Outdoor Education Pura Vida Style – Twelve Ways to Make Your Kids Smile in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is an awesome place to take kids.  Sometimes, finding the right balance between what adults enjoy and what kids enjoy can be a challenge on a family vacation.  Our family vacation to Costa Rica was the right mix of fun and adventure.  It was also a great educational experience in the best outdoor class room ever.   Without my eight-year old son even knowing it, he was learning about conservation, alternative energy sources and botany all with Spanish sub-titles.  We travelled this small country in a rented car; from the capital of San José, to the shy volcano of Arenal, to the cloud forests of Monteverde to the monkeys of Manuel Antonio.

If you are planning on going to Costa Rica with kids, here are the twelve things that made my son smile from ear to ear.

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Can You Teach Yourself Vietnamese?

Here I go, talking to myself again.  No, I’m not schizophrenic, I am learning a new language.  This time, it is Vietnamese, my first Asian language.  Sadly, although San Francisco is home to over 13,000 people of Vietnamese descent, the 11th highest number in the United States, I was unable to find a single Vietnamese language school.  The only school I could find was the Au Co Vietnamese Cultural Center which offers Vietnamese language classes for kids between the ages of 5 and 12.  I don’t think being a kid at heart would qualify me.  Sigh.

Without a class or a tutor, I am learning Vietnamese exclusively through on-line or pre-recorded language programs.  I am using Rosetta Stone, Pimsleur, Duolingo and Mondly.  I will give you a summary of each program along with what I think are the pros and cons of each.

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