My first week in Costa Rica has been the experience of a lifetime. Now, I know that is a lot to say when you have only been in a new place for seven days, but being immersed in a culture so different from yours and speaking a language you are not the most familiar with, will make you feel the way I do.

“Bienvenida” says my new family, with an array of typical tico food and a more than accommodating room, I could not have asked for a warmer welcome. I had some ideas of what it would be like living here for the next five weeks, but so far my expectations have been surpassed. In Costa Rica I thought it was common to eat lightly during breakfast and dinner while lunch is when you consume your heartiest meal, but my family has me very well fed. Coincidentally my tico family and I share a love for cooking. They are experts at making their own jams and sauces. Muy rico! A long term dream of mine has been to open a farm-to-table organic restaurant, so being with a family who enjoys organic home style cooking has been a perfect match. I’ve expressed my interest about getting into the organic food business together one day, as have they. I think it’s a dream worth pursuing!

The end of this week was finished off with a spectacular trip to one of the most alluring beaches I could have seen. Manuel Antonio offered giant waves, beautiful people and endless activities. And the wild life! What else can you ask for while sipping a cold Imperial, catching the surf and being surrounded by white face and howler monkeys? I know Costa Rica holds some of the most astounding beaches but I would be more than satisfied to take another trip to Manuel Antonio any chance I get.

Now that I have the hang of getting around San Jose, there is a whole new adventure in store for me. Dancing, volcanos, hot springs…. Til next time mis amigos, chao!

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