El primer día: nuestra llegada y los ticos

*Después de un par de días espero escribir completamente en español – ahora, estoy mucho muy canasada*

 


If you’re reading this, you may or not have known that I decided to spend 3 weeks this winter break in Costa Rica learning the Spanish language with SOL Education Abroad. Now you know!

I’m here in my Mama Tica’s home (my host mother’s home) writing my first blog post tonight. Here I will chronicle my time in Heredia, Costa Rica and hopefully share some great memories and lessons with you all.  I’m sure I’ll make many mistakes with the language along the way, but that’s just part of the fun.

My classmate (and friend) Kylie and I left for the airport at 2:30 AM the day after Christmas. I started packing just a couple of hours before our flight out of Newark.  Luckily, our flights went smoothly and we had no problems. I spent the majority of both flights daydreaming about the next couple of weeks.

When we finally arrived at Juan Santa Maria International Airport in San Jose, our SOL director was there to greet us after we drowsily made our way through Immigration (Migración) and Customs (Aduanas.) We couldn’t find her at first among so many chauffeurs and taxi drivers looking for passengers. We sat and waited over to the side taking in the warm breeze, it took my mind far away from the hustle and bustle of the airport. Next we would be taken to meet our “Mama Tica” Cecilia.

As we drove from San Jose to Heredia, I started my list.  Every time I go somewhere that I don’t know the language well, I start a list of useful vocabulary words. This time, I decided to make a list of every word I don’t know.

Sometimes I will add quotes I see to the list. There’s one painted on a bench across the street: “Amor es el arma mas poderosa” or “Love is the most powerful weapon.”

When we arrived, our mama tica asked us right away if we wanted something to eat. We had ham and cheese sandwiches with lettuce and tomato, and a carbonated drink made from an herb I still don’t know the name of. She took us to Universidad Latina where we would meet for class the next day, and afterwards we went to the mall across the street. Everything was less than 10 minutes away by foot! Our mama tica knew all of the ticos (locals) as we walked around Heredia.  I guess she is a well known teacher in the area because even a student she had 10 years ago stopped her to say hello.

We came back home to eat even more.  For dinner we had pork chops, rice and beans, and a small salad with tomatoes and cucumber. Sorry Bloomsburg, but campus food can’t even compare to mama tica’s cooking.

The rest of the night was spent relaxing and meeting Cecilia’s grandchildren and neighbors. When I finally went to bed, I fell asleep as soon as I hit the pillow.

Of course, the language barrier is there, but Cecilia is so kind and understanding. She keeps telling us not to be afraid, and that mistakes are meant to be made. I was surprised at how much of her Spanish I was able to understand, but we’ll see how the first day of class goes tomorrow! For now, hasta mañana!

 

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