Another change we have been lucky enough to be a part of this semester reigns in the political arena with the election process that ultimately led to the first female president in Costa Rican history: Laura Chinchilla. We had a fun Super Bowl / Presidential Election party at our house on Sunday to celebrate both historic occasions. Julian and I, the only Estadounidenses (“Americans” is not politically correct I’ve been told) in the house, were the only ones really watching the Super Bowl I think, but we had two TVs in the room to broadcast both events so everyone was happy. The whole time leading up to the election involved an incredible amount of flag-adorning, car honking, and conversation sparking. What is neat is how incredibly passionate Ticos are about politics without transmitting an ounce of that passion into violence. They really seem to be a peaceful people as a whole from what I can gather.
Classes began this week, which is another change to chalk up on the growing list. There are marked similarities and differences between the education system here and at home, but to say that it is more USA-esque than not might be stretching it. Details may be too many to discuss in a blog that is meant only to summarize my experience while attempting to keep your interest. I have yet to make an incredible amount of new Tico friends after my first couple days in school here at UNA, but there is time yet. I have noticed that male adolescents here tend to consistently have two things in common: raging hormones and copious amounts of hair gel. Though this inevitably attracts the females, whose wardrobes can be as sassy as their hair is brown, because lip-locked couples obviously licensed in PDA dot the campus like sprinkles on a sundae. And my middle school frowned upon holding hands…
Overall my school situation is nothing to complain about because I have both Fridays and Mondays free, which allows for a personally unprecedented 4-day weekend for the entire semester, and most of my classes involve frequent field trips (some even overnight near the beach!) for very cheap. I think I can cruise with the 15-credit hour load I’ve got, so I can focus more on Costa Rica and her people while I’m here rather than books and papers. There will be time for that later.