I made it! I’m in Costa Rica! After a lot of planning, some packing chaos, and just general nervousness, I’m finally here – and excited to be blogging about my journey.
As I write this, I have a new friend snuggled up by my side. He goes by the name of “Blu”, and while he may be a little furrier than most, I’m not here to judge.
While I already adore Blu, he is only one member of my new ‘Tica’ family. My host mother and father have 2 little boys, Luis Carlos and Tomas, who are 8 and 4 respectively. I’ve been pleased at how much I can understand in conversation, and really feel welcomed into their home. Our host mother has provided Sammi and me with two delicious meals; how was I ever worried about food?
I want to be honest with my readers – I was extremely anxious about this semester. Between the distance from home, the language barrier, the differences in culture, and more, this entire experience is quite outside my normal comfort zone. If you had told me 2 years ago that I would be sitting in a bedroom in Costa Rica, listening to Disney’s “Enchanted” broadcast in Spanish coming from the other room, I would have thought you were crazy. Even though I’ve only spent a day here, I can truthfully tell you that I’m glad I made the decision.
This morning, after breakfast, my host mother brought Sammi and I to the ‘Feria’ to buy fruit. Think farmer’s market, but amplified by at least 10. The quantity and diversity of the fruits and vegetables were fascinating. Many I didn’t even recognize! Add in the fact that everything is sold in ‘colones’, people are calling out names and prices to you, and there are people everywhere buying and selling… it was a bit overwhelming!
We followed our host mom and Tomas, who accompanied us on the trip and provided some entertainment of his own, and were able to try Rambutan, or more commonly called Mamon Chino here in Costa Rica, which looked a little weird… but I was pleasantly surprised!
It was sweet and fresh, the perfect snack after a morning of strolling through the sunny market. As the skies began to turn darker, we met up with Professor Basow and the rest of our group at the nearby mall.
While my day has included so many new experiences and interactions, and I’ve enjoyed getting to know my family and the area, I still am adjusting. I know this may take a little while, and will certainly happen in stages, but I feel blessed to have gotten this far so smoothly. And I continue to look out for the little things that will make this place feel more like home. After dinner, Sammi and I did the dishes. Maybe not everyone will understand this, but to me, helping out in the kitchen, or really in any way, helps me to feel more comfortable and less like a stranger in a new place. With all the “gracias” I heard in response, I’m pretty sure my help was appreciated as well.
As much as I don’t want to disturb this precious furry fellow next to me, I think it’s time for me to go shower. More to come; Hasta luego!