I'm in Panama City, Panama for the night and thoroughly exhausted from a long day of mangrove-seeing, flying, and blogging, so I'm going to head to bed. My flight tomorrow is 7.5 hours long, so with any luck I'll be able to use it to be semi-productive.
This does seem as good a time as any to plug the two schools where I've so far taken Spanish classes. In Granada, Nicaragua Mia has an excellent and capable staff, and offers great cultural activities as well. They set me up with a wonderful homestay, and were very helpful in my efforts to navigate Nica culture.
In Quepos / Manuel Antonio, Academia D'Amore has a small but highly qualified staff, connections to lots of local tours, and also set me up with an incredible host family. They are very dedicated to their students' learning the language and the culture of Costa Rica--two things American tourists in the area often undervalue.
The philosophy is different between the two schools. Nicaragua Mia emphasizes private lessons whereas D'Amore prefers small groups, so that students can learn to notice each other's errors and improve that way as well. I don't know where I fall in this argument, as I think there is a lot of benefit to both approaches. So, I'll just simply say that if you ever decide to go to one of these two places, I highly recommend the two schools above.
And with that, it's bedtime. I'll leave you with the youtubed version of my video of the sloth outside my school.