After one week in Costa Rica I’m finally writing some blog posts! There’s a lot to say, so I think I’ll be writing three this weekend, with this post being the first!
As you already know, I got to San José safe and sound after my two flights last Thursday. I’m still not a huge fan of flying, but Dramamine is such a wonderful thing! Although I was still anxious about the whole flying experience, I wasn’t panicked and sick to my stomach about it like I usually am. I’ll have to remember to always have Dramamine when I fly from now on!
I was picked up at the San José airport by an ISA staff member. On the way to one of the two ISA offices in San José, I learned very quickly that driving in Costa Rica seems to be a free for all. My experiences since then have confirmed my first conclusion. It’s scary as a pedestrian and as a passenger in a vehicle! After finally getting to the ISA office, I met one of the directors, Seidy, and my host mom, or “mama tica” (Costa Rican mom). After getting the lowdown on the trip that I was signed up to take over the weekend, I left with Isabel, my mama tica. I then met Jorge, my papa tico, where he was waiting outside with their car to take me home.
Isabel and Jorge are very nice, and have a lot of experience hosting foreign students. They have room to host three students, but right now there are only two of us. Their home is set up so that the two bedrooms and a bathroom for students are on the second floor, so we kind of have our own little area. It’s nice to only have to share the bathroom with Shelby, instead of with the whole household. Isabel, Jorge, and their adult son Mauricio live here. They have another son, Alonso, who is married and has three little kids. Apparently Matias, who is six, is coming to visit today! He sounds super cute so I’m excited to meet him.
I really love the way my room is upstairs. there are lots of windows and there’s a skylight in the hall, so there is a lot of natural light in the daytime. When it’s not raining and the windows are open, there’s a lot of fresh air circulating, too!
Isabel is a very good cook! She spends a lot of time preparing meals, and making healthy food with lots of vegetables, which is great. Lots of meals are accompanied by rice and beans, but we’ve really had a variety of food so far. One day she made stir fry! Two nights ago we had spaghetti with a very good homemade sauce. The most interesting thing I’ve had was last night, when we had green beans fried with eggs! It was actually really good! For breakfast we have lots of fruit (the pineapple here is soooo good), along with bread, and orange juice.
Here are a few different things about living in Costa Rica that I’ve noticed so far:
- The houses here don’t have hot water, just cold water. For showers, they have these electric contraptions on the shower heads to heat the water. Like in Spain, when you take a shower you turn the water on to get wet, and off until you need it again. Except here it’s the electricity that’s expensive, not the hot water.
- There are a LOT of American companies here. Fast food and otherwise. On the bus I’ve passed Walmart, Office Depot, and Payless. I’m sure there are even more than I’ve seen so far!
- I actually think this is really cool: I’ve noticed that everyone who drives a motorcycle or moped has some sort of reflective gear on. Either a full out vest, similar to what construction workers often wear, or a sash sort of thing. I think that’s a great idea to keep people visible on the roads!
It’s fun to speak Spanish so much again! It’s a little frustrating sometimes, but definitely better than it was in Spain. People are always telling me that I speak Spanish very well, which is really encouraging.
That’s all for this post, but I’ll be working on posts about my first weekend here (quite an adventure!) and the first few days at my volunteer placement! Don’t forget to check my Twitter and Facebook pages, as well! I update them a lot more frequently than I do this. My Twitter feed should show up on right side of my blog, for those of you who don’t use Twitter!