Tuesday, January 6, 2009

No Soy de Aqui...

For those of you who are yet uninformed, I am presently studying in the beautiful capital city of Costa Rica, San Jose.

However brief my experience has been so far, I already am certain that this is the most glorious adventure of my life as of now- and I still have so much time left!! I'd love to recount the nightmare of arriving at the airport, but I have the feeling that story will require a separate blog of its own... and I'm just getting things going right now anyway...

This is what I’ve learned in my first 24 hours abroad in Latin America:

1) I no longer wonder where all the beautiful men on earth have been hiding out.
2) I no longer wonder where the most gloriously hospitable families in the world live
3) I’m much more comfortable with my Spanish than I expected to be, but not at all where I wish I was
4) Costa Ricans greet each other with a kiss on the cheek if the greeters include one or more female- men greet with a handshake because it is a high contact culture
5) “Tico” is used to refer to Costa Ricans, but I’m not sure if they use it for any other nationality of Latino
6) Ticos virtually never say “no” to anything… only a very unenthusiastic “yes” which must be politely interpreted as a “no”
7) Addresses in this country involve nearly no numbers. You write something like “400 meters south of the old post office” (which may or may not be a post office anymore) on a letter and- by some miracle I could never understand- it gets there. That’s how you direct the taxi drivers as well. There are very few streets with names and very few houses with numbers, but even those that have them are never used.
8) Taxi drivers are creepy
9) Costa Rican men are beautiful
10) Costa Rican men are VERY beautiful

My host family consists of my Tico mama, Mariam, and her daughter, Marcela (and son, Javier, who visits in the evenings for dinner). The only one I have a picture of right now is Mariam:

They’re the most beautiful and generous family I’ve ever met! Marcela speaks nearly no English though she understands it very well- she and Javier both speak very slowly and evenly which makes them much easier to follow than most, though I suspect it’s intentional which I appreciate very much. Mariam works to help me understand as well but has a bit thicker accent which, though slightly harder to understand, is good for me to hear for pronunciation practice. She gave me a welcome present with which I enjoy the famous Costa Rican coffee on a daily basis:

I felt terrible because I had every intention of bringing my family a thank you gift and then completely forgot. But I think it’ll be better this way because I can get to know them and what they like and then leave a good bye present they'll actually enjoy.

This is my room and I’ll get more pictures of my school and family soon.

Anyway, if you're checking in you must care about me, so I probably love and/or miss you.
Wish me luck in my adventures!
For now..... Hasta luego!

1 comment:

Alaina and (Patrick) said...

I love this. Your blog is actually much cuter than ours...a little embarrassing. Patrick and I are busy inviting people to our going away party monday night. I can't believe that both of our biggest adventures thus far, begin only a week a part. You and me, real life, real adventure. I miss you. heart.