Since arriving in Costa Rica about a week ago, Ive experienced many firsts. My list of firsts is fairly long, but here are some I´ve encountered so far.
- Taking a flight by myself
- Living with a Tico Family aka Costa Rican family
- Dish paste instead of dish soap
- Taking a public city taxi (I am from a small suburb town in the Midwest)
- Taking a public city bus
- Eating new foods (Some of my favorites are Patacones, Gallo Pinto, and Cajetitas de coco)
- Walking. EVERYWHERE. Note: Bring walking shoes, not just sandals or flip flops
- Discovering my way around a new city and campus
- Speaking Spanish with the majority of people daily
- Beautiful Rainforest
- The AMAZING view of mountains on my way to campus and near the Caribbean Coast
- Exotic animals in the wild (so many monkeys!)
- New form of currency
- Drivers in San Jose
From the start, I was extremely excited to study abroad, yet still a little nervous to be flying by myself to a new country where I barely know the language. I had a very early flight and one connecting flight. Luckily, living in the Midwest, I only had to adjust to one hour difference in time zone. As it turns out I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to navigate through the SJO airport and find the CEA representative waiting for me right outside of the exit. From there I had transportation already arranged. My first impression of the landscape of San Jose, Costa Rica was that, even though it is the capital city, you still have the beautiful view of the lush, green mountains in the background.
My Tico Home
My stomach was filled with butterflies when I arrived at my host home to meet my new family. My neighborhood is located in Barrio Cordoba. As we pulled up I saw my mama tica standing outside the gate of the house waiting for me. She was very welcoming and hugged me as I came into the house. My favorite part of the home is the kitchen and dining room. The dining room opens straight out to a beautiful patio with a multitude of plants and their clothesline. The patio was covered but the natural light still was let in by a small open space over the wall. My room was also very nice and included a bed with sheets and comforter, a desk, a lamp, a safe box, a wardrobe, a full length mirror, a fan, a laundry basket, a couple outlets and a small bedside table. So far my tico family has made me feel very welcome and I’m sure this is going to just get better and better!