So apparently the U.S. is one of the only countries that goes to school on Fridays, which means that I have officially completed my first week of class!! Overall, it has been a very good, albeit challenging, experience. For instance, in my phonetics class yesterday, we were given 20 minutes to come up with a seven minute skit to perform at the amphitheater in front of the Ticos! It was nerve wracking to say the least, but it ended up being a lot of fun, which has been the case with most of my classroom activities. Today, in my expression class, we spent time in an English class for Costa Rican students; we were put into small groups and had to talk for 30 minutes in Spanish then 30 in English. It was pretty great because they felt just as uncomfortable with their abilities as we did, and we all gained experienced conversing with native speakers. This program is called intensive for good reason, but I am already noticing improvements in my Spanish so that makes it all worth it.
Last night was probably one of the best times I’ve had here so far. One girl’s host brother teaches dance lessons from their garage and offered to teach us as well! Not every student came, but most of us did, and it was soo fun! We got to practice a little Bacheta, Salsa, Merengue, and Reggeaton; the whole thing ended up being two hours and it only cost about 3 USD! Overall we danced…well like North Americans, but he explained that it takes a lot of practice, and he has offered to do it every week. Tomorrow we are all touring Heredia, so it will be great to get to see every part of the city. Some of us are hoping to take our own excursion to Monte Verde this weekend, so we will talk to the director about it tomorrow!
Carlos says that Thursday is “family day” (although that seems like everyday around here), and all of their children are going to come over for dinner with their spouses and children. I can’t wait to see everyone again and meet their other daughter and her family. I really lucked out with my living situation! My host parents are so great and everything around here is constantly lively, loving and joyful, which they always say is because God lives here. Frances is also one of the nicest people I’ve met and she is really great to be around. I feel like I’ve been here for more than a week (five days actually) because I am pretty familiarized with everything around here, but I regret that I have so little time to spend in this amazing country. I promise I will post more pictures soon, I just hate walking around with my camera out because I feel like such a tourist and I don’t want to get robbed! 🙂
Oh one more thing; ‘Pura Vida’ is kind of like the country’s motto. I mean everyone says it, all the time, in response to almost anything. It literally translates to “pure life”, and is rather indicative of the Costa Rican lifestyle. One Tico described it as basically meaning “Hakuna Matata”, which, as we all know, ” is a problem-free philosophy that means no worries for the rest of your days” 😀