La Iglesia de Heredia
It is about four o'clock and my third day living here in Heredia, Costa Rica. I was dropped off at my host family's home around 2:00pm on Thursday. I'm going to skip over the part where I had to say goodbye to my Dad because it was awful and many tears were shed.
My madre's name is Lorena Rodriguez and I absolutely love her. She is extremely loving and motherly and is patient with me as we attempt to communicate only in Spanish haha! The house is fairly spacious and comfortable. I have my own bedroom and bathroom upstairs which is really nice, I appreciate the privacy. There are two other bedrooms upstairs but they are currently unoccupied so I am the only one up here. The one down side to my room is that it is located on the side of the house closest to the train tracks. We have a train station right across the street from our house which begins transportation at 5:30am and shakes the house a bit when it goes by. It also blows its horn every time it passes the house because there is a stop just down the street. Another negative is
that there is a karaoke bar near by... which means I have been serenaded with drunken, out of tune, Spanish songs until 2:00am the past two nights. I can't help but laugh and be very thankful for my ear plugs. Also living with me is Lorena's daughter Abdy, who turns 20 this month, their live-in maid Francis, and their chiuaua Aki. Abdy is fun, but slow to warm up, and she leaves in a few days to go work in a hotel in Monte Verde. She will be back in November, so I will have more of a chance to get to know her then. Francis is very quite, but very sweet, and I'm pretty sure Aki loves me! More about Lorena... she has four other daughters besides Abdy, all of which are married with children and in their thirties. Her husband died suddenly in a car crash when Abdy was young, and she has been on her own ever since. She taught high school biology for ten years, but retired from that and now writes biology textbooks for high school. So far, she is a terrific cook! My first night she made tortilla soup that was absolutely delicious. I
feel that I have been placed with a very good family for me. Also, my house is only a five minute walk to school, and another student lives right down the street so we can walk together. Her name is Shayla and happens to go to UCSC!
Yesterday I met all of the other students in my group, and Maria, our program director took us on a tour around Heredia. There are ten of us students all together, nine girls and only one boy. Five of us are from California, two from Texas (including the boy), one from DC, one from Washington state, and one from Oklahoma. Everyone is awesome! I think we are all just so happy to be here, it's easy to share in the excitement and get along. First we went to the market where we were each assigned a different fruit to buy, and later in the day we all got to taste the different fruits. We also saw the church, and an art exhibit, we ate the fruit, sweet breads, and coffee at a local coffee shop Espigas, we exchanged money at the bank, and we did a tour of our school. Heredia is
a cool little city. After all of that, I went into San Jose with my host family. Abdy is helping paint her older sister's new clothing store, so we went there. Lorena and I walked around a bit and she showed me the theater in San Jose, which was an old building and very beautiful. Then Lorena and I had a slice of pizza from Pizza Hut haha. I'm surprised at how many American stores and advertisements they have here.
Today my group and I went to our first Latin cooking class. We went to a woman named Flor's home in Garita. We learned how to make Gallo Pinto, Tortillas Aliñadas (cheese tortillas), Empanadas de platano, Chimi-churry, and Prestiños. Everything was DELICIOUS! I can't wait to attempt these recipes on my own. Flor's home was beautiful and she had an outdoor brick/adobe oven and stove. Overall it was an awesome experience. I'm not sure what I will be doing tonight, and tomorrow no activities are planned. I start my Spanish classes on Monday. I have class from 7:30 to 10:30 Monday through Thursday, and I'm taking painting with local students on Thursdays from 10:45 to 1:45. I can't wait.
the church garden
More soon! Pura Vida.
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