Sorry everyone for not keeping things up to date. Its just been a crazy first two weeks, adjusting to living here in CR. Here is the basic update:
1. The first weekend we explored San Jose including the teatro nacional, las inglesias, la plaza de la culture, y la plaza de la democratia. Then sunday, we went to Volcan Irazu, which from the top you can see both coasts of the country. We were literally standing in the clouds (Pictures will be in the following post.) We also went to one of the oldest church in Costa Rica.
2. We then went to a beautiful restaurant with a buffet on a lake. I ate so much good food, but like my Bali experience, i had no idea what I was eating the entire time. A group of us then went down to the lake to chill, and sat on this tree with huge roots sticking out in every directions. We just watched the lake and the mountains behind it. It was gorgeous.
3. Next, we went to la Inglesia de Orsi (church of Orsi) to see a typical Costa Rican Church. Catholicism is the major religion of Costa Rica. However, the take is different, especially in this church. There are many crosses and Jesus’s in the church, of different ethnicities, and also no large windows. Instead there are a lot of portraits of the crucifixion. It was much more minimalist than Catholic churches and physically darker. It also seemed more emotionally dark, focusing on the crucifixion in portraits and statues, with no representations of Jesus’s life which is much of the focus of United States Lutherans. We toured the artifact museum, and then got on the bus back to San Jose.
4. I had my first week of classes. I have 4 hours a day of spanish which can feel long some times, but I already feel so much more comfortable with my spanish. My teachers is super nice, and there are only 5 other kids in my class, so we spend a lot of time speaking. I pick up at least 20 new vocab words a class. Also, its a really nice group of people. Many of the kids have already been here a few months and are super friendly.
5. the next weekend we went to Cahuita and Puerta Viejo. It was a 4 hours bus ride, but a great bonding experience. My whole program (granted its only 9 of us) went. We spent most of saturday at a gorgeous beach and then me and my friends Gretchen and Melissa went to Puerta Viejo, the adjacent town, explored, perused shops, and chilled at a local restaurant. Sunday, we hiked to Cahuita point in the national park. It was pretty sweet.
6. This week, I have been getting to know my host family alot better. My Tica mom makes me so much food in the morning. I got up before my midterm (with 1 month spanish classes, mid terms are at the two month mark,) I got up to pancakes and eggs and juice. This is pretty typical, but having breakfast made for me when i was super stressed was such a luxury. I sit with my host mom, and sometimes my host sister for two meals a day and speak in spanish. Sometimes about pop culture, sometimes about my day. It can be hard at times and they are super patient with me which is good. Its so nice to talk to them. My host sister likes to watch american shows so sometimes we watch the show together. I read the spanish subtitles along with the english words and that helps alot. It also gives us something to talk about.
7. The last weekend, I went to monteverde which was awesome. we went to the cloud forest and saw Quetzals and Coatis, the first is a beautiful bird. the second a racoon-like creature. We then went on a canopy tour aka zip lining through costa rican rain forests. We did the typical zip lining. Then we repelled downwards, I want on an awesome thing called a tarzan swing, but last for the day I WENT BUNGEE JUMPING. I was terrified but study abroad is all about going outside of your comfort zone right? It was awesome
8. So many coop interviews. Its funny to see kids from other schools who are super confused about why you have to wear suits every once in a while (the costa rican kids laugh at me because no one wears suits here) but in the end, very few of the americans I am around have had an internship or can even get companies to call them back. I feel so lucky to have coop. My resume went out last week. I am 3 interviews in (one has already turned me down because I cant drive but it was by far the nicest rejection I ever got as they told me how much they wanted to hire me and what a great candidate I was, I should just apply next time when I learn to drive. I have never been more flattered.) I have one follow up interview later this week. Wish me luck!