milk in a box?

How do they do it?

It was the same in Guatemala, Mexico, Ecuador and pretty much all of Latin America. The milk comes in a box. And the weirdest (or maybe coolest) part is that it doesn’t need to be refrigerated until it’s opened. Seriously. Our host family buys a big carton of milk boxes and puts them in the cupboard until they are needed. I was looking at one of the boxes this morning, and I noticed something else remarkable. The expiration date was May of 2007. How in the world? I’m going to figure out how they do it, so when we go back to the states, we can sell it and be rich.

Let’s see, what else . . .

For some reason, we’ve been able to get online in our room for the last couple days. We are “borrowing” wireless internet from some neighbor or something. Its worked a bit in the past, but never like this. We were even able to hook up skype today and make some phone calls. If you’re interested in talking to us on the phone, you can also download skype (for free). A call from one computer with skype to another computer with skype is free. We can also make calls to land lines for 2 cents a minute. Good deal. You can also use web cams to do video calls. We’re going to work on getting it all set up after we get to our permanent place.

Speaking of our permanent place, I want to elaborate more on what we’ve been up to this weekend. I was too tired on Saturday to go into great detail. Saturday morning, we had an appointment to see one house at 10:00 and another one at 12:00. We took a bus to downtown San Jose where we had to find another bus out to San Joaquin to see the first house. Well, finding that bus was not easy. We were an hour late for our first appointment . Luckily the owners lived next door, so they were still there. The house was very nice, and it had a nice yard. The owners were also very nice. The next house we looked at was not very nice. I called one other guy to see if he could show us a condo that afternoon. He said he couldn’t make it out but that we could go there and talk to the guard on duty. He gave me the address for the condo, which was:

1 kilometer east of Pedregal. First road past the refrigeration shop and then right at the next road. The apartments are green.

Seriously. That’s not the directions he gave me. That’s the actual address. Can you imagine having to fill in the bubbles for that address on standardized tests in school? Anyway, we had no idea where Pedregal was, nor the refrigeration shop. So, we did what any level headed couple would do if they were lost in a foreign country: We started walking. We figured we could maybe find a taxi and give the taxista the “address” to see if he could help. We came around one corner and to our delight we saw the refrigeration shop. We found our way to the condo, and the guard (who had less than a full set of teeth and spoke very slurred Spanish) showed us the place. It was very nice, new, clean and secure.

So, those were the two places that we liked. I liked the house better, and Robin liked the condo. We thought about getting them both, but that wouldn’t work for us financially. There were a lot of things we like about each of them, but it came down to proximity. The condo is much closer to the school where we’ll be working. So, we chose that one. Well, I guess we haven’t officially chosen it yet. We were hoping to go back out there today and sign a contract, but the landlord couldn’t do it today. We’re hoping to meet with him on Wednesday to finalize things. The next step is finding furniture, as the condo is unfurnished. In Costa Rica, unfurnished means no fridge, no stove and no 53 inch plasma tv. We have to start from scratch. Thank you to those of you who have been praying for us to find a place. We had a few troubles Saturday, but we were truly blessed to find everything as we did.

Its funny that I don’t hate the mall here. Back home, you couldn’t get me to go to the mall if you said they were giving away free Buick LeSabres. But here, I kinda like going. Robin and I went tonight. Sometimes we take the bus, but tonight we walked. It’s a long walk, but it was nice. The mall is very modern and nice. Sometimes we go into fancy stores, and I forget that we are in another country. We looked at furniture and pretended like we could afford it. Then, we got to the real reason we had come: The Food Court. Again, going to the food court back home is about as appealing as watching a junior high kid slurp down a bowl of corn flakes, but here its different. Our host family feeds us well, but after weeks of rice and beans, its good to see some American-ish food. When we first get there, Robin and I always spend a moment standing, staring and drooling. Everything looks so good; its hard to decide. Tonight, Robin had Burger King, and I had Pizza. Then, we had TCBY.

TCBY is really good. The last time I had it, I was in like sixth grade. You can get different flavors and have them put toppings on it. Mmm!

We took a taxi home, and that’s where we are now.