Imagine for a moment you are in school, waking up in the morning to get ready for class. You wake up and press that too familiar snooze button. Finally, when you cannot procrastinate any further, you get up to check your email to find your class is actually cancelled. Now imagine that email comes in a foreign language and has no explanation as to why class will not be held. Then imagine there are numerous colloquial phrases that are impossible to translate. Well, this happened to me this past week. While it was exciting, I couldn’t help but feel as if I was accidentally skipping a class due to a cultural misunderstanding. I guess I will find out next week if I actually missed anything!
This week was rather relaxing in comparison to the crazy weekend at Montezuma. I was however struck by a wall of homesickness this week. It was hard to get through, but after a big chicken fingers lunch from Hardees, a big tub of buttery popcorn, and Hotel Transylvania 2, I felt much better. It was very exciting to discover I can understand movies in Spanish and to know my Spanish is improving during my time here! I was also lucky enough that my hometown baseball team (The Royals!) was aired on TV here! The broadcasters speak “Spanglish” throughout the whole game. It was a nice slice of home from so far away.
The best part of this week was seeing the ever-so-popular two and three toed sloths up close and personal. We went to a place called the Toucan Rescue Ranch, a place originally established due to the lack of rescue centers here for toucans. The ranch has slowly transformed from a place only accepting toucans to housing many injured exotic birds, sloths, and owls. They even had a few monkeys and an otter that had been injured or illegally raised as pets, making it impossible for them to survive in the wild.
As sad as it was to see how many animals were forced out of their natural environments, it was amazing to learn from them. Many of the birds were injured by kids with slingshots and could no longer walk or fly. It was sad to realize how many animals are suffering because of such thoughtless actions. The birds are beautiful and are now stuck in cages for their own protection. The sloths, while adorable and the young age of only a month or two, will never be released into the wild. The people there cared so much about their animals. It makes me more cognizant of the effects of my actions on other living beings.
This week has been a great one for just relaxing and learning what it means to be a Tico. We explored downtown Heredia, ventured through the central market, and spoke with locals. It is crazy to think I am almost at the half-way point of the semester. Time here moves much quicker than back at home. With that being said, I am excited to see what the upcoming weeks have in store. Until then, Pura Vida!