¡Hola! Like usual, it’s been a while since I last posted something… sorry! I’ve been busy living life in Costa Rica – can’t argue with that! To start off, I’d like to talk about why I chose this title. One of my favorite quotes is, “Start each day with a thankful heart.” For the past couple of days, I’ve been a bit homesick – missing the “Classic Wisconsin Summer” with boating, and bonfires, and fireworks… the whole shebang. This time of the year is an especially sentimental time for me, with my brother’s birthday tomorrow, my birthday (and my adorable godson’s birthday) on Friday, and the 4th of July on Saturday. All throughout the life, this week in particular has held a lot of great memories for me, which is why I think it’s a particularly difficult one to miss.
Anyways, I’ve been a little homesick, like many other students in my program. We’ve been here for 4 weeks now, we have a whole month left, and we miss our summers… who could blame us?! But today at dinner, I talked with my host parents for about an hour in a half (this is a VERY long time to hold a constant conversation in a foreign language, might I add) about their very first daughter they ever hosted. It was 20 years ago, and she lived with them for an entire year while teaching English in the local school. They brought out the photo album and everything. It was adorable.
While my parents gushed over how wonderful she was, and told me stories, I realized how incredibly lucky I am. I’m so lucky to have the privilege to live with such a loving family. I’m so lucky to have the opportunity to travel and explore this amazing country. I’m so lucky to have met so many wonderful friends. And I’m so incredibly lucky to have such a wonderful family waiting for me at home that can make me miss Wisconsin, of all places, while I’m living in paradise. Today I was reminded of how incredibly thankful I am for this experience.
Ok, enough of this mushy gushy stuff. Here’s a little re-cap of my past week (ish). Last week Wednesday, I went to the park with my host dad and some of the host nieces, and played soccer! My host dad and I were on a team (mind you, he’s a grandpa) and we just killed it… that man is the definition of young at heart. Afterwards, I went to celebrate my friend’s 21st birthday at her host family’s house! There was cake, snacks, drinks, games, and lots of good company!
Thursday night, the majority of our group (17 of us) went to the local karaoke bar! Let’s just say, I don’t think the locals necessarily appreciated our singing skills – but we had lots of fun! Amongst others, there was “Hips Don’t Lie,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “Ice, Ice, Baby.” Hahahaha. It was a fun night!
Friday morning, we left for our group weekend trip to Punta Leona! We got in our private bus and headed for the beach! The resort we stayed at was just gorgeous, and a nice change from our $10 sketchy hostels. Included in the resort were two private beaches, restaurants, multiple pools, a karaoke bar (yes, more karaoke), a butterfly garden, beautiful condos and much more!
The weekend was filled with relaxation, beach hopping, sunset watching, more karaoke (I busted out an ABBA song), wave riding, sun bathing fun with some amazing people! Although it was definitely more on the tourist-ey side, it was nice to be able to really relax, and not have to worry about food, transportation and all that jazz. Here are some photos from our awesome time in Punta Leona!
After a long, but tiring weekend, I went home to take a giant nap. But before that I saw this walking down the street…
Some days I think, “You know, Costa Rica isn’t that different than the States…” But then I see this along with hundreds of people walking down the street for a funeral procession. Noticing the cultural differences, but also similarities has been a really cool aspect of studying abroad for me. It’s interesting to see how different something can be from what you’re used to, but yet, it’s still completely “normal” to others.
This week I’ve got class like usual, a day trip to San Jose on Wednesday to visit the national museum, and then my birthday on Friday! We’re talking about traveling to Arenal this weekend, which is a volcano with lots of hot springs, hiking through the rainforest, and waterfalls – which should be a good break from my three weekends in a row of beaching it (not that I mind). Until next time, amigos!