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Hooded Mergansers

Sunday, April 15, 2012

No Hablo Espanol

Hola!  We've spent several winters in Mexico...  and now the month of April in Costa Rica...  and I am now freely admitting that I don't speak Spanish.  I'm embarrassed about this...  I really believe that when you're in "someone else"s space, you should make every effort to "when in Rome, do as the Romans"...


This morning, in church, a man came along selling the weekly missalette (?) and a church newspaper.  At first I told him "no hablo espanol"....  he patted me on the shoulder, smiled, and walked away.  Later he walked up the aisle again...  this time I bought a bulletin.  I handed him a 2,000 note (colones).....  and he tried to give me change.  The bulletin cost c150 colones (about 30c American)...  please keep the change.

I'm always early for church...  I'm a people-watcher at heart, so love being able to sit in the back and watch everyone arrive.....


Some churches have a greeter....  
This guy was kind of laying down on the job...  but I think that marble floor was a lot cooler than the concrete outside....

I wasn't sure what time the services started (I'm still not) but around  9:45 what sounded to me like a litany was started.

Then...  around 10am...  a HUGE procession started walking into the church...  
Lots of young families...  a whole herd of angels....  and finally, the priest and (I think) altar boys.

Okay...  mass is ready to start...

Right?

Nope....  the priest took about 15 minutes to walk around every aisle blessing us all with holy water...
Now, this isn't that unusual to me, except, in this case, the priest had what looked to me like a bouquet of grass that he'd dip in the holy water before sprinkling it on the congregation.

Okay...  back to the Spanish/English thing....

I've bought the bulletin, so I can follow along (somewhat) with the readings and the gospel.

But...  I get distracted...

I tried to be discreet taking pictures, so don't have this one...  

But...

Those little angels were sitting at the base of the altar...  all facing the congregation.  

They all looked to be about 4...  maybe 5 years old.  Cute as could be....  They were all holding (what I would call) pompoms...  

Now...  after about 5 minutes into the 1st reading, you can just picture what started to happen...

B...O...R...E....D....O....M.........

One little girl started swishing her pompom over the head of the kid next to her...  hmmmm...  gotta reciprocate...  Another little girl started messing around with her pompom...  

Now... these little kids had on long satin dresses....  

But...  they sat anything but "lady-like"....  

Am I listening to the sermon?

Heck no... I'm watching the kids...  I don't understand Spanish anyway, but I sure understand 4 year old body language.

I think a couple of mamas walked up and retrieved their young'uns from the angel troop.....  and mass went on...

oblivious to the dogs, the kids and the birds flying overhead.

I met Bill in the churchyard after mass... we walked down to the New Town Cafe for brunch...

This place reminds me a lot of the small cafes in my hometown (Athens, Ohio)...  kind of  "old hippy" decor and atmosphere...  maybe with a little new age thrown in..

This is owned by an American and she also has a small boutique and used bookstore as part of it...
We didn't pick up anything this time, but if we run out of reading material while here, we know where to go.  

You can see the menu on the board on the right.

Our quesadillas came....
Okay, but not outstanding....

And we ate...  and headed home...


We try to walk different routes ...   gotta see it all, you know...

I don't know what these flowers are...  but they are SO beautiful...  cascading over the walls and sidewalks.

Home again...  for a quiet afternoon.

Just because we're in Costa Rica and I want to show y'all the birds...  
Here's a Rufous Capped Warbler.....

They hang around in the shrubbery just beyond our porch, so we see them often.

Okay...  back to what I started talking about...  
Spanish!

I have Rosetta Stone, and I'm learning some vocabulary...

But...

Darn!  I'm such a slow learner!

We really have to come back here again so I can get "immersed" in the language!!!

That's All For Today...


7 comments:

  1. I think it is more about returning than anything else! The flower pics are beautiful and I really envy you guys. Keep having fun.

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  2. Mass sounds like a fun experience! Can just see those little wiggling angels. Glad you are continuing to enjoy your time in Costa Rica. I speak some Spanish...taco...burrito...enchilada...frijoles...arroz... everything I want is right there on the tip of my tongue hahaha!!

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  3. I recall (vividly) getting dragged along to an Easter mass once back in Canada (in our home town) and the priest was dipping a palm frond in holy water and dowsing everyone. Unfortunately I was on the aisle and got "side swiped" REAL GOOD. (the poor grammar is intentional)
    They don't seem to do that here in Austria, but in typical fashion, for any Easter mass, you have to get there early. It was due to this reason that we didn't actually make it this time, since both my wife and I have some "issues" when it comes to morning duties, shall we say? I *think* I would have been OK, but reports were that we would have been in *trouble* had we gone. The nearest restroom is at a Starbucks, and getting in there in a timely fashion is a challenge.
    Such fun to get old, ain't it?
    Like, having a heck of a time learning another language.

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  4. i too have Rosetta Stone and think it is a great program for learning spanish... just have to keep after it...

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  5. My 16-year-old grandson will be spending some time in Costa Rica this summer as part of a mission trip. I forwarded him the link to your blog because it shows so much about living there. I hope he enjoys it as much as I do!

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  6. Love today's post! I also like the people greeter ;-) I'm afraid I'd have a mental block about learning the language too. I actually got out of taking spanish in school as a kid! I swear. I should have stuck it out...at the time, I just could not reckon why I needed to know it.

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  7. I'm living in Honduras and also having trouble learning Spanish at my age. I found this site for a fun way to learn: http://learner.org/resources/series75.html I am working my way through. I'm hoping I can get around to some of the other countries in Central America while I'm down here working.

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