Dance Like No One is Watching

Week 7 abroad has brought about several things ranging from finishing another class to learning some Latin dances. Classes flew by this week with only having 3 days to work with: speeches Monday, final exam Tuesday, and a final project Wednesday. While the weather is very predictable, it still is a little crazy. The thunderstorms here are unbelievable. The lightening over the mountains makes the night look like prehistoric chaos while the thunder shakes the house. Unfortunately, with the storms come very heavy rain. With a rain-jacket on and being outside for only a few minutes, the ankles of my pants looked like I had just jumped in a pool. I quickly learned jeans and rain do not mix well when you have to walk everywhere.

Some butterflies we saw earlier this semester!
Some butterflies we saw earlier this semester!

With so little homework this week, I had a lot of free time. Instead of going out to places, my Solmates and I have started hanging out at each other’s houses. After class on Wednesday, a group of us watched a scary movie and sang Karaoke. This host family takes Karaoke very seriously and has a room full of speakers, sound changers, and microphones dedicated to Karaoke. This is partially because there is a whole family living right next to each other: grandparents, cousins, kids, etc. That is one of the biggest differences I’ve seen between US and Tico culture. Families stay close to each other, and often stay in the same house. It was interesting to see how important family is to people.

A puppy we saw at a refuge!
A puppy we saw at a refuge!

On Thursday, we learned to dance like Shakira. I however learned that Latin dance requires you to move your hips until you feel like they will fall off. It was challenging, but a lot of fun. I had a great time dancing with solmates, preparing for our Rumba Discoteca trip for the upcoming Saturday. While we may have learned the steps, when Saturday came it was still difficult. I didn’t know which music was which dance style and all the Ticos danced with more elegance than I could even after hours of practice. As the night progressed, the music changed to more of a club theme than before, but it was still fun. We were out as a group until almost 1:30, and I slept in till almost noon the next day. It was great. We danced until everyone was dripping with sweat and exhaustion.

Next weekend is our excursion to Nicaragua. I’m fortunate that they are huge baseball fans and will probably have the World Series on TV. We had to get USD out because you cannot exchange colones to cordobas, which was a challenge in and of itself. Only one atm has USD that is close to us, and it is conveniently out of service as of this weekend. It was an adventure in and of itself. It will be interesting to see a new country next weekend and I am excited to start a new class this week. Pura Vida!


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