Wow. I have only been here for 2 weeks, but it feels like so much longer!
My Spanish is improving and I just finished my midterms for my Spanish class (already, man!).
My Tico family is absolutely wonderful and I am so thankful to have a Mama Tica who loves me and my roommates so much!! Mama Tica sure does know how to cook, too….MMMM!
I have experienced so many fun new places on our excursions that we go on as a CIS group. Last weekend we went to Uvita and went on the Bahía Ballena boat tour. I got to see a mother and baby Humpback whale and some enthusiastic dolphins. We got to jump out of the boat and snorkel for a bit also! Snorkeling I saw some incredible things. In Costa Rica, for the most part, the people truly value their natural surroundings and want to preserve the beauty of their country! I saw starfish, sea urchins, fish, an eel, a sting ray, and even a sea turtle! How incredible…I got to swim 5 feet from a sea turtle in its natural habitat. Out guide said that God had blessed our day since we got to see so much
! The next day, we stopped in Manuel Antonio on our way back to San Jose, and I got a BEAUTIFUL hand made, painted, and carved vase from a street vender. The artists name was Ramón, and he had beautiful pieces! The culture of business here is quite different than in the US, which I kind of like. I was happy to pay 7,000 Mil Colones ($14) for my one of a kind, handmade, authentic Costa Rican Vase, and didn’t even want to barter with him to get the price down, which is acceptable and common here. In the states you would have to go to an art market in a bigger city to find something like that, and I’m sure it would cost more than that! There was more interaction between the maker and buyer, rather than just buying everything at a department store.
My school work kept me very busy this week during the weekdays, and each day I had more to do or study for! Soon enough it was Saturday again and my CIS group was off for another day-trip excursion.
Saturday we went to el Volcán de Poas, and the Canopy Tour of the area. Sadly it was too cloudy to see the crater at Poas, but the Canopy tour was so much fun! We zip lined across 12 lines over a lush valley, with a beautiful view of the Volcano/area! All of the employees there to help us were incredibly friendly–true Ticos!–eager to show us the beauty of their country and help us enjoy our time.
Sunday I went to an Evangelical church a block away from my house here in San Jose, which was a great experience! I will definitely go back when I have the chance. After church, some of my roommates and my Mama Tica went to la feria (a farmers market) in Zapote. That was such a fun experience!! The fresh produce here is wonderful and so affordable! I love that aspect of Costa Rica!
As I start a new week I anticipate more growth with my spanish speaking and exploring lots more of the city!