Two Months In

Where to start…I just don’t even know. Time is flying over here in Costa Rica and I feel so far behind the eight ball with my blogging. How has it been 2 months already?! Now that I have been here for a couple months I’m finally getting accustomed to the culture down here and am getting used to some of the differences. (There are a lot of these.)

Being from Wisconsin, I know that one of the many stereotypes is that we are pretty easy going. After living in Costa Rica for two months I am discovering that we do not even compare to the Ticos. I think of myself as a pretty relaxed person and I can usually go with the flow, but lately I have been getting flustered easily. Living on “Tico Time” can either be one of the greatest things, or one of the most frustrating. Dad- you would find it frustrating and Mom- I think you would enjoy it. (I know you both pretty well.)  A couple weeks ago I went out with a couple of Tico friends and I was talking with one of them attempting to make plans for the night. He stopped me mid-sentence and said, “Oh sorry, we don’t work with plans here in Costa Rica. Everything that needs to happen, will happen. Remember- Pura Vida.”

I think I have mentioned in an earlier blog that the term “Pura Vida” is used for just about anything here-

“How are you?” Response: Pura Vida

“How was your weekend?” Response: Pura Vida

“I’m going out to eat.” Response: Pura Vida

“Life’s Great.” Response: Pura Vida

When in doubt, or when you have no idea what someone is saying to you in spanish, respond with Pura Vida and chances are, they will understand you.

Aside from adjusting to Tico time, and non-refridgerated milk, I’ve been busy with school and traveling on the weekends. This week is my final week of intensive spanish classes so the next two months will be a tad more relaxed. Two weekends ago, I visited Arenal where we stayed at a hotel overlooking the Arenal Volcano. However, we were delayed a bit when our bus broke down 2 hours into the trip and we had to sit on the side of the road for over an hour for a new bus to come pick us up. That was interesting. After a long day on the road, we went to the hot springs that night, and the next day spent the morning at a waterfall. On our way back to the hotel after our morning at the waterfall, the driver pulled the bus over on the side of the road and walked us to an area where we were able to swing off of a rope into the water below us. I was a little skeptical at first, but ended up facing my fears. Later that day, we packed up our stuff and headed to “Don Taco Hotel” in Monteverde. While in Monteverde, I went zip-lining and also did the Tarzan Swing. (Tarzan swing: Jumping off a bridge and swinging back and forth between trees.) Next step: Bungee Jumping.

Just Kidding.

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The drive through Monteverde back to San Jose was breathtaking. Pictures say a thousand words but nothing will be able to really capture that view. I’m convinced it is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

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This past weekend I was in Manuel Antonio where I spent most of my time either on the beach or laying poolside. We saw plenty of animals at the National Park including monkeys, crocodiles, iguanas, sloths, birds, and raccoons. (The raccoons would not leave us alone on the beach and were determined to search through our bags hoping to find some food.) No matter what we did to try and “shoo” them away, they did not seem to mind. There was nothing we could do to scare them away.

There were two ways to exit the park, either the long way or the short way. Thinking it was more convenient to take the short way out, we ventured along the trail trying to find our way out. I quickly realized I should have walked the long way.  We came up to an area where we needed to swim across to get to the other side which didn’t seem like a problem until we saw the big sign next to us, “Swim with Caution: Crocodiles.” I don’t think I took one breath for the whole 5 minutes it took me to wade through the water. But, we made it and now I can breath.

After two busy weekends I am back in San Jose going to class and working on my spanish. I’m progressing slowly but surely. As of right now, the plans for the weekend are to return to Jaco and spend a couple nights there. Although it is not the nicest beach area, it is a convenient place to go since the drive is just a few hours, and it’s not too pricey.

Missing everyone back home-

Love you all!

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