1 year+ interview

As part of homeschooling today, I decided to interview the kids along with Jen and I to get feedback about our 4 months in Costa Rica and our journey thus far.  It’s kinda of strange to think that we have been “homeless” since last August when we moved out of our house to start this journey.  Some days it feels like yesterday and some days it feels like it been a much longer.

1-What happened to the hermit crabs when you came to Costa Rica?  Do you have any pets in Costa Rica?

Joellen – One of my hermit crabs died and the other 2, I gave to friends I made in Florida.  We kind of have pets in Costa Rica.  We had 5 dogs but 2 of them just ran away into the coffee field and we think they are dead.  The other 3 survived.  My favorite is Canela.DSC_0143

Cam – My hermit crabs ate each other.  Here in Costa Rica we sorta have pets.  There are 5 (well now 3) dogs that live on our property (the homeowner lives on the property).  My favorite ones are Canela and Carbon.


Marc – It was fortunate that we found someone to “adopt” Joellen’s hermit crabs in Florida and appropriate that Cam’s ate each other.  At our home in Costa Rica, there are 5 dogs that Senora Edith (lady who owns our rental house and lives on the property) has.  It is what I imagine being a grandparent is like…you play with them, spoil them, give them treats and then when you are tired of them, you send them home.  We have definitely determined that another dog will be part of our kids’ life when we move back to the US.  Cam especially has a soft spot for the dogs and the first thing he does every morning is spends time with them.

Jen – I can’t remember the exact scenario but I think one of the hermit crabs ate another one and some were given away.  Here in Costa Rica, we don’t exactly have pets.  But the house we are renting is 15 feet away from the house of the lady we are renting from and she used to have 5 dogs and now we are down to 3.

2-What are your three favorite things of Costa Rica thus far?

Joellen –  1) Hotel Guachipelin (hotel we went to with cousin Kelsey) and the adventure tour with the zip lining being my favorite. 2) Volcano Poas and drinking hot chocolate there  3) Learning how to do cross stitch

the bold side revealed

Her adventure side comes out!

Cam – 1-Homeschool group  2-Picking fruit  3-Playing with the dogs 4-Playing soccer




Marc – 1) Spending time at the orphanage  2)  Eating together as a family outside looking at the mountains.  3) The “Pura Vida” laidback, carefree style of Costa Rican people.DSC_0098

Jen – 1) Maria talking in Spanish (be still my heart!)  2) The nature, especially how the clouds roll off the mountains in front of our house and roll through our porch.  It’s not fog…it’s truly clouds!   3) Getting to know the kids at the orphanage

 3-Tell me three things about the orphanage?

Joellen – 1) Friday family movie night at the orphanage is really fun  2) They have four girls and two boys  3) Rosa (one of the house moms) makes really good pineapple cake

Cam – 1) I like to play with Emanuel and Jacsal in futbol (soccer)  2) I like to play in the bodega (the back garage area)  3) I like to ride skateboards at the park with the kids

Marc – 1) It is still in the “start-up” phase  2)  It has become like family  3) Cherie McCullah, the director, is an awesome personDSC_0116

Jen – 1) Cherie’s kids have adjusted really well to moving to Grecia and starting a new school  2) Cherie could be one of the most tranquilo people I have ever met.  Not much rattles her.  3) They have the biggest rice cooker I have ever seen!!


 4-What three things have you learned in Costa Rica?

Joellen –   1) That many cactus’s here are poisonous and cause blindness  2) I’ve learned Spanish  3) There are really nasty ants that bite here


Cam – 1) I have to be more quiet and not be a “loud American”  2) They have really bad beef here  3) That they have active volcanoes


Marc – 1) That our family thrives in nature and the rugged landscape of Costa Rica.  2) How to eat rice and beans for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a midnight snack.  3)  That Maria will likely be able to speak better Spanish than me by the time we leave (She is enrolled in an all Spanish Montessori pre-school) 4) That a country can survive without physical addresses

Jen – 1) There many different types of bananas…who knew?  2) How to talk my way out of a police ticket  3) Not to put regular gasoline in a diesel car (oops!)


5-What three things do you miss about the boat?

Joellen –   1) Having my own room  2) Mr. Bob and Miss Stephanie from September Song (boaters we met and became really good friends with)  3) Finding cool stuff like sea biscuits, sand dollars, and starfish

Cam – 1) Fishing  2) Swimming  3) Really soft feet (the saltwater made Cam’s feet super soft)


Marc – 1) Sailing  2) Sunrises/Sunsets and being in the ocean on a regular basis 3) The cruising community


Jen – 1) Fresh fish  2) The impromptu beach get togethers with other cruisers  3) Exploring a new place every day

6-What 3 things do you miss from the United States?

Joellen –   1) My friends  2) My family  3) Claire’s (the store at the mall with all the girly stuff)

Cam – 1) My family  2) Nothing  3) Nothing

Marc – 1) Mass/Church in English  2) A good steak  3) The overall efficiency – For example, whenever you go to a bank here, one should plan on it taking at least 4 hours and standing in at least 3 different lines for simple transactions

Jen – 1) my Moms group at our church back in Indiana  2) Daily phone calls with my parents 3) My tempurpedic mattress

 7-Tell me your 3 favorite Costa Rican foods?

Joellen –   1) Arroz con pollo  2) The cookies from the Feria (farmer’s market)  3) Casado (typical plate of rice and beans, a meat, potatoes and salad)

Cam –    1) Bread  2) Gallo Pinto  3) Dos Pinos ice cream

Marc – 1) Arroz con Pollo  2) Gallo Pinto  3) All the fruits to make great smoothies (abundance of great fruit at very cheap prices – For example, six watermelons for $2.00.)

Jen – 1) Arroz con Pollo  2) Plantains  3) Homemade coconut ice cream by Dona Edith (the lady that lives next door to us)


8-My favorite thing about Costa Rica is?  Why?

Joellen – The food.  And the birds.  Yesterday we saw a toucan.

Cam – You can play futbol (soccer) everywhere and I also like exploring everything.

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Marc – The “Pura Vida” lifestyle.

Jen – The mountains.  I can’t get over how beautiful the mountains are here.

Costa Rica coffee mts

9-How would you describe living in Costa Rica?

Joellen – Very nice weather.  There are very nice people here even though I don’t speak their language great.  It’s really pretty and there are waterfalls everywhere.  If you are lucky you can even see mudslides.

Cam – It is really fun and like a jungle.  I like all the chickens crossing the roads.  I like exploring the property.

Marc – It is peaceful and calm (except when driving) with stunning beauty all around.  With mountains, rain forests, active volcanoes, gorgeous beaches and great people, one can still live fairly cheap (we are spending less here than on the boat and about 25% of what we spent on a monthly basis in the states)

Jen – Costa Rica is the most beautiful country I’ve ever been to.  The landscape is so green and there are coffee fields all around where we live.  The people here are beautiful too, inside and out.  Their faith is a huge part of their lives and their culture.  The roads here are narrow and have lots of potholes.  We always joke that driving here is like playing a car video game because of the roads and the crazy, fast, bad drivers.  It’s also a much slower paced country than the US.

Bonus – Tell something about each person in the family? 

From Joellen:

Joellen – I play soccer sometimes here with fruit.  Today Cam and I played with an orange.

Marc/Dad – His Tevas stink.

Cam – He has been sneaking candy lately.

Jen/Mom – Mom wants to take every street dog here home.

Maria – Maria thinks she’s a princess and we are her servants.

From Cam:

Joellen – She is wild on the fruit picking

Marc/Dad – He never has the right hair length.

Cam – I always put my pants and shirts on the wrong way.

Jen/Mom – Gets pulled over by the police often

Maria – She is addicted to cereal

From Marc:

Joellen – Is very allegoric to horses

Marc – I sometimes snore when I weigh more than 185 lbs and the rice and beans haven’t helped the snoring

Cam – Really likes dogs

Jen – Is a great nurse to all of the cuts, scrapes and weird things our kids come across in Costa Rica

Maria – Learned to pee on the potty and has since regressed

From Jen:

Joellen – She has found her inner-Tica – she can’t get enough sweeping and mopping (the Costa Rican women sweep and mop ALL the time)

Marc – This guy can really drive any automobile.  All the cars we’ve driven don’t run that well, but Marc does great.

Cam – He is not embarrassed to try anything new here and talk in Spanish to the locals.

Jen – I forgot how much I love speaking Spanish

Maria – Maria is finally sleeping through the night.  It took 3 and a half years!

11 thoughts on “1 year+ interview

  1. Just read the last update. I always feel as if I am there with you . Can’t wait to see all of you. God is good. Keep up all the good work.

  2. “Marc/Dad – He never has the right hair length.” bahaha made me lol! Another great blog and enjoy every bit of it all!

  3. Still enjoy the reports….I like the homework assignment, everyone gets 100%
    Hey, how much is it to send coffee to the states?

  4. I absolutely love the family interviews! I learn so much and your answers and perspectives are always so interesting. Cam, I can imagine the stinky Tevas- probably similar to your dad’s smelly hockey equipment around the house growing up! Joellen, super cool that you saw a toucan! Maria, come on, give your parents a break with the potty training (but I’m sure they so appreciate the sleeping through the night!) Can’t wait to see you guys. Miss you all!
    Aunt Jenny
    p.s. Looking forward to hearing the story of your mom talking her way out of a ticket…

  5. Jen, of all that things you missed in the states, you listed the MOMS ministry as your #1, WOW. Made me smile. Now that I’m working outside of our home part time, I don’t get to MOMS and I sure do miss those girls, beautiful women and such a great support. I really enjoy watching yours and your family’s joy in your pictures.
    Love you!

  6. JoEllen, and all – we miss you and love you! Can’t wait to see you again! Have fun in Costa Rica.

    Stephanie and Bob and the 4-legged girls on September Song

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