Change Yourself…Change The World.

Costa Rica, How I love you
August 25, 2009, 7:42 pm
Filed under: Costa Rica

My reluctance to head out to a new country has been completely abolished within five minutes of stepping out of the airport. I LOVE Costa Rica!!

First off, I didn’t have any visual of what Costa Rica would be like until I got here. I didn’t know that it would luscious, gorgeous and mountainous. One thing that I really like to do every time I go to a new country is watch what the country looks like when we’re touching down onto the ground from the airplane (usually with a big grin plastered all over my face). Well, it was BEAUTIFUL. Granted, the landing into Nepal is the most beautiful I’ve seen, but I would say this comes in at a close second.

Then, getting off the airplane… buying colones (the currency) and being shocked that 100 dollars is 51,000 colones (I had no idea what the conversion rate was)… meeting Hilbert, one of the staff from Global College- seeing DENNY’S here- Hilbert says it is a very expensive restaurant, go figure…. talking to Hilbert on the van ride to Heredia about Costa Rican food (which is basically rice, beans, meat, and a little salad)… taking in my first views of Costa Rica…

We finally got to Heredia, a town about half an hour away from San Jose (the main city), and it’s a beautiful place. In Heredia is the Costa Rica Global College Center, and my homestay, the family I will be staying with for the next month. We pulled up to my homestay, and I was shocked at how big and fancy the house was. After living in Asia for the past year and hanging out in shoeboxes (houses in Asia are just as important, but much more cozy), I was shocked to see big houses here. We went inside and were greeted warmly by Elba, my homestay mother. She is lovely and only speaks Spanish. She gave me a tour of the house and showed me my room, which is way better than I expected. There’s a TV with cable, a closet for my clothes, a laundry basket, my own bathroom with hot water…. Wow! And the bed is incredibly comfortable too. Que lindo!

Elba loves to cook, and she asked me all kinds of questions about what food I like. She has a beautiful garden where she grows all kinds of plants (for coffee, parsley, oregano, and other kinds of spices- they all smelled so delicious). She also has a really cool library, and I love that the house has wooden floors. Then her daughter came home. Her name is Cynthia, and she is incredibly nice and speaks English really well. She works for an airline company and she loves to travel. We had this delicious dinner (crepes, jugo Tamarindo (homemade Tamarind juice), and these delicious plaintains that Elba cooked for dessert.

After dinner, they had me try this amazing fruit called Jocote, which is INCREDIBLY delicious. Then Cynthia took me to her brother’s house, which on the outside looks like kind of a dingy place; but on the inside it was absolutely gorgeous, with all of this up to date contemporary furniture (all black) and paintings and sculptures. His 3 and 9 year old daughters are absolutely adorable, and they have two tiny Chihuahuas. Here brother Alonso was so nice, and he immediately invited me to go fishing with him this weekend, and then Cynthia was talking about us going to see a volcano in Costa Rica!

They are a beautiful family, and I love it here in Costa Rica. It seems like the combination of the old with the new- some of the houses and places look like they’re crumbling down a bit, but then there are really nice houses, there are all kinds of chain restaurants and stores, and good transportation. I think that my first feel of Costa Rica is that people want their things (like their houses) to look a little bit dingy on the outside so they don’t get hassled or robbed, since crime is so prevalent here- but on the inside, it’s a true gem. And truthfully, I like having my own room, my own bathroom, and a space to put my clothes OTHER than my backpack.

Right now I am writing from the Costa Rica Global College Center. I just met with my advisor this morning, who is absolutely fantastic and I like a lot. I am planning a trip to Nicaragua in two weeks to visit a micro-finance organization, and then the week after I plan to go to Panama. All of the staff at the Costa Rica Center are SO nice, and they all love art and music. I feel as though I’m going to have a VERY busy semester because everyone is inviting me to do so many amazing things, like going out to music clubs, going to the beach (a 3 hour drive to either the Atlantic or the Pacific Ocean since Heredia is smack dab in the middle of the country), visiting a volcano, going fishing, checking out new countries- COMPLETE OVERLOAD! I love it!!

Here’s to my first day in Costa Rica. May every day of this independent study semester be as fruitful as this day was!

Much love,

2 Comments so far
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I agree with you. But I have a feeilng it’s mostly for Nick because they had a BAD breakup

Comment by Mojang

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Comment by dcqnelgoie

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