Once more, with feeling (i.e., to Costa Rica via Montreal and Toronto)

It seems rather like the only times I post are when I feel the need to assert that I’m still around.  Yes, I still have this blog and yes, I haven’t keeled over as of yet.

Besides this important announcement, let it also be known that I have been hired as a “website specialist” for Defensas de Niñas y Niños – Internacional (Children’s Rights International) in Costa Rica.  It’s a human rights NGO based in Guadalupe, which I think is a suburb of the capital, San Jose.  Yes, you people in the know, this is the result of me applying for an international development position in Southeast Asia, preferably the Philippines.  What can I say, this was what I got after mentioning to the coordinating agency Human Rights Internet that I had intermediate level fluency in Spanish.  At least I’ll finally become fluent in Spanish.   I could feel myself on the cusp of it after only 5 weeks in Peru, so the 6 MONTHS I’ll be in Costa Rica should finally and permanently stick castellano into my head.  It’s from October to March and for the journey back I’m actually considering taking the bus from Costa Rica to Los Angeles to see my relatives there, then flying from LA back to Canada.  The whole thing will probably take a month or so.  Anyone out there done anything similar?  Is the infrastructure there or will it be harder than I think?  I’ve never been to Central America, so I have no idea.

By the way, I’m writing this paragraph right now while on the bus from Ottawa to Montreal.  See, I had to come to Ottawa for a training session with HRI which actually turned out to be mostly reading the “contract” (technically it’s not one, apparently — it’s some kind of tax thing).  I’m going to Montreal because there’s another training session with another agency (it’s  complicated), and this one lasts until the 16th.  But, I can’t actually go out and see Montreal because the training takes place in Orford, which I’m told is basically the middle of nowhere, so boo them.  At least room and board are all covered by the host agency.  I kind of wonder if I’ve actually joined a cult because everything is so organized and inward-oriented.  Almost my entire waking hours are scheduled for some kind of training that I don’t really need.  How to overcome culture shock?  Coping with another language?  Really, now.

After that I head to Toronto and spend the 17th buying essential supplies I’ll need for my upcoming journey.  I do have a question for people, though.  I’m thinking of bringing along some small gifts to give to my new Costa Rican  coworkers.  I think it would be better if I gave them something quintessentially Canadian, but what can something like that be if it also will fit in my luggage and not bankrupt me?  Anyone got ideas?  I asked at the Ottawa session and someone suggested Canadian flag pins.

But anyway, that’s what I was up to on my summer vacation (I didn’t read any of my summer books either).


Internet access has been tricky out here in the boonies, I’m only posting this now on the last day of training.  I was going to try meeting up with you Toronto-based folks since I’ll be there all day tomorrow but this is rather last-minute notice, isn’t it?  Mea culpa.

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