Costa Rica did not treat me well this week. Studying abroad is not for the weak of heart! … or feet… or patience, for that matter! Everything is harder in a foreign country. Not only do you have a huge language barrier, but you are in a completely different town and you don’t even have a car; wherever you walk, keep in mind that you have to walk back; and if you’re lost, just save yourself and get a cab.
My group took an excursion to Volcan Irazu this weekend. It was amazing! We were literally sitting above the clouds! The craters’ markings were so distinct; it was like nothing I had ever seen! Our group took so many pictures you would have thought it was prom. After the volcano, we went to a restaurant to watch the World Cup where Costa Rica was playing Uruguay. Let me tell you, the only thing bigger than football in the south, is futbol in Costa Rica. When the Costa Ricans scored their first goal, the restaurant was up cheering, hugging and dancing for ten minutes, and just as they were quieting down, another goal! The celebration was only greater with every point that was made. The restaurant turned into a massive fiesta when Costa Rica won, but that isn’t what amazed me. When we left, everyone was standing outside of their houses with their flags waving and cheering! Cars were honking in celebration; there was no asking, “hey, did you see the game?” Everyone knew every play that was made. It is obvious that futbol is engrained in their hearts.
My friends and I decided to take a bus to Jaco after our excursion. Jaco is the closest beach, just an hour and a half away by bus- so we thought. We were about twenty minutes away from the beach when traffic came to a complete stop for FIVE HOURS. The bus had to be turned off so there was no air conditioning, we were stuck in the jungle, so we couldn’t afford for a cab to come pick us up, so all we could do was hope that the wreck would be cleared soon. We left the bus station at six and arrived in Jaco at 12:30. By then, none of us wanted to go out, so we went to bed and hoped for a better tomorrow. Wouldn’t you know it, it thunder storming that morning. Easy to say, we took the first bus out of Jaco on Sunday afternoon.
I got home and wanted to die; it was literally the worst twenty-four hours of my life! However, I scanned through my pictures and saw the beautiful place I’ve been living in for two weeks and wanted to cry because there was actually a time that I was not enjoying myself. Time is valuable here, and you can’t waste it on petty problems and inconveniences. Seeing the beauty and unique nature of Costa Rica is enough to take all of your problems away. Even after seeing these pictures, I still lose patience with having to walk everywhere or not knowing the rules of the pool or being discouraged because of the afternoon storms; but it’s why we are here, to get out of our comfort zones and embrace a different environment. Oh, and to learn Spanish, also!