Healthy body, healthy mind!
My second month in Costa Rica was very different than the first month. It did not consist of as much adapting to the culture as it did learning the culture. Februrary has taken lots of patience and perservence. I moved up a level in Spanish class and my new professor had much more complex teaching strategies. I loved how intense the course was, but some nights the homework was very overwhelming. What can you expect when taking an intensive Spanish course? However, it has really paid off.
Every weekend my friends and I plan new adventures to go on! This month I went to…
Puerto Viejo – a really awesome town on the Caribbean coast. There’s lots of surfing and tons of other things to do. We rented bikes and biked from beach to beach
My Environmental Science class took a field trip to Ostional on the Pacific Coast. It was a great experience. We walked the beach and picked up trash along the way. The beach was so empty, because it’s a national wildlife refugee.
Ostional is the only legal place in the world where hunting for turtles eggs is allowed. It’s actually really neat. The whole communitys’ success and wealth are based on the production of the eggs. Once a month an “arrival” of millions of turtles come on to shore (9 Kilometer beach) and lay their eggs. This goes on for about 5-7 days. The first day of the arrival, people are legally allowed to hunt and take the eggs left by the first batch of turtles in a specfic (only 1KM) section of the land. Millions of eggs are extracted from this. The remainder of the eggs left during the Arrival must be left alone. The taken eggs go through a system worked through by the community to get them prepared and ready to be shipped all over Costa Rica. On our night hike we were able to find some turtles eggs and relocated them to a safer, better nest.
The eggs that are found and kept are cleaned and then used to make shot-like drinks for people.
You couldn’t taste much of the egg itself, mainly just the sauce mixed into the drink. A turtle egg has 10x more protein than a chicken egg. Crazy! It was a nice “cultural” experience eating the turtle egg.
The beach was absolutely beautiful!
We had a lot of fun ! The last weekend of February, my friend and I weren’t sure where exactly we wanted to go and so we just decided to get on a bus and see where we end up! We woke up at 4AM on Saturday morning and took a taxi to the bus station, got on a bus headed to the Pacific coast and next thing we knew we were at Dominical beach! It was too perfect. The beach was beautiful and not too touristy. We built a nice fort out of palm tree branches and played in the water all day. It started to get dark and we still had not checked in to a hostel, so we decided to sleep out on the beach. It was awesome! At 7:00 it was dark and since we had no place to go, we just went to sleep. The sand was actually really comfortable and we had hid ourselves behind some branches and felt kinda safe-ish. Thankfully, God was protecting us and we woke up the next morning to a beautiful sunrise. The rest of the day we spent surfing of course.
To say the least, February was full of adventure, fun, new experiences, lots of studying, tons of Spanish, and a whole lot of traveling.
Before arriving in Costa Rica I knew to expect a world of Spanish speaking locals, rice and beans, beaches, and to be living a bit less “comfortably.” Now that is has been two months, I can confidently say my expectations were correct, but I was also very blind to just how much I would end up loving this third-world country. The people are incredible, the food is way too tasty (it’s dangerously good), and the country itself is gorgeous. All month I haven’t had a drop of homesickness or desire to come home early. I love how much I am learning inside and outside of the classroom. I am able to practice my Spanish everywhere I go and it is constantly improving. Thank goodness!
It is sad to think I only have a little over a month left in Costa Rica, but at least a month is still plenty of time to embark on more adventures. I have great plans awaiting me in March. After my classes end, I am traveling to Nicaragua to work on a an organic farm for a week. I can’t wait! Returning to the United States will be quiet the shock. Especially after eating so organic and natural while in Costa Rica.
On Valentines Day, my boyfriend managed to send me flowers all the way to Costa Rica! It was really really sweet of him. They were delivered to me in my Spanish class along with a letter. My professor and class (full of all girls) were all shocked. I took my roses home and my mama tica started crying, because she thought it was just so precious. This is my mama and my uncle:
My Tico family is so great! I got pink eye early this week and my mama tica took very good care of me. They always go over and beyond what they need to do. Lunch is not included in this program, and so everyday my housemate and I go to the market and buy fresh fruit and use my mama tica’s blender to make smoothies. I love it!
I feel myself growing intellectually and mentally. I haven’t been able to find a church to attend and there are very few fellow Christians in my program. I pray God can continue to use me as light for those around me, as well as help me to grow spiritually while abroad.