¡Bienvenidos!

Hey everyone!

I`ve been in Costa Rica now since Sunday, and I can tell already that I`m learning so much! Everything, everywhere is all spanish, all the time! It`s very different, but I`m starting to get used to it.

The first day I flew in we stayed in Hotel Boyeros, which is a sort of inn with a huge pool and trees everywhere, where I met all 17 other students from the United States who are embarking on this journey with me. There are six other students from American University in Washington D.C., a Japanese student, two students from Chicago, one from Oregon, and a bunch more. The group consists of 15 women and 3 men, but we`re all having a blast. The first night we stayed in the Hotel to get to know one another, and last night we each moved in to our temporary host homes for the week. I was quite nervous, but that was unwarranted. I`m staying with a wonderful woman named Rosa who was a teacher for some 30 years. She now works during the day at a kindergarten, and at night she likes to make greeting cards from scratch! She has a huuuuge great dane who she calls “Thomasito,” which for any of you who know spanish means “little Thomas,” but there is NOTHING little about that dog!

During the day, the 18 of us are studying temporarily in the classrooms of the University of Costa Rica. There we are taking a few spanish classes before we move into Heredia so that the program directors can ensure that we will be able to get by in the city when we get there. We have classes from 8am-12pm and then from 12-1pm we are learning “Danza tipica” which is the ethnic dances of Costa Rica. On Friday evening, we are all having a large party and celebration with all of our host families together where we will share food and show off the dances that we are learning this week! I am very excited to try more food and of course dance!

On Saturday we are going to climb one of the volcanoes in Liberia! I`ve seen it from Rosa`s house, and that thing looks enormous! I can`t wait to see more of the sites and animals on our trip. So far I`ve seen iguanas (which are everywhere! They even chased us at lunch yesterday!!), albino squirrels, and a bunch of beautiful birds. Rosa said there are monkeys that climb across her roof every night, so hopefully I get to see them before we leave!

I have been taking a bunch of pictures everyday, so I will post those as soon as I get a chance. It`s a little hard here because not everywhere has wi-fi and internet, but they will as soon as I get to Heredia. So stand by!

¡Hasta el proximo! (Until next time!)

Jessica

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