So last weekend we went to Tomarindo Beach! Although the bus ride was six hours, it was pretty smooth so it wasn’t too bad. The resort where we stayed was incredible! Seriously, I thought the one in Arenal was nice, but it was nothing compared to the this one! It was right on the beach, and had three pools, one of which had a wet bar. Soon after arrival Friday evening, we were served a delicious dinner, then entertained by traditional dancers, and it was awesome. The only downside to all of it was that it was pretty touristy. In the evening, we explored the town, which mostly consisted of high-priced restaurants and souvenir shops. Even the clubs we went to had more gringos than ticos, but it was all still really fun.
On Saturday, three of us had signed up to take surf lessons, so around noon we trekked down the beach to the shop. Our instructor, whose name escapes me, looked to be about 40 and he had long blond hair that was really close to being dreadlocks. When he first approached us, I really thought the lesson was going to be like in Forgetting Sarah Marshall when Paul Rudd is teaching Jason Segal to surf, but it ended up being much better. We spent some time practicing on the beach and then hit the waves. We began as the tide was coming in so the waves started small and gradually got bigger. I managed to stand up on my first wave, but, because I looked down at my feet, I immediately wiped out. I started to get the hang of it after that and managed to have some pretty good rides. About half way through, a storm rolled in, which intensified everything. I’ve always said I wanted to experience a storm at sea, I just never thought it would be on a surf board! Riding the waves in turned out to actually be the easy part; fighting the tide to get back out to the instructor was the real challenge. Seriously though, riding a wave all the way into shore through the rain had to be one of the most incredible sensations of my whole life. Although it was taxing, the entire experience was amazing and totally worth it!
After our oceanic adventure, we got cleaned up and joined some of our classmates for lunch. A group of us found a small restaurant off the beaten trail that was full of locals, and, although the food was fantastic, the best part was seeing everyone’s reactions the Costa Rican fútbol game! Anytime they scored, the entire street would erupt into a frenzy of dancing, cheering, and hugging, while a Costa Rican anthem (I don’t think it was their official national song) blared and other people waved their flags. It was really neat to observe, especially after they won, because everyone just seemed so united and happy.
We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the hotel and all of its pools. There was one hallway that had trees right next to it, and in them was an entire family of monkeys! They were seriously like 10 feet away from us!! Oh, and there were iguanas running around all over the place, so that was really cool. The best part was laying on the beach to watch the sunset, which was absolutely gorgeous. Overall, it was a really great weekend, and I managed to only get a mild sunburn. 🙂
So I just realized today that we only have 10 days left until we go home! This of course brings all the rigor of final projects, papers, and exams, but I’m no longer intimidated by the work load. In fact, I’m really starting to enjoy my school. The other day, we had to come up with some skits that played out a specific situation, but we were working with Costa Rican students who were supposed to help us incorporate colloquialisms. When our professor noted that vulgarities were acceptable, some of the students in our group added a ridiculous amount of obscenities. Although the words didn’t make a lot of sense in context, it was hilarious when we performed it in front of the class, and I really broadened my vocabulary.
I just cannot believe that my time here is almost over. I know it sounds kind of weird, but I feel like I have been living here forever, and it seems like I have known these people for years; the thought of returning to U.S. is actually sort of surreal. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really excited to see to see all my friends and family again, its just going to be so sad saying goodbye to this amazing country and everyone in it. I started to get a little down about that this evening, but then I remembered a sign my mom bought me last summer that reads, “Don’t count the days, make the days count”, which is exactly what I plan to do!