Universidad y Jaco

Now that I am two weeks into classes I’m going to finally tell you a little about what I’m taking, if your interested! On Mondays and Wednesday I take rural and urban sustainable development in the morning and Spanish in the afternoon. My morning class is a lot of work but it’s interesting. We are going to be talking a lot about sustainable development in Costa Rica and like the world to I guess. This is an important but always depressing topic so it’s great for the morning. My Spanish class is super small just three other students and it is a conversation class so it’s pretty easy and fun. So far Ive rambled about my hometown a lot.

On Tuesday and Thursday mornings I volunteer with three other students at an organization called La Cometa in Tirrases which is a pretty underserved and poor area about 20 minutes away by bus. I posted a picture of it the other day. It’s a seriously beautiful area and I am excited to be working with La Cometa. We will be teaching English classes to young women about our own age and also helping teach and watch their children. We take the bus out together in the morning and stay till lunch time. We’ve been there twice and are making lesson plans but our class doesn’t begin until next week, Im super excited. In the afternoons I have my women and gender studies class which also focuses on Latin America and seems really interesting. The teachers cool and the readings seem interesting.

On Fridays I have a community engagement class which is sort of anthropology I guess, not even sure how to really describe it and then we get out early for the weekend. This past weekend all ten of us took our first trip to the beach for a few days. We stayed at a super nice hostel (felt more like a low key resort) in a town called Jaco on the Pacific coast. It was beautiful and so hot there. We hung out at the beach and at the pool. The black sand at the beach was gorgeous and there were a lot of iguanas chillin in town. Going out there to dance was fun too. I was not ready to go back to the city.

This week we had a cultural event and went on an evening city art walk. It was nice to go into the city and we got dinner at a Lebanese restaurant. It was bomb even though I saw a few cockroaches on the ground. I also saw some cool street art downtown that made me wanna go explore some more.

Thats about it. This weekend we are going somewhere super rural and hot im told and were doing some volunteer stuff and maybe seeing a waterfall? Stay posted. Mucho amor from Costa Rica. Pura Vida.


Pura Vida

Im currently sitting in my bedroom in San José, Costa Rica with the dog Ceci! I know, I’ll have to back up a little.

After a really nice time in North Carolina I met up with my family in Philadelphia to drop my sister off at college for her freshman year. Then we drove together back to Peaks and had a great (but too short of course) time there. My dad, my brother, and I went camping at Pocumcus which was also really fun, I hadn’t been in a while. I was sad to leave Maine but excited to get here to Costa Rica for the semester! I flew through Dallas and arrived in San José in the evening. I was picked up by ICDS along with two other students. Then we were dropped off at our host families houses. I met mine briefly but it was super late and I fell asleep pretty quickly.

In the morning my host mom walked me to the ICDS office for orientation. We got a tour of the University and then headed out in a bus to a retreat sort of place with pretty views of the city. We did the normal stuff, games, got safety talks, etc. In the evening we had a latin dance class and all stayed over at the place. It was pretty fun to get to know everyone on the program. It’s a small group, only 10 of us and honestly everyone seems cool so thats pretty lucky.

The next day we went to a cloud forest. It was basically a jungle. It is the rainy season and was supposed to be raining but it wasn’t. Our guide says it hasn’t been raining much at all this rainy season (but don’t worry guys global climate change is totally made up). Anyways, it was beautiful and we had a good hike. Then we went to a historic city near San José called Cartago. It was actually the first capitol I believe. We saw a historic old basilica.

Everyone was tired when we got back into the city and our host moms were there to walk us home. I’m starting to figure out everyone in my host family but seriously there are a lot of people that live in the house. The best part is Monse the really cute two year old who is always bouncing around. Her mom is about to have a baby in a few weeks too so I’m really excited for that. My host mom is super kind and cooks good food. I have a nice big room with a bathroom and I’m very happy to be here.

On our first weekend the students went out a bit. I think there is a lot to do in San José and I am excited to keep exploring. There is a mall nearby to where we live where we got SIM cards for our Costa Rican phones. Last night we went to a collegey sports bar to watch the Costa Rican futbol team.

Classes started on Monday and it is really exciting to be going to Universidad Latina. I live really close and so far I like all my classes but it seems like a lot of work. Anyways, Ill write more about school after the first week. This weekend we are also going to the beach for the first time so that will be exciting.

Pura Vida