Monday, July 15, 2013

The Last 2 Days of Costa Rica~

*Photos will be up tomorrow*


So Friday was our last day of classes but first in the morning we went on a mountain-countryside-beach horseback tour though Huacas all the way to Playa Brasilito. In the beginning, our guide took us to his house where he gave us fresh squeezed pineapple juice, corn tortillas, and fresh cheese~ It tasted delicious and really raw and healthy! On the actual tour it was so much fun to see all of the different kinds of vegetation native to Costa Rica and to ride my horse. This tour lasted for about 2 hours and then we had free time until lunch to go shopping and then lunch. We got out of classes a little earlier today to have a mini award ceremony for our Spanish classes. I got a certificate and I said goodbye to all of our teachers. Then we had an hour of free time and then we went home. Today as another gelato day so after dinner my roommate and I met up with our group and chaperones to go get some! Today was the last time we would be able to go so the ice cream tasted especially delicious!  That night we all went to bed a little bit later because we all had to pack for our departure Sunday morning.


Today we went to Playa Tamarindo! We left Portero at 8:30 and arrived to Tamarindo at 9 and we had until 12 to shop, swim, horseback ride; whatever we wanted to do! After we went to a restaurant where I got some pasta with meat sauce; it was really good! After this came the exciting part of my day! There was an optional snorkel cruise activity today and I decided to go! It was so much fun! We started off at Playa Flamingo and then we headed out to the ocean for about an hour to a spot off kf a small beach where we could snorkel, swim, or just keep relaxing on the boat. After an hour of swimming, the food for the cruise was served. There was BBQ Chicken, chips, fruit, cookies, salsas, and drinks were always available. We sailed for another hour- hour and a half and then 6 o'clock, our arrival Time back to Tamarindo was approaching! When we were approaching Tamarindo, the Captain told us that he saw whales in deeper water, so he took us to go see them! It was so neat! There were a few whales who kept coming up to the top of the water so you could see parts of their bodies from the water! This went on for about half an hour and then we docked and went back to shore. After this our group went back home where we had a small outing and then prepared to leave the next morning! 

Sunday: Bye Costa Rica! 

We left our host families at 8 am this morning! I really miss them all! My host mom was so nice and funny and my host sister was so cute! Costa Rica was such a welcoming place and I have many great memories from here that will remain with me for my whole life! My philosophy is that the way to peace in this world is understanding and this trip allowed me to do just that. I was able to understand the Costa Rican, and its differences from my own life. It also made me question how I was living too; whether I was too picky of an eater, if I was too quite, too excessive. Although Costa Rica is not the richest country in terms of wealth; it is in terms of sincerity and generosity. Coming here was such an enriching experience and I recommend that everyone comes here at least once in their lives! It will be a life changer! 

Thank you again SPI for letting me come on this trip! It was so much fun and gave me many more ideas for future plans this year and next! 

- Pura Vida -

Friday, July 12, 2013

Week 2 (pictures will be up Monday when I arrive home!)

Day 10: (Volunteering)

Today we went back to the daycare in Huacas to build and paint garden boxes for them. We weren't there for a very long time though so we had a lot of free time afterwards! We went to class again and then after we did activities near the school and then we went back to our host families to eat dinner.

Day 11 (un día normal)

Today was Wednesday so we didn't have to go volunteering. We decided to just relax at the beach and we had lunch and then we had class again~~ after class we went to Flamingo Beach and then we had dinner out at Marie's. Then we had a bonfire with some other volunteers and then we took the public bus back home~~

Day 12 (Thursday)

Today was another day of volunteering! We finished painting the garden boxes early so we went to Conchal beach again. Some people went horseback Riding but some people swam and some friends and I, when it started to rain, went to a cafe nearby and got some snacks while we waited for our school bus. After we got takeout food from a Spanish restaurant (I got pasta) yum~~~ after we had class and then we went home a little earlier for dinner and then some night gelato at a delicious ice cream shop 10 mins from our house.

Day 13 (Friday)

Today we spent the morning horseback riding. From about 8-10 we had a mountain-countryside-beach adventure through Huacas and Playas Conchal and Brasilito. We all had a blast but I think I got the anti social horse because he wouldn't grunt at all the other horses... Anyways the saddle was really comfortable so it didn't hurt to ride! Major plus because uncomfortable saddles really hurt when your horse is running. After horseback riding some friends and I went shopping and I bought a skirt rap that will also serve as my travel blanket. For lunch I had grilled chicken with French fries (yum) and I don't know what's for dinner yet! 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Week One Photos :)

here is the link to the photos from Week one. I dont have any from the activites on Saturday but another one of our teachers should so I will post them later through her albums!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Week 1 :) (Pictures Tomorrow!)

Week #1


Sorry this has taken so long to write! I don't have regular Internet access or time to actually sit down and write so I'm taking a break from the beach today to write about my week in detail. This post won't have pictures because I forgot my camera, but I'll have them up tomorrow for sure! 

Day 1 (Sunday): My Arrival

So I woke up at 3 am and left home at 4:45 am . My flight was at 9 am and I made it through airport security with about an hour and a half to spare. I got upgraded seating during the flights and with that came breakfast ( total cereal, fruit, yogurt, and soft drinks). I got to Houston around 12pm and I met up with my roommate and we got subways for lunch ( I wanted a chicken parm sandwich but they didn't have Tomato Sauce so I had chicken breast with provolone time I'm having Panda Express!) we waited at our gate the whole time and met up with the rest of our group and at 5:20 pm we started boarding. The flight to Liberia was fine; when we got to Liberia there was thunder and some turbulence. We made it to our host family fine and then we all went to bed; my room has a fan (yay!). 

Day 2: Flamingo and Class

We started the day by going to Flamingo beach and swimming; the waves were huge and I drank a lot of salt water that day! After swimming we went to take a placement test for our classes. I guess I didn't use enough past tense during the interview so I got placed in a preterite class. ..oh well; it's nice review! After class we went to the beach again! I think I got really bad chaffing because of all of this swimming so I'm going to try not to swim that much anymore. 

Day 3: volunteering 

Today we started our first volunteering activity at a government day care. That day we painted the ceilings a pale grey color and this day really helped me decide on my contest idea for EF Tours. For those of you that don't know, EF Tours is a school and group tour company that goes around the world.  Every year they have a global citizen contest and this year they're taking the winners to china (again, for those of you who don't know me, I love Asia) the theme is for profit business that make a global impact. I'm thinking of using this experience as the basis for my business idea! :) anyways after this activity we went back to school, ate lunch, and went to class. After we went to the beach again! 

Day 4: 
I believe today we went to Conchal beach. The beach is made up of broken up sea shells and the ocean is really calm. We swam for an hour or so and then some of us rented a banana boat and had some fun! After the beach we went to a restaurant and I had some Spanish fried chicken with some fries (yum!) we went to class and the beach after and then home :) 

Day 5: Volunteering 

So today we went back to the government daycare and painted the walls. I both rolled and painted and I think we all did a great job! After this we went to eat at another restaurant and then went to classes! We went to the beach again and then to a restaurant called the money bar to have some snacks. We went home and went to a delicious gelato shop after (I had choko chip!) then we went home and enjoyed the day. 

Day 6: Tamarindo

Today we got up a little earlier to make the 30 min drive to Tamarindo Beach. Here we had surf lessons (really fun, but very hard to master!) and then we shopped a little bit (me a lot, I bought a lot of souvenirs from walking salespeople) and then we went to lunch at a place called Fisch. I had spaghetti with Meat sauce; it was really good!! After this we went back to school for Spanish class and then down to the beach before heading home. 

Day 7: Rincon de la vieja 

Today was a big excursion day (around 1 hr and 45 mins) to Rincon de la Vieja; a volcano/ national park. First we went Zip lining and everyone there was so nice. All of the guys who helped us could tell I was Spanish because of my hair ( it's really curly) and asked me where I was from, called me their sister (typical thing to do in Spanish speaking countries ) and I even got a few winks ;) (Normal gestures in Costa Rica for guys haha). Next we went horse back Riding. I really love horse back riding! This is the first real time that I've gone without someone leading me, and it was so much fun! I didn't know the name of my horse, so I just called him Blanco, because he was white, and he really liked to eat grass because all he would do in the beginning was eat. We really connected though and he ran really fast, just how I like it, and we made it to the end of the route without difficulty. Next we took a bus to river tubing. We hAd to wear sneakers for this part, so my shoes unfortunately got soaked, but it was really fun. The rapids were huge and really strong but I didn't fall off of my tube surprisingly! All of the guides we really helpful and we got a banana at the end. Next we took a bus to the mountain lodge where we had lunch. It  was buffet style so I had white rice, pasta, chicken, tea, and some chocolate cake. After we went home where I found out that our host mom had to babysit her nieces, so we'd be sleeping at another house. This house was ridiculous! It was up a large hill and had views of the ocean! It was two stories and had a pool and hot tub :) we didn't go in the hot tub but we ate dinner quickly and went to the center of town to have a bonfire, but that didn't happen because it turns out the town's school was putting on a dance. My roommate and I didn't end up going because our host mom set a time for us to be home, so we walked back up the hill and went to bed. If you didn't know, a lot of houses in Costa Rica don't have hot water and don't have good plumbing so you have to put the toilet paper in the trash can. Well this house had hot water and good plumbing :) I took some pictures that morning.

Day 8:  Playa Danta 

Today we went back to our host mom's house to have breakfast and then we went to our meeting point to head to playa Danta which was 10 mins from town. I didn't feel well so I just relaxed at the surf shop and talked to the shop keeper who was from Colorado. After the beach we went to an Italian restaurant called Marco Polo and I had pasta again ( it was really good, but I didn't feel too hot so I didn't enjoy it that much). After this we got dropped off at the center of town, at this point I felt awful, but the Rest of the group wanted to walk to the beach near our house and I didn't know if our host mom was home, so I had to go with them. I sat on the beach while they swam and then we went home around 3:30 pm. Here I told my host mom that I didn't feel good and that I wanted to sleep, so I went to my room and went to sleep around 4:15pm. I slept off and on, but in total I slept around 16 hours! 

Day 9: School (Today!)
So I slept for 16 hours...hrm
my muscles didn't hurt in the morning anymore but I'm still a little tired, so I'm taking it easy today and just blogging instead of going to the beach! I know we are going to eat lunch at 12pm at a restaurant called Marie's. ill have class today and then go somewhere close to school so I'll blog about that tomorrow at some point!

My thoughts so far: 

I'm pretty much used up everything here; it's just how I imagined Puerto Rico to be so no surprises. I'm not missing my family too much since I can talk to them pretty regularly, and I'm really loving the climate and people here! I love my little host sister and host brother and also their cousins (who are from Michigan)! 

That's all for now! Pictures tomorrow :)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Days 1, 2, and 3 :)


I am in the middle of my third day in Costa Rica! I think Sunday I woke up at 3 am and I arrived in Liberia at 10 pm local time. I went to my host family and my host mom made my room mate a sandwich and I just had some juice. We each have our rooms and we share the bathroom!

The second day we took the language placement test for CPI and I got placed in a pretty easy class. We went to the beach and swam; the water is pretty salty. We all went to a restaurant called the Monkey Bar after for some snacks and then we went home had dinner ( I had chicken, beans, and rice) and then everyone went out to have some icecream.

The third day we volunteered at a day care and painted and now we are going to have lunch and go to class!

So far everything is great! I am not homesick or anything! Everything is really beautiful and tomorow I will have some photos uploaded

I have to go eat lunch now! I will post later!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Leaving home now~~

All ready to leave my house! Luggage in tow! More photos to follow later at the airport! (Including my luggage bungee cord!)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Tomorrow is the Day~~~


Tomorrow is finally the day! 14 days in Costa Rica! I'm super excited! 

Since this is the night before the trip I'm really exhausted ( I volunteered all day, Sra, Phelps if you're reading this, it was a really fun day at Downtown day!)  I'm not going to post too much :) 

Thanks again for this opportunity to travel to Central America! 

Okay so updates; 

I unfortunately cannot do online checkin for this trip because it's international, but I was upgraded! I'm in First Class for the Boston- Houston part of my trip and Business Class for the Houston- Liberia Part of it. Comfy seat here I come! 

I'm meeting my roomie Laura in Houston, she gets there at the same time I do! What we are going to do in the airport is still unknown..

My emotions right now: Um I'm not a very expressive person and I don't think the reality that I'm actually going on the trip has set in. Instead of feeling anxious or nervous I'm really excited! Going to new places is my favorite thing to do so this will be a new adventure for me! I can't wait to meet my host family and meet the 3rd "mom" that will be in my life! I can't wait to finally get a brother too! I really can't wait for Spanish classes too. Learning it in the actual country where they speak it will definitely help my language skills and maybe I'll finally be able to roll my r's ( I'm Puerto Rican but I really can't roll my r's...) From this trip I want to understand my own culture better and that of other people's because the only way to peace in this world is through understanding...

Packing is complete! Foreign money and cameras, with all of their accessories, are packed! I'm just getting ready to go to bed since I have to wake up at 4 am to get to the airport at 6am and try to figure out where I'm supposed to go, get through security, eat something (although first class gets served breakfast...) and get to my gate. This is my first actual time in an airplane (I think I mentioned this before?) since first grade (which I remember nothing about) so I don't really know how to go through an airport; luckily my roommate has a bunch of times so once I get to Houston we'll be all set until orientation! 

I'm off to bed! Pictures of my packed luggage, airport, and plane ride will hopefully be up tomorrow at random points during the day! 


Live. Laugh. Travel.