My time in the beautiful world of Monteverde has come to an end. We left yesterday morning and drove three hours down into Heredia. It was definitely a little sad to leave but I was really excited to see how different Monteverde is from Heredia. My family gave me a bunch of little gifts on my last day, which was really sweet, especially since I didn’t think they liked me very much! They have me a necklace with matching earrings, a bracelet, and hairpin!
Saturday was probably one of the busiest days of my life! Well, the night before was another girls 21st birthday so of course we went to Santa Elena again to celebrate! It was really fun but we stayed out pretty late, which was probably a bad decision since Saturday was so busy! Saturday morning we all met at a pizzeria to take a bus to go zip lining! It was AMAZING! I cannot explain how much fun it was! It’s something that I’ll definitely remember forever! We could see a volcano and the ocean all at the same time! I was really nervous to zip line at first but after a couple, it wasn’t so bad! After we did that, we ate lunch (which was delicious) and toured a coffee plantation! It was beautiful and really interesting to learn how the coffee here is made. The coffee here is so good and I can drink it black which is strange because in the States I need a ton of sugar and cream. When we got back to our houses we were supposed to make a Costa Rican dessert with our families. My mom made mine without me because we got back late from the coffee plantation, which was fine with me. She made platanos del horno. It’s basically baked plantains (they look like giant bananas) with cinnamon, cream cheese, and sugar baked on top. It was so good! The other students all made wonderful desserts too! That night we had a party with the other students and families and presented our desserts and performed the Merengue for everyone. I was so nervous but I had a lot of fun. I was a little sad to leave Monteverde the next morning, but I knew that I had to get on with my trip and start new things.
Monkeys in Monteverde!
I’ve been in Heredia so far for one full day. We arrived yesterday afternoon and we didn’t do much but rest. I cannot explain how much I LOVE my family here! I was so nervous that they were going to be like my family in Monteverde and not want to talk to me but they are the complete opposite! They have Internet access, hot water, a beautiful house, and they are so so SO NICE!! I actually have the same family has previous blogger Tara from Fall 2011! Today we had to register for classes at UNA. It was a little complicated but there were other students around to help us and recommend classes. Classes don’t start until next week and that week is sort of like a trial period. You go to each class and decide whether or not you like the professor. If not, you can drop the class and join a new one! It’s really cool! As of right now I’m taking 16 credits, which isn’t too bad and there are a lot of other IFSA students in my classes, which is super cool! We are all such good friends after our week together in Monteverde and I love everyone in the program! This weekend we want to go to the beach since we don’t have any IFSA programs planned. I hope we do! In general, I love Heredia way more than I liked Monteverde. Heredia is much more lively and there’s so much to do! My house is really close to the university so I can walk to school, which is nice as well.
Here’s some interesting cultural differences I’ve noticed over the past week:
- No matter how much you say you’re full, families will always give you more food
- Rice and beans has become my diet
- The fruit here is so fresh and amazing!
- Life here starts really early in the morning, I’m talking like 6am!
- Ticos conserve everything and are very environmentally friendly! Whenever they leave a room, they make sure to shut off the lights. They turn off the water when showering to wash their hair or shave to conserve water!
- They don’t flush toilet paper. That was hard to get used to at first but now it’s totally normal.
- Other members of the family are always around! Every time I come home it seems like there’s someone there who I don’t recognize and it’s usually an uncle or cousin
- Classes here are usually once a week but can last up to 4 hours long
- Lunch is the biggest meal of the day and dinner is the smallest
10. Cell phones are super cheap and easy to obtain. I got mine today! It looks like its from 2001, but it’s only for 4 months and it has everything I need!
11. People here drive like maniacs! There aren’t many traffic laws and pedestrians do not have the right of way so you have to be really careful when crossing the street!
12. Life is much slower here. People walk slower, things never start on time, and everyone seems pretty relaxed for the most part. It’s all part of the pura vida lifestyle!