Tico Tuesday: Speak My Language
I’m changing one of my semi-regular features. Tuesdays will now be about our journey to Costa Rica, preparing for it here in Canada, and then the trip itself. I’ll still occasionally post about my take on style, but not regularly.
“Tico” is the colloquial term for Costa Ricans, hence the name “Tico Tuesday”.
We will not be Ticos. We will not even really be expats since we won’t be there for that long. We will be long-stay tourists (in my mind).
I quote my beloved, Derek,
“Since we’ll be there for awhile, we’ll get Tico prices and scoop”.
Hmm? There’s only one little problem with this assumption, Derek speaks very little spanish. His vocabulary is limited to restaurant and bar terminology. Ask him how to say “butter”, “dessert”, “beer”, or any fruit (“peach” is a family favourite), and he answers immediately. But beyond that, he looks at me, or occasionally starts talking French with a Catalan accent.
I believe that to know the culture, you gotta speak the language. Even my mom and dad are getting in on the Spanish action – my mom is already a very good Spanish speaker, but my dad is a beginner. They will be visiting us twice during our stay, and they have already set up their Spanish lessons to begin in November.
I am bullying Derek into joining my dad’s private home beginner class so that he has a base. When the kids are happily in school mid-January I’m gonna strongly encourage him to do an intensive week or two at the Spanish school around the corner from our condo. I’m definitely doing a few weeks, if not more.
And the kids, what about the kids? Should I wait till we’re there and just throw them in the bilingual Spanish/English school? They can count and have some very basic vocabulary, but I’m starting to think that a little exposure ahead of time might be a good thing. I posted on Kijiji.ca looking for a native Spanish-speaking babysitter for a couple of weekly weekend hours and got a response from someone right way. This may be an option.
And that got me thinking, when we return how do we keep up the Spanish? A Spanish-speaking caregiver of course… will work on that in the new year.
Last week I wrote about my to-do list related to this trip. This is what it looks like today.
Get out of car lease Rent a car until we leave
- Rent out our house – STRONG LEAD TODAY!!
- Talk to Lil D’s teacher/school -APPT SET FOR COMING MONDAY
- Talk to Lil C’s school
- Organize home insurance as rental property
- Organize snow-clearing contract for renter
- Get eavestrough installed before doorway gets icy like it did last winter
- Spanish lessons/babysitting for boys before we leave?
- Pack up house for renters
- Make contact list, instruction list for renters
- Pack for our trip
- Spanish lessons for Derek and me
For Tamarindo (our Costa Rican town):
Figure out if we need a car and if so, get one Finish registering boys for school Health Insurance
- Stock up on Cdn pharmaceuticals including DEET-containing products
- Make Derek get tetanus booster and Hep A
- Get tetanus booster for me
- Flu shots for all
- Order bunk bed for boys’ room in CR-IN PROGRESS
- Buy new linens for CR
- Plan and book trip in March. Our condo was already rented that week so we figured we might as well travel that week… looking like it will include Nicaragua or Panama since we need to leave and reenter the country or spend a day in the immigration office – limit for tourists staying in CR is 3 months)
- Register Derek and me for Spanish school
Next Tuesday’s post will be entitled, “If Not Now, When?”, and you will get my simple (in my mind) answer to the question I keep hearing, “why and how Costa Rica?”