Exploring San José Solo

This week was a bit slower than others, so I took the opportunity to explore new activities in the city on my own. I happened to come across an art gallery across the street from Costa Rica’s National Museum on TikTok, and I saw that they offer sip and paint sessions on the weekends for 6,000CLN which is about 12USD with all supplies included. I love to go to sip and paints in Philly, so I had to check it out.

The building towards the back of the frame is where the gallery is located. I’m not sure what it used to be, but it’s definitely a repurposed structure.

The staff usually require people to reserve online, but I can’t use Costa Rica’s equivalent to Venmo due to my international bank. So, they were nice enough to let me come in person and pay to reserve my spot. I got to meet them personally before the larger event, so we had some rapport by the time that Friday evening came.

Since that area has so many museums, cute shops and restaurants, I decided to walk around for a while and enjoy some fresh air since I had no other plans. I went to Puerto Rico right before Costa Rica, and Barrio Otoya (the name of this area) reminded me a lot of Viejo San Juan which is similar to Philly’s Old City.

A park across the street from the National Museum and art gallery.

I’ve also still been successfully holding Spanish conversations on a daily basis, and I met a very sweet elderly man running a bodycare and jewelry shop up the street from the gallery. He helped me find an oil that would be good for my hair, and we talked a bit about my experience in Costa Rica and his own travel experience. I’m always a bit anxious before I start talking to a native speaker, but they’re always very kind and don’t undermine my skills in the way they speak to me.

The sip and paint session itself was very nice! There was just 16 of us, and there were snacks available as well as wine. I painted one of the pictures I submitted for the study abroad contest. I think it’s okay, but the family who runs the gallery were making me feel like I was Picasso, haha! I learned how to use a sponge to blend colors and make a gradient, so I can add that to my arsenal of painting skills now.

A Message from the Office of Global Engagement:

The safety and security of Drexel students is a priority for the University. As part of the efforts to support Drexel students that are studying abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Global Engagement has conducted a rigorous review of programming and provided additional support to participating students with customized pre-departure orientations and regular check-ins during the required self-isolation period and the term.

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