Published: June 5th 2012June 4th 2012
On Our Way
A cheerful group on the way to CPI from the airport
It has taken longer than usual to get this first entry posted because of our late arrival yesterday. We arrived safely but more than three hours late because of some travel issues involving the airline. The students will fill in all of the details later, but I will just tell you the two high(low?)lights. In Memphis, although everyone arrived on time at 4:45 am, we were still standing in the check-in line at 6:00 am for our 6:15 flight. The computers just would not scan in our passports correctly. After a few other small issues at security (that's when I really thought the plane might leave without us!), we ran to the gate just in time to get on the plane and leave. Luckily, it was a small plane and our group made up almost half of the total passengers, so they waited for us. The flight from Houston to Costa Rica took off on time and we flew around for about half an hour before having to return to Houston to change planes. Evidently, some type of sensor was not working correctly. Changing planes involved taking the little tram to a whole different terminal and waiting another hour or so.
Oops -- I wasn't going to tell you all of the details. You get the idea.
Arrival at the airport in San Jose went great. All of our luggage arrived and almost all of us were able to get some Costa Rican cash (colones) before the people from CPI (the school where we are studying) picked us up. All of us and all of our luggage fit into a little bus that first appeared to be far too small for us. We rode the 15 minutes to CPI, got out of the bus and felt like we were in paradise. The grounds of the school are beautiful, with plants and flowers everywhere. We took the placement test, including a short written test and an individual oral interview, and then sat down for a pleasant, informal orientation session by Mayi, the student coordinator at CPI. She covered everything from showering at the host family home to traffic and pedestrian safety to Costa Rican currency. Her cute little dog, Chile, provided stress relief. He was very sweet and quickly made some new friends from Arkansas.
After the orientation session, the host families arrived and took each student home for the
evening. A few members of the group were taken by a driver from CPI because their families had made arrangements to be there much earlier and had other obligations at that time. (Sorry, but that means that there is no picture here of a few of the host families.) This morning, everyone arrived to CPI, met their new teachers and got started with their classes. More on that and everything else soon!
There are more photos below