“Lovin every minute of it!”   4 comments

The first few days here in Costa Rica have been a whirlwind – there is so much that I could/want to tell you about, but I’ll try to keep it limited to just the highlights. I arrived in San José late Saturday night, and so once my host family and I made it back to our house we pretty much went straight to bed, which saved me from trying to struggle with speaking and understanding their rapid Spanish after a long day of traveling. But Sunday it hit full force, as we woke up fairly early to eat and get ready for our day trip to un pueblo (little town) in the mountains. On our way, we stopped at the feria The feria is like a farmer’s market – only much bigger than any I’ve seen before – where an entire block is filled with people selling fruits (so many different kinds!), vegetables, spices, eggs, and other products. I walked around with Ania (my host mom) and helped her carry the large bags of produce that she bought – It was quite the experience!

Then, after a drive up winding, narrow streets (and taking the turns at nerve-wracking speeds), we arrived at the Balnearios in Naranjo. It was a nice park with a few pools – one with a large “toboggan” water slide that my little brother (Carlos Daniel) and sister (Valeria) enjoyed a lot! I thought I got a lot of stares at the feria, but image the attention I drew with my “January-in-Minnesota”-pale legs and stomach glaring brightly in the sun… But, I was definitely excited to feel the sun’s warmth after our below-zero weather in Minnesota last week, so I took advantage of being able to soak it all up. With multiple applications of sunscreen and occasional breaks to sit in the shade/wear a hat, I even managed not to get too sunburned!

Now I’ve completed our first two days of class at ACM– a lot of it has been some administrative/logistics things, but it has also been really nice to meet everyone (the other students in the program and our awesome professors). I catch the bus every morning at 7a.m. to make to the ACM building and class that starts at 7:30. So far in the evenings I have been spending time with my host family & getting to know them. My younger sister and I play cards or other games every night, and last night I watched Ania’s favorite telenovela with her. Even after just a few days of spending time with my family and trying to get to know the other students and having to express ourselves in Spanish, I think my Spanish is improving, which I am extremely excited about.

There are just so many things that I love so far, but I’m running out of time to write about them (as I’m sure you are reading about them), so I’ll just list a few:

-Delicious fresh fruit every morning

– The patio/garden area that is right outside our classroom – whose large glass doors are left open constantly to let in the breeze, fresh air, bird calls, etc – where we go to sit during breaks from class/to do work while drinking the freshest coffee I’ve ever had (pictures to come soon)

– “lemons” with green rinds and orange interiors

– playing games with my little sister

– being known as “Raquel”

– being surrounded by mountains

– listening to the chirps at night from the “little animal” (I still don’t know exactly what it is – some type of reptile from China) that sits outside my window and keeps cockroaches out of our house without pesticides

– using the subjunctive without thinking (usually a grammatical difficulty for me in Spanish)

– the spiral staircase leading from the library to the patio/garden (Okay I think I should just say the entire ACM building in general…)

-having the sunrise over the mountains during my morning run around my neighborhood

I think you get the idea…

And now I need to use the rest of my time with the internet in order to begin preparing for my research project, information about which will again have to wait until a later post…


Posted February 1, 2011 by rwieme in Uncategorized

4 responses to ““Lovin every minute of it!”

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  1. Raquel! It sounds like you are having an amazing “pura vida” time. Reading your blog makes me want to go back to Costa Rica so much! I’m going to be living through your posts so keep updating them! I can’t wait to hear more. Have fun machita!

  2. Hey Rachel!
    I’m glad you made it to CR safely and already are enjoying your first week. Your mom sent us the blog today, so I can’t wait to read along and see what you’re experiencing. Hopefully you can share pictures too! Keep applying that sunscreen!!

  3. Your mom sent me the link to your blog…and what is the first thing I see, but two students from Macalester! How lucky can you get…to know it takes two Macites to keep up with one Ole!

    Enjoy the weather as it is really bad in the US right now with snow, ice, blizzards, etc.

    Best wishes, Uncle Mike

  4. I am so glad that I am not the only one who uses the subjunctive without thinking-I Hate when that happens!! I am going to love reading your posts!! Please bring me some coffee-it sounds fabulous! The weather sounds heavenly, the cockroaches not so much. Enjoy, Enjoy your days.

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