Flamingo and Montezuma


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Published: November 2nd 2010
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Flamingo to Montezuma


Lots of new pictures, I hope you like them!

Tengo que escribir en español porque no lo hice por mucho tiempo. La semana pasada ha sido muy interesante y lleno de emoción y actividades. Llegué en Flamingo cerca de una de la tarde el domingo pero estaba temprano y tenía que esperar por una hora hasta que viniera mi familia. Estoy 5 kilómetros de la escuela y cada mañana necesito tomar el bus a las siete. Clases terminan a las doce y luego tengo tiempo para surfear el internet o relajarme. Hay un bus para regresar a Potrero a dos y media o a las cuatro y media. Si no tomo el bus, tengo que pagar $7 para un taxi, es caro.

Marte fui a Tamarindo para surfear con tres chicas de la escuela, y tenía mucha diversión. Jueves también fuimos a Tamarindo, pero ahora para alquilar un carro. Necesitábamos un carro para ir a Montezuma durante el fin de semana. El viaje a Montezuma fue largo, cerca de cuatro horas, con más de la mitad en calles horribles, de tierra (sin cemento). En Montezuma fuimos a las cascadas que eran lindas. Montezuma es pequeño y no era mucho para hacer. Tomamos el sol y fuimos a las playas. Leí mucho de mi nuevo libro, The Zahir por Paulo Coelho. Es mi tercer libro por él. Domingo teníamos que manejar 4 más horas para regresar a Flamingo pero podía mirar el partido de los Sounders y Los Ángeles Galaxy. Hoy fui a playa Conchal pero empieza a llover y por consiguiente no nadé. Ahora estoy mirando los gigantes de San Francisco celebran su gano del World Series. Felicidades a los gigantes y Tim Lincecum.

So the last week has been full of emotion for me. I arrived in Flamingo (Potrero to be exact) to have my grand expectations shattered. I was disappointed to find that Flamingo and the area is fairly spread out, lacking great transportation, and very quiet this time of year. I have to take a shuttle from the school every day at 7 am because I live 5 kilometers away down a shoddy dirt road. I have two chances to return home, at 2:30 and 4:30 or else I risk having to wait for one of two buses, one at 5:30 and the other at 8. If I don’t want to take the bus I must pay $7 for a taxi, which is very expensive for a 10 minute ride in a Central American country.

Upon arriving I was an hour early and had entered my family’s phone number wrong in my address book. It was fine because I was able to use the internet of the hotel where I was waiting and the time passed quickly. My family is very nice and lives in a humble yet fully functional house across the street from the football field in the center of Potrero. There is my mama Tica Erika, and three children, Christopher, Christian, and Priscila, ages 1, 13, and 17 respectively. The father works as a fisherman on private charters and spends much of his time out of the country. He is currently in Guatemala until December. I have my own room, however a bit smaller than at my other accommodations, and unsurprisingly, no hot water exists here. A cold shower awaits me each morning, which is hard to handle at first, but I appreciate the affect it has on waking me up.

School is fine, nothing spectacular. I have begun to get sick of school after 7 weeks and don’t know how I am going to make it through three more. I am very tempted to leave next week and go to either Panama or Nicaragua for 5 days or so. I hate to lose the money I have paid for the classes but I am near the end of grammar and don’t think I need 3 more weeks of school. I have to learn vocabulary and practice my comprehension, but grammar is more or less finished. The good thing is that Tamarindo is close, only 25 minutes by car, or a little over an hour by public bus. We went three times last week, on Tuesday to surf, and on Thursday and Friday to get a rental car for our weekend trip.


We rented a car on Thursday and had to come back Friday to fill out some more paperwork and figure out where the 5th seatbelt was hidden. The Toyota Rav4 4x4 handled exceptionally well during our adventurous journey down to Montezuma. It is a 4 hour journey with the first hour and a half on nicely paved roads, then they progressively get worse, with dirt roads turning into muddy patches alternating with ruts and holes every few meters. Montezuma was worth the visit as it rests on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula and has some spectacular views out to the ocean. We were able to visit some waterfalls in the town which are quite pretty, although the hike is one of the most dangerous I have ever done. I ended up slipping down some wet rocks and cutting my arm and back up pretty bad but all is well! We were also able to relax and spend time at the beaches in and near Montezuma so it was a good weekend all around.

Sunday I implored the group to leave somewhat early so I could watch the Sounders game that night. I was able to catch the last 70 minutes but unfortunately we lost! I’ll be watching next Sunday though. Today I was in a great mood and attribute it to finally accepting my surroundings here and realizing that, yes Flamingo is different than I pictured it, but what can I do? I have to take it in stride and be happy. I’m lucky enough to be here in Costa Rica learning Spanish and enjoying myself so I really can’t be complaining. I only have 3 weeks left and I while I miss home, I don’t miss the stress and pressures of the “real world” so I need to savor the next few weeks. If anyone has any travel suggestions, don’t hesitate to let me know. I am leaning towards going to Bocas Del Toro in northern Panama for 4 or 5 days, but it is a bit costly and I am hesitant to travel alone. Anyone want to fly down and meet me there? I have some homework to do (I have to read a Spanish book and come up with vocab and phrases I don’t understand) and then it is off to bed like always. I never thought my “vacation” would require me to wake up at 6am every morning. It won’t be so hard getting used to the working life.

Hasta luego amigos.

-Matt



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