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Published: June 20th 2005
I think Sundays are really neat here. They reserve it as a day to do nothing but relax and spend the day with the family. Way of life here greatly contrasts the U.S., because in the Estados, one individual´s lifestyle can very much differ from another individual´s. There is great diversity in values, beliefs, and ideology. Here, people are individualistic also, but very similar in certain aspects of lifestyle. The society is very conservative, and there agreed-upon ideals of propriety. A kiss on the cheek. Respect for the elderly…
When I went to the bank, I was puzzled in regard to the lines. Why was one man going before another, when clearly the other man had been standing there longer and was first in line? To satisfy my curiosity, I politely asked the man in front of me. That was when I learned that the elderly, pregnant women, and other “special” people get priority, especially in lines. Then I was confused when the man in front of me let me go before him. I guess I´m a special person too.
Yesterday I believe was Father´s Day. I found out that the Father´s Day is worldwide, while Mother´s Day isn´t.
In Costa Rica, Mother´s Day is in August. Very interesting. I called home, and Kim answered the phone. That was when I realized my parents flew to California that day! It was nice to hear familiar voices. I´m glad they got to Auntie Nene´s alright. Por dicho, do I miss family right now. It was really hard being sick this whole past week and not knowing what to do about it, without all the commodities of home. My mom here tried this technique that her grandparents did. She rubbed my arm with lotion, in effort to “squeeze” out the “pedrita” from my arm. Actually, it kind of hurt. It was supposed to. I´m still trying to figure out how that would help with my stomach. It didn´t really.
I feel a lot less weak now though. Before, I could barely walk to the Institute. It was so silly, when I was sick on Friday, and my sister Matilde and I ran in the crazy heat. We could only run for 20 minutes until we felt sick.
Jajaja, I remember this funny random moment. You see, my parents like to play “cartas (card games),” especially rummy. It´s pretty hard learning a
new game in Spanish, especially because I´m slow at learning card games to begin with. Anyway, whenever, my mom had a good play, she would say, “Opa!” She said that´s what they say here when something good happens as an expression of excitation. I was like, “oh I see.” Clara, my sister, goes, “No, she just made that phrase up. She´s the only one that uses it!” We all started cracking up. I was thinking, that´s actually a Greek phrases, right? Funny.
Wednesday we saw a movie at the mall. Jill and I sat on the bench for two hours, sick as could be. We put our feet up on the bench because we didn´t feel good, but the guards yelled at us for that. Funny they have people in charge of that, but they let people smoke in the malls (just not in the individual stores). I think I´ve inhaled more smoke and fumes here than I have in total my entire life. The movie: Señor y Señora Smith (Mr. and Mrs. Smith). I can´t imagine having to match in subtitles all the time. Nope, it was not dubbed in Spanish. I was kind of disappointed. It was a
mis hermanas clara (mayor y izquierda) y mati (menor y derecha)
my sister clara (older and to the left) and mati (younger at to the right) age 25 and 20, respectively
two for one movie night, with free refills until 10. It couldn´t get any better than that. It was crowded.
On Thursday, I volunteered at the girl´s house again. I discovered that they moved here a few years ago from Colombia. They fed me some arroz con leche. It reminded me of home because it was made of brown rice. I was craving that! They call it arroz integral.
When we finished, we visited her sick friend, which she told me only after we had started walking back to my house. The people here are so open and friendly, and give a kiss a cheek to everyone they meet. Laura, the girl I tutor said about the boy, “Que lindo!” That´s what they say when something is beautiful or cute. Another common phrase is “Que rico!” You can say that about anything…food, environment, life…
This weekend, we visited Playa Manuel Antonio. It sure was beautiful, famous for its wildlife and foliage. And monkeys, which they call Titi, known to us as the Capuchin. They supposedly take your food and drink your pop while you´re not looking. Didn´t happen. In fact, we searched near and far for them, only to see
playa por la noche
beach in the night
them in the far distance. I got a few shots of them, though. According to the brochure, the hotel was gorgeous, with a kitchenette, a swimming pool, and luxurious beds. Upon entering, ready to relax from our four-hour long bus ride, we witnessed a stagnant, mosquito-infested, grimy room for five people. The pool was about the size of four bathtubs and lizards (Butiki, we call them in the Philippines) climbed along the walls. We were disappointed to say the least. The other girls were appalled at the lizards. We didn´t let that bring us down though, because the beach made up for it.
Saturday night, we decided to walk back from the beach to the hotel. Little did we know how much we underestimated that walk. About four to five kilometers…with no sidewalks…a dozen twists and turns…in the torrential rain. And ALL uphill. He. He. He. Finally, we decided to stop and get a taxi…when we were almost there! That was when we decided it wasn´t safe anymore. Later that night, we treated ourselves to a nice a restaurant, called “Avion.” It was beautiful, with chandeliers, fluorescent lights, and an acoustic guitar band! One of our girls even played with
playa por la noche con Lauren
Lauren being silly in the dark
them! We relaxed and listened until they stopped playing. We saw them later in the Discoteca.
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