Friday, December 5, 2008

We've Been Busy...

I haven't posted much...partly because of our Internet situation and partly because we haven't been here.

When my sweetheart and his sister have appointments out of town we usually all head out and enjoy a short weekend trip. Lately we've been adventuring through Costa Rica.

I wanted to post a few shots of Punta Leona, I'm not sure I'm spelling that correctly {but most of you won't know that}. Wes sister from LA came to hang with us for Thanksgiving. Did I mention my honey, our two oldest and his visiting sister had lofty plans to escape Costa Rica and head into Panama? Did I also tell you that they {accidentally} went an hour into the country without having their documents stamped? Did you know that you can't cross into Panama with a rental car?

We've learned so much this last week.

When someone {with HUGE guns} finally stopped them in Panama..he just keep repeating their version of "Oh my ___! Oh my ____!"

Finally out of the kindness of his heart {or fear of having to complete a lot of paperwork} he gave them back their passports and said..."Head for the border and don't stop! I never saw you!"

So here we are, spent the money to get the kids their required time out of the country, and no stamp on the passport to prove it.

Soooooo back to what I started to are some pictures of our time at Punta Leona.

My guys castle building {although Troy clearified he was building a fort}.
The younger ones in line for sand packing.
Paige started a sand fight...and won. {Until Wes threw her into to ocean.} Yuck! I hate having sand everywhere.
The beaches are so beautiful here, these are Wes' little sisters. Rusti is due in 5 weeks...doesn't she look great! She gained about 3 pounds a month. Doesn't it make you SICK! :)
More sand sculptures.

My sweetie, his sister Brie and our little Dallin enjoying family time on Thanksgiving day.
Our Thanksgiving day hosts had a boat which kept the kid's entertained most of the day. See Paige playing "little mermaid" at the front? It brought back memories of the Williamson's boat that was stored between our homes when I was a kid. Such great imaginative memories.

What about this view? They were getting ready for a beach wedding. Too bad the rain came 20 minutes after this shot.

Have a happy {no sand} day! I'm off at 12:30 {10:30am your time southern Ca) for my girls getaway. I can't wait.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I've Been Asked to Explain our mail system...

how the mail works here.

I remember when we lived in the states and I would question Rusti about sending her a birthday card or such...she would try to explain it to me...but we mail receivers just can't seem to comprehend the no mail concept.

So here it is:

Basically, Costa Rica does NOT have a government run mail delivery service. The equivalent of our United States Postal Service. Many roads don't even have a street name much less a house address. Our home is home # 43 in our housing tract, however we don't have a street name. No one has mailboxes...oops that is not true. I did find a cute housing tract here that has mailboxes however they are better spider homes then mail deliverers. Of course I have a picture of the mailboxes...somewhere.

So we can get a package shipped here, but it comes through Miami and then we pay a small fortune to pick it up here at the local DVD rental store. Oh, and we have to keep checking in with them to see if it has arrived. They won't call and tell us.

So mail here gets delivered through private companies like UPS, but the mail takes forever...and is costly.

The missionaries here get their mail through the church's pouch system. I'm not sure exactly how that works.

I have to throw in a picture. I took this in San Jose (the Costa Rican capital) last week on one of our adventures.

This flower is absolutely huge! I made Wes stop the car and let me out to take this shot. I dedicate it to my BFF MaryAnn.

Anyone Interested in Studying Abroad?

I found this on one of the Costa Rica "news" blogs I follow. I don't know if anyone is interested but I thought I'd put it out there. :)

Scholarship opportunity for study in Costa Rica

There is a highly regarded study abroad program which offers intensive Spanish immersion in one of the most biologically diverse countries on the planet. Take a good look at Costa Rica ¡Pura Vida! for the summer experience of a lifetime. Partial Scholarships covering two-thirds of all costs are available. Priority application deadline for these $3,466 grants is fast approaching:

Scholarship application deadline is Dec. 5; Priority application deadline is Feb. 6, 2009.

Costa Rica ¡Pura Vida! combines intensive language instruction, individual homestays and field trips to three areas of the country. Students will experience unspoiled national parks, a marine biology sanctuary open only to scientists, a village of 12 families in the midst of the Cloud Forest, and birds, animals and tropical flora beyond compare.

Who is eligible? High school students aged 15-17 with two years of basic Spanish and course in biology by June 2009.

Program dates:

June 26-July 22, 2009 and July 10-Aug. 5, 2009

Interamerican University Studies Institute is a non-profit educational exchange organization linking the Americas since 1986. More information at or 800-345-4874.

Posted in Stories |

Sunday, November 30, 2008

If Anyone Was Wondering...

YES we would love to get your Christmas card. My kids are a little concerned that Christmas just won't be the same this year. They are right, it won't. However if you would like to still send us a Christmas card that would be AWESOME.

Really, really awesome.

But remember, Costa Rica does not have a mail system. So if you would send your Christmas greetings to my mother in law (see below address) she'll bring them with her when she comes. She's coming on the 20th of December.

Oh, I'm so excited!!! I'm not going to tell my munchkins, I'll just keep it a surprise.

Merry Christmas everyone!

The Banagas Family
c/o Colleen Foote
32801 Silver Charm Court
Menifee, Ca 92584