Preparing to go to Costa Rica

We flew as far as Houston so far.  We have a three-hour layover here.  Yia Yia Mary’s Pappas Greek Kitchen with a wonderful gluten-free salad.  Hopefully, my stomach will settle down.  It really wants me to run to Costa Rica instead of fly, or maybe fight my way there through the sky.  Not sit calmly in the plane.

To help my stomach through its tension I take lots of probiotic kefir.  They sit in my stomach and try to calm the nerves.  My brother, my companion on this trip, says his stomach does better staying close to empty when it’s nervous.  Mine likes food to keep it calm, staying free from empty slows its jumpiness.  I even got my doctor to write a prescription for kefir grains, hoping they’ll let me carry them through customs in Costa Rica. I will be staying on a dairy farm and this way I will be able to make my own kefir.  I will find out late today and post the results tomorrow.

The other preparation I’ve been doing for the last two months has been trying to learn Spanish.  Although I’ve traveled a lot throughout the English speaking world, this is the first time to go to a country where English is not the dominant language.  I studied two years of Spanish in high school, that was 55 years ago.  I also did four years of French, my Spanish teacher claimed I spoke Spanish with a French accent.  Then I did three years of Japanese in college.  I loved studying languages but never really spoke any.

Now, I’m trying to learn  Spanish.  Too chicken to take a class, I asked a friend to tutor me, we had a wonderful time meeting for coffee learning a few words, and speaking English.

I wrote this poem about my attempt to use the Duolingo Spanish learning app:

Dragon drinks from the cup of knowledge

Boligrafo tries to stick in my head

Constantly banging against a full memory

Can I really learn new things?

Trying to speak in Spanish

Duolingo is it worth the effort?

A cup of knowledge with dragons on the edge

Breathing fire burning new bridges

Red with shinning gems on the side

Will new words penetrate the din?

I stumble and fall

New words don’t come out at all

Old languages creep on in

French then Japanese

Spanish words lost in the din.

Thanks for the Compupare in my phone

Google translate shall be my friend.

 I’ve been using the app for 35 days, but I’m not sure if it will do me any good. I will report my progress on this in the next few weeks.   They say lots of people speak English there, but I’d really like to try to speak Spanish.  Any suggestions from more experienced language users? Or google translate users?

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