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The Simple Problems Found on the Island

It's midnight and I'm on my cot in a tent on the island. It's quiet now, just small waves slapping the rocks and jokes between me, my cousins, and my friend Nick, When we wake up, it will be very windy and possibly rainy. There's a hurricane en-route, which is expected to weaken to some less impressive category of storm.

Installed on my phone now is a tide app, which always strikes me as bizarre when I'm walking around the city at home. But here it's part of life. When it's high tide it's easier to boat back, and possible to carry heavy loads in the boat. At low tide boating requires a lot more precision to find the deep water channel, but we can circumnavigate the island easier on foot.

I like having to think about the weather a little bit. It's a connection to the real world from which we've largely insulated ourselves. Most of the time that's a good thing, but tradeoffs hide behind convenience.

Our island has no luxury, other than that of time and space. One of the luxuries lost is the luxury of being fussy. One of my cousins runs inside when mosquitos come out, and another is inexplicably scared of butterflies. But the island trails were flooded with tiny white moths and the constant whine of mosquitos is the soundtrack of the deep woods.

Moving Internationally With Kids

On Freedom Hunters International

Our kids are 7 and "almost 9." Our move is in just two days, and at this point it's just a matter of riding the roller coaster and enjoying the ride as much as possible. Making the experience of an international move good for them has, of course, been a big topic of conversation. From my experience as a therapist working in the schools and developing teen centers, etc, I know that kids are amazingly resilient. That being said, we still wanted to minimize their potential future therapy-related expenses.

Let me get the topic of schooling out of the way first, because that's the question adults ask about. We got in touch with several private, international schools where we'll be living at first and ended up having a wonderful opportunity withLakeside Schoolin Guanacaste. We could send our kids to the good public schools in Costa Rica, but you really do need to know Spanish to thrive in those schools, so this option provides some great social support and structure while catering to kids and families who are coming from all over the world. We've had a couple of surprises, like finding out that there's really no street names and addresses in Costa Rica, and that school transportation is an extra, private expense, but we've worked through those bits by basically pretending to be kids ourselves and giving ourselves the freedom to ask approximately a gazillion questions.

Might we end up homeschooling or unschooling eventually? It's definitely a possibility but let's make one transition at a time for all our sanity's sake.

Dave and I sat down one day and had a very cool discussion on "Things We Wished Adults Had Thought of When We Were Kids." While we didn't move internationally with a family when we were little, we both had experiences of being the new kid and finding ourselves in new situations with little preparation. We came up with 5 things we would focus on to support the kids in the transition.

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