¡Bienvenidos a mi blog!
Well, here goes nothin’! Yesterday, (Tuesday June 14, 2011), I touched down in the capital of Costa Rica, the “bustling” city of San José. Besides some brief turbulence, which was attributed to the layer of clouds through which we were descending, the flight was peaceful. I was blessed with a window seat in a row next to two other passengers, neither of whom spoke English. As I attempted to communicate through rusty Spanish, I caught a glimpse of the 7 weeks lying ahead. As a part of the UGA Costa Rica International Studies program, each student will spend two separate weeks with homestay families. After talking to a couple of program veterans, I’ve come to learn that this will be the most challenging part of the whole experience. However, that’s the kind of thing that makes it just that—an experience. Mike, one of the program directors, confirmed today that this is where we’ll most quickly grow into fluent bilinguals (or more, for the Romance Language major, Christine).
|View from our plane during the descent to San José.|
Upon arriving in San José, having never met the other students, we somehow managed converge with our professors and proceeded smoothly through customs. I guess I can give credit to the whole “white young folk” look. I quickly learned that I had the biggest bag, although I’m still not convinced (or refuse to admit) that I overpacked. From the airport we boarded a bus, which took us on a 3+ hour drive to our campus outside of San Luis—a voyage that was much less peaceful. We bounced along the winding mountain roads and were constantly kept on the edge of our seats by the traffic techniques exhibited by our—and every other—driver. Everyone was in disbelief when semis were headed into oncoming traffic of the opposite lane to pass cars in front of them. Not the way you see on backroads in the States. We’re talking semi trucks, that didn’t leave that much of a grace period for the passing. However, we were treated with our first fauna spotting, a pack of monkeys in trees alongside the road, as well as gorgeous scenery of the mountains and valleys as we really got on up there.
We finally got to the campus as the sky was falling out and the sun had set, right around 6:00. That’s one thing you learn quickly, there is no dusk or dawn. Sun is up at six, sun is down at six, and it almost ALWAYS rains in the afternoon. I’m currently in the rec pavilion, an open air space, and its raining. It was a blessing last night in the “bungalows”, however, to have our own sound maker outside with the rain falling steadily. Everything is so lush here. My roommate Leah was spot-on when she claimed it reminded her of the Jurassic Park landscape, and so was Shamar when he described the plant leaves as similar to those in Avatar. Our view off our front porch is incredible and offers a fair image of the Monteverde Cloud Forest, which our campus lies on the border of.
|View from right outside our door-- rough.|
|A Leah and Sarah sandwich!|
|One of the town perros. We're advised to ignore them as they will |
follow you wherever you go if you offer them any attention, despite the fact they're fed each night in their own homes.
|Crea una obra de arte con cada café.|
|Honey badger don't care.|
When we got back a group of us decided to hike one of the campus’ trails. We made a spectacle out of every insect or curious plant, and Tyler’s curiosity earned him a healthy bunch of hairy splinters after touching a funny-looking orange “plant thing.” The multiple trails of red ants were very cool, which we were able to spot by the walking leaves. It reminded me of a feature in Planet Earth… such an American.
This post was pretty boring, lo siento.