"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.' "
Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, March 22, 2013

When Pigs Fly

I’ll become a legal resident of Costa Rica when pigs fly…
How long have I been gathering paperwork for this thing?  Since before I graduated college.  When did I finally have all my paperwork notified, certified, apostilled, and sent back to Costa Rica?  Last August.  Then I wait.
I wrote in January about my experience to get the fingerprints done, as that was on my to-do-list for my work permit application. 
Well I’m not going through this alone, because the other foreign teachers are also seeking residency, but at this point, I am the furthest along in the process.  It’s certainly not a competition though.  I have been the only one fortunate enough to get fingerprints taken.  I went without an appointment, and without any paperwork, whereas the other teachers now cannot even get an appointment because they are told they need some sort of paperwork from the school, yet the school, nor the lawyers can come up with this paperwork.
The lawyer says he has no idea how I got my fingerprints taken.  I was persistent, that’s how.  When they ask me for paperwork that day and I didn’t have it, I was not about to make another trip to San José and postpone the process further.  I said what I needed to and got myself through.
So you’d think I would have my work permit and residency by now, right?  All my paperwork and fingerprints are ready to go and since the school was inscribed by immigration last month, I should be good to go.  Not. We have switched lawyers in the process, and while they try to figure out what’s going on and what really needs to be done, my 90 days are ticking away.  I have exactly one month from today until my visa runs out…
We found out this week that I actually had not done everything on the to-do-list.  I now have to go to the consulate.  The lawyer told me, no big deal, just go during your week off next week.  Well trying to book an appointment with less than a week’s notice was wishful thinking.  Of course there weren’t any appointments available until my first day back to work.  Since this is work related, my request for absence on that day was easily approved, but that doesn’t mean making another trip to San José is easy, quick, or cheap.
I’ll be spending Easter 2013 by myself in a hotel…

On a more positive note:
Yesterday, the school secretary asked me to come into the office for a second.  I was so shocked when I got in there.  She had a brand new globe for me and a meter stick!  Two things I have been asking for for a long time.  I’ve put them on every single wish list that I have ever turned in to anyone, but I kind of felt like I was just wasting ink every time I wrote “globe” on a wish list.  Apparently the school had ordered this for me before the start of this year when I made my 2013 supply list, and they decided not to tell me they had ordered it.  It just took two months to get here.  I was seriously so shocked when I saw the globe and meter stick, and so happy I wanted to cry!  I know that sounds so dumb.  It’s not the fact that I got a globe, but it just means a lot to know that someone is actually listening to me, and that someone took the time, money, and effort to order this for me.

It’s funny there was just a man at school the other day who was visiting from the united states.  He is a president of some educational supply company.  I was introduced to him, and he asked me if there was anything I wanted for my classroom.  Smartboard?  No, I want a globe.  But if we are talking electronics, I would love to have an Elmo.  But a globe and a meter stick.  I told him it’s not that I know I can’t have these things, because everything is possible, but in such a rural area and with such a limited budget, everything just takes longer.  Little did I know at that point that my globe had been ordered two months earlier and was on its way to Cóbano. 

And even crazier than me getting a globe... today the school got something I NEVER thought it would get.  When this was announced at our staff meeting yesterday, I almost fell off of the bench where I was sitting.  Somebody donated a photocopy machine to the school!!!!! Thank you thank you thank you!  Just last week I had to hand-make several worksheets because the copy store gave me 2 fewer than I needed.  The normal solution would be to run to the office and make a quick copy, but without a copy machine that wasn't possible.  Next I would have jumped into my car and drove to the copy store real quick, but without a car that wasn't an option either.  By the time the next bus would come, class would have already started, so what else is a teacher to do?  Hand make her own worksheets.  The students who got my hand-made worksheets actually thought it was pretty cool.  I didn't think it was cool while I was doing it.  Either way, no more hand-written worksheets for this teacher!

I took a picture so I could look back and laugh one day.

I've had a little behavior situation going on with one of my students recently.  A situation occurred last week, and the parents all of a sudden began making accusations against me to things unrelated to the situation that I reprimanded the student for last week.  Details don't need to be shared here, other than that it was upsetting to me that a parent would make these accusations against me- things that go against my character. Well in the midst of that, I received a very encouraging note from another parent.  She had recently spent the day organizing the library, which is accessed through my room, so she got to hear a lot of me that day.  Although I knew she could hear me from the library, I just did my normal thing. Didn't try to impress.  This is what she wrote me:  (I crossed out her e-mail address since this is posted online for all to see.)

This reminded me that the positives far outweigh the negatives.  I know I can't please every student and every parent, but this praise from a happy parent came just at the right time to encourage me through a frustrating situation with a not-so-happy parent.

Side note:
I’m watching The Simpsons in Spanish and eating Chips Ahoy while I write this.  In fine print on the wrapper of my Chips Ahoy cookies, it says “hacer ejercicio es divertido. Practícalo diaro.”  What kind of cookie wrapper says that exercise is fun, do it daily?! Jeez, let me enjoy my cookies without reminding me they are bad for me! Maybe I’ll go for a walk tomorrow…to the grocery store… to buy more cookies. Hahaha

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