Jerry!!!!). Then we ordered KFC for lunch (what else you may ask?! It's the only place open on Christmas - even the hotel dining was closed), watched movies, did a family devotional, and ended our Christmas day.
Today is our last full day in Panama City. On this trip so far I've enjoyed turning 40 years old, celebrating Christmas in a hotel room, visiting the Panama Canal, seeing old Panama, and just RELAXING! We had our annual watch-all-three-extended-edition-Lord of the Rings-in-one-day event yesterday. We've done this every year. We order pizza (no exception - ordered pizza in Spanish and had it delivered to our room - see...we ARE learning something), drank soda, and sat on our king sized bed (ahh...what a blessing - after sleeping on a double for 4 months) and watched them on our lap-top computer. Hey - our screen on our lap top is bigger than our TV screen back in Costa Rica. All in all, a great day! Today we are going to head out to Traffic Islands - the islands that were created from the land pulled out when the canal was dug. Imagine - creating 3 islands from dirt from the canal. Wow! Then, tomorrow we pack and head back to the airport, and back to our current home in Costa Rica. Don't know our plans for New Years Eve - we hear staying at home is the best option - can get a little crazy in San Jose during the holiday - so we may just be staying at home, playing games, and being a family. We shall see.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Here is a 3 minute 30 second video of old Panama City. Yeah…we know…the accompanying music doesn’t fit at all, but, who could resist?
Monday, December 24, 2007
Here is a three minute time lapsed video for you to watch. While this video is only three minutes in length in actualy uses 12 minutes of footage. It is of a cargo ship being raised up in one lock and traveling through the next lock, with only a few feet of space on either side:
Saturday, December 22, 2007
View of canal from the walkway
Friday, December 21, 2007
Naughty little monkey
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Check out this three minute video to see a bit of the Festival:
Friday, December 14, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Friday, December 7, 2007
Mike has been attending a ministry to the kids at La Carpio on Thursdays. Take a look at this five minute video and learn a little about the kids of La Carpio and the ministry:
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
We have been here for 3 1/2 months - not that long in the grand scheme of things - but here we are getting ready to end the trimester. We have come a long way - here is the nitty gritty for those who want the down and dirty. For more details, keep reading.
Vocabulary words learned: 685
Verbs learned: 310
Over 900+ words we were given to learn...Keep in mind that these are words that we were given to learn. These don't include the hundreds and hundreds of other words we have learned along the way - after the 4th time your teacher says, "por ejemplo", you figure out she is saying "for example" - this is an example of vocabulary we weren't given to learn, we learned from immersion por supuesto (of course).
Now, for the details (stop reading if you are already bored, or could care less):
- Conjugation of verbs in present tense - both regular and irregular verbs
- Conjugation of verbs in two forms of past tense
- We only have 12 more ways to conjugate verbs we have to learn....sigh....
- We learned that EVERY word is either masculine or feminine, and each has an article that goes in front of it: la casa (as an example), or una casa, or unas casas, las casas (the house/es)
- Then of course your adjective has to agree with the masculine or feminine tense as well. Do you live in a red house (rojo)? Then of course it's not rojo - it's raja - because it must match casa - yo vivo en una casa roja.
- Boring you yet?
- We learned about Estar and Ser - both "to be" verbs - and the 20+ different reasons you have to know to determine if you use either Ester or Ser
- Then we learned about "perifrasis verbales" - different phrases to say different things
- Then came direct objects - easy you may say - well, that's in English - Spanish is entirely a different thing!
- Indirect objects, of course, came next.
- Then substitutions of both the direct and indirect objects (Ellen went to the store....changes to "she went to it"...oh so easy you may say? Even third trimester students confuse when/how to use these)
- How to phrase a question - different format than regular sentences
- then comes reflexive verbs. It's used when something directly affects you - such as you look at yourself in the mirror. The sentence structure is different. A VERY different way of thinking about things.
- Intransitives - You think you like the cookie, but in Spanish, the cookie is pleasing to you. In English, "You" is the subject of the sentence, but in these type of set-ups, the "cookie" is the subject of the sentence.
- All of the above is JUST what we learned in our grammar class. We have two other classes
- In our phonetics class - we spent the whole trimester trying to sound like a Spanish speaker, not a gringo - learning diphthongs, accents, syllables, intonation, etc. We have had some success with it :-)
- In our conversation class we try to pull it all together! Each week we have a different topic we discuss. House, family, foods, animals, occupations, etc. We learn words and verbs about each topic, then discuss them in class.
Well my friends - that's it in a nutshell. I've only covered our main topics - we learned so much more, but if you are still reading, I don't want to bore you even further. I've included a picture of the flash cards I made, and vocabulary lists of words I didn't make flash cards for. Enjoy!
Monday, December 3, 2007
Chicago - where Aaron and Jess live
Mike getting ready to go run in the sun!
Madison, on the way to school -shorts and shades!