I have been living in Costa for a few days now and all I can tell you is that it has been amazing.
After a long delayed flight, I have finally arrived in the sunny Costa Rica. I traveled with two other girls who are also in the ICDS program and we met up with Lulu, the ICDS coordinator, who picked us up at the airport. From there, we met other students from Kalamozoo College who will also be studying with us.
We got on the shuttle bus and were on our way to meet our host families. Lulu briefed us on the culture of Costa Rica and what we would expect to see. Surprisingly, Costa Rica is pretty westernized. On our ride around San Jose, we saw Starbucks, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Subways, and McDonalds. It’s like we never left.
It was amazing to see the different kind of houses as we dropped students off. All different sizes and color. One student had a really shady looking garage door that blocked the house, but once it was opened, it was like opening the gates of heaven. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating, but her host mom came down her garden hill of a lawn like a Costa Rican goddess. It was such a grand entrance. It was awesome.
When it was time for me to get off the shuttle bus, I was so excited to meet my host family, but also a little nervous because I only took up to Spanish 101. My host brother in law greeted me at the top of the hill and walked me down to the house. My host mom was waiting for me at the door. She greeted me with open arms and we exchanged the traditional hug and kiss. The house is very nice, decorated with flowers, portraits, and religious statues. She showed me my room and prepared dinner for me downstairs.
Above is my first homemade meal in Costa Rica. Muy delicioso! At dinner, it was just me and my host mom. Since my Spanish isn’t so great, communicating with my host mom was a little difficult. We talked about her dog, students that she hosted in the past, and my family. She also made fresh pineapple and basil juice. It was very tasty. In the morning, I met her daughter, son in law, and husband. All very nice.
By the end of the night, I was very tired. It was only 8PM. I thanked my host mom for dinner and proceeded upstairs, showered, and went to bed soon after. The next day, I woke up for my 2 day orientation at the ICDS office.