May 18, 2010

COSTA RICA (week 1)

I'm beginning to realize how fast my 5 weeks in Costa Rica are going to fly. But so far, my days have definitely been well spent!

Saturday, May 8, 2010:

After rolling out of bed at 3 am for an early flight out of Chicago, I was more than happy to use the whole flight to Dallas to get some sleep. The plane landed a few hours after take off, and reality and excitement began to sink in when I was greeted by my house mate, Kate. Our journey together was about to begin, and we tried our best to speak in Spanish the entire flight to San Jose!

Expecting to be greeted by our ISA director as we walked out of the airport, we were a little nervous when she was no where to be found. Instead, we were bombarded with Tico families waiting for their loved ones, too many taxis to count, and an uncomfortable amount of Tico men trying to "help" us. After about 20 or 30 minutes we finally found the rest of our ISA group, and before we knew it, we were headed to our university (ULACIT) to meet our Tico families. I was surprisingly not very nervous, and the little nerves I did have went away as soon as my mama Tica (Maru) gave me a huge hug and a kiss on the cheek. I knew God had answered my prayers for a good host family.

When we arrived to our "new" home, Maru and our papa Tica (Luis) showed us our rooms to drop off our bags, and then took us out to get some food. My first meal here was delicious. I ordered pupusa and coffee. Looking back, I wish I would have taken a picture! Anyway, Luis drove around San Jose to get us familiar with our surroundings. To be honest I was fighting to keep my eyes open at this point, and was happy to spend the rest of the night relaxing at the house. Overall, I could not have asked for a better first day in Costa Rica!

My house!

My room!

Kate and I with Mama Maru!

Sunday, May 9, 2010 - Friday, May 14, 2010:

These 6 days were filled with meetings, school, and homework, and I was constantly tired. The days here are much longer, and my classes last 3 hours! My weekly schedule is as follows:

Monday & Wednesday:
7:30- wake up/shower/get ready
8:00- breakfast
8:30- devos/check my e-mail/make a sandwich for lunch/etc.
9:20- catch the bus to ULACIT
10:00- oral and written expression
1:00- lunch/hang out in the ISA office/explore San Jose
3:00- literature
6:00- catch the bus home
7:00- dinner
8:00- homework/hang with the family/skype/journal/etc.
12:00- bedtime

Tuesday:
I have no class on Tuesdays, which is awesome, but my days are still jam packed!
8:00- breakfast
8:30- shower/get ready
9:00- devos/homework/check e-mail/etc.
10:20- catch the bus to ULACIT
11:00- weekly meeting with my ISA director
12:30- weekly meeting about the weekend excursion
1:15- cultural activity
3:00- free time
7:00- dinner
8:00- homework/hang with the family/skype/journal/etc.
12:00- bedtime

Thursday:
8:00- breakfast
8:30- shower/get ready
9:00- devos/homework/check e-mail/etc.
10:00- free time
3:00- literature
6:00- catch the bus home
7:00- dinner
8:00- homework/hang with the family/skype/journal/etc.
12:00- bedtime

Friday:
7:30- wake up/shower/get ready
8:00- breakfast
8:30- devos/check my e-mail/make a sandwich for lunch/etc.
9:20- catch the bus to ULACIT
10:00- oral and written expression
1:00- leave San Jose for weekly excursions

As my schedule says, we have cultural activities once a week. In our first cultural activity we were able to go into a classroom full of Ticos and practice our Spanish. It was really nice meeting a bunch of Ticos, even though I'm sure I made a fool of myself trying to talk to them. I was really surprised how well they knew English, though!

Sorry I don't have any pictures of my school yet. I'll try to take some for my next post!

Friday, May 14, 2010 - Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Every weekend, all of the ISA students are fortunate enough to go on amazing excursions. Our first was to the lovely Tamarindo, where we stayed at a gorgeous hotel only footsteps away from the pacific ocean. Staying in a hotel right on the beach was incredible! Much of the weekend was spent under the sun, either on the beach or at the pool, but other highlights included a mangrove tour where we saw wild howler monkeys, boogie boarding, zip-lining, a beautiful sunset, a beautiful sunrise, and delicious food!

Mangrove tour!

Gorgeous beach!

Poolside!

Zip-lining!

Beautiful sunset!

Chocobanana smoothie! The best smoothie I've ever had!

Footprints after sunrise!

Obviously, my first week in Costa Rica was a success. Sure I've been a little homesick, and classes are definitely a challenge for me, but I am so blessed to be in such a beautiful place. Plus, I'm getting better at Spanish, too. Now all I need is my boyfriend here to experience it all with me! Oh if only....

Until next time,

Ciao!

1 comment:

George said...

Elise!! Great first post.

Your photos are BEAUTIFUL, and I am so happy that you are getting to go on so many excursions and see different areas of the country! :)

Can't wait for week two!!