I can not believe that I have been here for over two weeks! I have learned so much already and seen so many interesting things! I wanted to share some of the interesting things that I have seen, done or learned about in Costa Rica. (there is a short video at the end)
1. Riding the Bus
So one of the first things that I learned to do here is to ride the bus system. I usually walk to school in the "morning" (tutoring and then classes start at 12:30). It's about a 30 minute walk but I tend to enjoy it. I put my ipod on some good tunes and start out. (I make a point to stop at the "grocery store" to buy a Coke Zero and sometimes buy a pack of gum or some cookies) I would prefer to walk home in the afternoons as well but by the time that I get out of class it is usually raining. If it is raining too much I take the bus instead. It cost 220 Colones. (equals about 50 cents). When I first got here I thought that there was no way I was going to be comfortable riding the bus because what if I missed my stop. Now, it's just a way of life. I see my stop, either push the stop button or if the bus I am riding does not have a stop button then I call out "Parada" and the bus stops.
On Wednesdays in Costa Rica the movies are half price. So Grace and I went to the "mall" for lunch and a movie last Wednesday. Some of the movies are dubbed in Spanish, especially children's movies. However some of the movies just have Spanish subtitles. We chose to see a movie in English with subtitles. There was several other people in the movie theater as well and they all had to read the subtitles. We are planning on going back this week as well. We decided to eat lunch in the Food Court, and I of course chose Subway. I didn't think about how difficult it would be to order in another language. (For example, McDonald's all you have to say is "Numero Uno" and you will get the combo number 1.) However, at Subway I had to order the specific sandwich that I wanted and then also the condiments and vegetables that I wanted in Spanish. I did my best but I think the reason that I got the correct sandwich was that the Sandwich Artist was very patient and helpful (and he made good guesses).
On Sunday, I wend to church with some friends. The church service was completely in Spanish. I did OK throughout the worship time because I could figure out the song was about. However, the sermon was extremely difficult. The pastor did not have any notes or slides and I couldn't even figure out what passage we were in until he had stopped reading the passage and moved on to something else. Needless to say, after church I had bit of a headache. I also had lunch the house of a family that I met that morning. They live across the street from me, but I had not met them yet. They are in language school as well and they are moving to Honduras.
I have really enjoyed the food here in Costa Rica. My "Tica Mom" Emy is a great cook and I have loved the meals. As many of you know, my favorite vegetable (practically the only one I eat) is onion. I get to eat onion in practically every meal here! I love it!! I love walking by the bread shops and smelling the bread. ( I can only let myself stop there sometimes) Two new fruits that I have fallen in love with are Cas and Mamon Chino. Cas is sour but not quite as sour as a lemon and it makes a very good juice, and I like it as an Icecream flavor. Mamon Chino is a crazy looking red fruit that tastes sort of like a grape. (see video below of my first time eating the mamon chino)
Eating Mamon Chino! from Jennifer Kendrick on Vimeo.