Day 02

7 Jun

Today was a very interesting day. I am finding that my Spanglish is turning more Spanish than English – which is very exciting. With my host family I am supposed to feel more comfortable if I make mistakes, and I do. It’s very nice that they don’t think I’m stupid if I make a mistake, which is very different from classes or in America in general. I am able to listen and comprehend more than I am able to respond correctly. Costarricense is very fast, but it’s starting to make more sense as I spend more time here.

Houses here are so beautiful. The outside may look plain, but the inside is a complete surprise. At our school it is very open. There is an atrium with a garden and the only doors are to the bathrooms and some classrooms, everything else is open and bright. I will post the small amount of photos I have taken on my flickr, which is located on the side of this blog!

Today was a lot of orientation and review material, which was very good because my Spanish is very rusty. I hope to improve much more with time. We took a walk to the bank as part of our orientation, their security is very high in comparison. They have guards at the door and they use a metal detector on you before you’re allowed in. An American dollar goes a very long way, it is equivalent to 500 colones here. So, if something is 800 colones, it’s 4 American dollars. The walk was very hot, but it cooled down this afternoon. The rainy season was a good time to come for a northern Wisconsinite like me! The mornings/early afternoons are warm, but afternoon/evening is cooler. Tuanis.

Also, Saturday is sloth day! Sam and I are going close to the Caribbean to the Central Pacific Coast to see the sloths!!! 🙂  I will also see the ocean and a rainforest for the first time! It is too much excitement for me to contain.

Hasta luego.

-Amanda

Day 01

6 Jun

Today has been a very tiring, but exciting, day. My brother graduated high school last night, and then three hours later I was on the road to the airport! [Needless to say I have only had 3 hours of sleep since Friday night.] The first flight was hardest. I didn’t think saying goodbye to my parents and Tad was going to be as hard as it was. I ended up getting a window seat with no neighbors so I slept for the flight from Minneapolis to Miami. I then had a 4 hour layover in Miami. It is very hot there, even in the airport I was sweating. I grabbed a slice of pizza and sat around until my flight boarded. Did you know that you have to pay to use their wifi?! I feel like that is such false advertising to say: Wifi here! Easy! Blah blah… and then charge people. I think airports make enough money on their $3.99 bags of granola, $20 neck pillows, and $5.00 water bottles to cover the wifi cost.

Once boarded, I was surrounded by high school children on a field trip. I felt very old, and this time my row was full so I couldn’t sleep. I didn’t want to sleep any way because the view from Miami to Costa Rica was rather breathtaking. I got my first glimpse of the ocean! It looks very different from the Great Lakes, I was surprised at how it looked in real life.  We hit some turbulance due to it being the rainy season down here, but other than that the flight was smooth. As we were landing I found myself in a downpour. They are not joking when they say rainy season.

I then got off, grabbed my bags and wandered nervously through the airport looking for my guide. Luckily, they were wearing bright orange and big smiles so they weren’t hard to find! Every person I encountered in the Costa Rican airport was friendly – very different from the other airports I had been in earlier. We loaded up the car and headed to my host family’s house. I thought driving in the cities was frightening, but driving here is like the cities times 20. I feel like there are no rules on the road. Thankfully, I never have to drive during my stay.

We arrived at my host family’s house. My host mother owns the cutest store on the corner, and their house is gorgeous and comfortable. My family is very friendly and seem excited to have me, which made me feel more comfortable as the night went on. I ended up needed a nap, since I hadn’t slept much. My friend Sam is here as well, I am very excited that she lives nearby. Tomorrow, she and I will head to school with her host mother for our first day at CIME. In the afternoon, my host mother will escort us back. I am very excited. In the weeks prior to my trip I was so nervous, but now that I have started to get used to speaking Spanish again, I feel slightly more confident. My host mother and I talked for a long time tonight after dinner (which was very delicious) and it helped me break out of my shell a little bit. I am so excited for school and to work with the children soon.

Stay tuned for what happens next friends. I will start taking some photos tomorrow to hopefully create a “visual tour” of my every day routine in Costa Rica!

-Amanda

P.S. I apologize if anything is spelled wrong in this post or any following because my spell check is in Spanish, and thus it thinks every word is wrong and I get confused by all of the red lines and it’s just too messy to revise. But, you all get the un-cut version of my blog in this way. Be. Excited.

Preparation

16 May

Hello!

The countdown has begun! In approximately 2 weeks and 6 days I will be on my way to Costa Rica! I hope to update this at least once or twice a week, for my parents’ sanity. I will also be traveling with my friend, Sam, and I plan to write about our fun adventures on this blog.

¡Pura Vida!

-Amanda