It’s hard to believe that it has already been a month and a half here in Costa Rica but at the same time, it’s ONLY been a month and a half here in Costa Rica. This is the midway point, which is crazy to think about because I feel like I’ve been here for so much longer!
Ok, so I definitely miss people from home a lot. But I wouldn’t say I’m necessarily homesick completely. It’s weird because I LOVE everything I’m doing here, but I do miss the comfort that is home. That is not to say that my host family hasn’t been the absolute best, nicest, sweetest and all around great familia tica, only that there is something to being in your own bed, cooking your own food and watching all the trashy shows you like to watch.
This past weekend we went to Nicaragua. While I would love to say that Nicaragua was absolutely amazing and I want to visit again as soon as I possibly can, I can’t. It was amazing, do not get me wrong. It was just not at all what I expected. We went to Granada which is an incredibly touristy city. This was interesting because having lived in Costa Rica for a month and a half, and having taken Spanish since I was 11 years old, I like to think that I can hold at least a half decent conversation. However, even trying to speak Spanish in Nicaragua, I was constantly met with English. This bothered me. Especially because I have grown used to living in Heredia where, although I still stick out while walking around downtown, I never really feel like a tourist and once I get talking to people, they don’t treat me like a tourist either.
The other difficult part of Nicaragua was the poverty. The saddest thing was when a shop owner told me and my friends that we should not give any money to the child performing on the streets because he (along with others) is a “huelepigmento” (sp?) or “glue sniffer.” It was interesting to see that in person and have it be so close. I don’t know if that makes sense or not but hopefully it does.
Ok, the food was obviously good. I ate these things called “quesillos” which are like quesadillas with saukerkraut and some sauce. Also, I had cacao which is like a twist on chocolate milk (it has a slight taste of cinnamon or something).
(Quesillo – the better one)
(Quesillo – the white sauce they put on top wasn’t as good as the other)
(Favorite breakfast – gallo pinto, plantains, tortilla, yogurt and granola)(View of the lake we swam in with cacao. The cacao was the better part of this photo)
(Plátanos maduros – look gross but tasted amazing)
My 8am classes have started up again which is good because it gives me something to do in the morning and some sort of set routine, but is bad because I really don’t feel like having 8am classes. However, my teacher is wonderful and I like this literature unit we are on. Spring break is coming up in just a couple of weeks so I am looking forward to that as well.
Also, if you come to Costa Rica through this program, I highly suggest visiting San José as often as you can. It has easily become one of my favorite cities. It is beautiful and the environment is completely different than Heredia central.
Speaking of visiting places, a couple of my friends and I visited Volcán Irazú the other day during one of our free mornings (back when we still didn’t have morning class). It was an incredibly easy drive (just two hours) and we showed our student ID and got a huge discount (we only ended up paying 1 mil ~ $2). The views were stunning and because we went mid week it wasn’t busy at all. Even just the drive there was an opportunity to see what Costa Rica looks like. Highly suggest going there as well if you ever have a free day and need something to do but don’t want to go far or spend a lot of money.
I think that’s about all to catch you up on. Here are some photos:
(Uchuva – really sweet and cute fruit)
(Budín – really dense bread pudding. This one had dulce de leche on top and was unreal)
(Jocote with chili)
(Lago in Nicaragua)
(Traditional dance class – I’m fourth from the back)