School is going well. Something new and interesting is always happening. A few weeks ago our principal decided to change the schedule so school ended at 5:20 instead of 4:40. Everyone was very upset on facebook the night before the new schedule was set in place. I went to school the next day just like normal. Sitting in my Spanish class (Not my favorite class..) everyone was really mad about the schedule change and complaining. We sat down for less than 5 minutes before some other students came to the door and said they were leaving class to protest the new schedule. Our class looked at the teacher who hesitated for a minute before telling us, “Ok, go.” Everyone cheered, grabbed their stuff and ran out of the classroom before our teacher could change his mind. Every single class in the school got out and everyone went to the office. The principal locked himself in his office, the teachers just kind of hung out with us. Meanwhile a trashcan was lit on fire and the principal’s tires were slashed. The whole time i’m like, “This is crazy!” my friends all said, “I guess so, we did the same thing last year though.” We also wrote a note to the Principal and got signatures (one of our teachers helped us write it.) At 11:30 we left for lunch and went to the mall instead of going back to school. It was exciting! We won and the next day our schedule was back to normal!
Note the trash can on fire in the left corner.
My spanish is coming right along! I understand so much, almost all Spanish now. I just can’t quite speak all the way yet. I have started to practice more, with my family and friends. I think my family is surprised I even speak, and I have realized how little I actually spoke before this. Sticking to the “Smile and nod” technique. My friend gave me a dictionary as a present but pretty soon I won’t need it!
The majority of my trip so far my stomach hasn’t been very happy with me and it seemed like a never ending sickness. Even woke up with such bad stomach pains one night that I almost woke my mom up to take me to the hospital. At first I though I was just eating so much junk food and that I needed to eat healthier, but when that didn’t work I figured it was some food I’d been eating. My host mom said it was probably the food from the school, so I stopped eating that for a while but nothing changed. One day at school I filled my water bottle up and went and sat back down by my friends. That’s when it all clicked that the water was the only thing I had been drinking constantly and that is what was making me sick. I told my friend and she said, “You’ve been drinking the water?! You can’t do that, it will make you so sick!” Sure enough two days after I stopped drinking the water from my school my stomach was much better! I can drink water from my house (luckily, I hate buying bottled water) because its filtered. I just can’t drink any from anywhere else. I just can’t believe I didn’t figure that out earlier! The random sink in the middle of the school yard should of been a dead give away. Let’s hope I didn’t get any parasites or worms or something…
I’m still getting use to the diet here. My body is not use to so much meat. We eat some sort of meat every night and I think I just might have to be a vegetarian after I get back from this for a while. My host mom insisted I buy some cereal for breakfast. I don’t think cereal has every tasted so good in my life! I also like soda now, maybe its the coke with real sugar. Surprising I actually really like tea now too! Something I thought would never happen! Still on my mission for Dragon Fruit!
Pretty soon it’s going to be the rainy season, where it rains every single day. I got a taste of my first rainstorm about a week ago during class. It was stifling hot and everyone was exhausted when it started to rain, really hard. Rain storms in Utah are nothing like they are here. I was staring out the window and Ooohing and Aahing the entire rain storm. My teacher, and classmates all thought it was hilarious, they were laughing at me! I was so amazed by the rain! It rained so hard for so long. I was like, “Guys look! So much rain! This is awesome!” My friend told me, “Umm yeah.. it rains like this almost every day.” I’m actually pretty excited for the rainy season to start! I just don’t love the intense heat and humidity that come with it. I will be rocking an afro for the rest of the rainy season. I don’t know how people do their hair here..
A few weeks ago we said goodbye to my host brother who is doing his own exchange in Japan! It was different being on the other side of the exchange. I knew exactly how he was feeling and went through all the excitement, sadness and happiness all over again. Although he was much more relaxed and put together, unalike me who was a crying mess and packing up to the very last minute! Just going to the airport gets my heart beating, even if i’m not going anywhere. We dropped him off at the airport and then were able to watch his plane take off! I’m sad I won’t be able to get to know him while i’m here but I know he’s going to have a great time!
Costa Ricans are very relaxed and known for being late to everything (which is more or less accurate) but one thing that they get worked up over is soccer. I’ve gone to two games now. One game with Costa Rica teams and another at the national stadium against Jamaica. Both were so much fun and so crazy! I went to the Heredia game with two of my brothers and my host sister. My brothers insisted I be for Heredia, but my sister wants me to be for Saprissa. Let’s just say I haven’t decided yet.. We got to the game early and by the time it started the stadium was completely full. I think every single police in Heredia was there, I was a little confused at first but after the game started I understood exactly why! It was insane! I saw several people escorted out of the stadium and there was a fight right by us over a soccer ball that got kicked into the stands. Every time a goal was scored, a bad call was made by the ref or a player making a corner kick came near the fence, everyone would run up to the fence and scream, throw stuff and try to climb the fence. I have not heard more foul language being screamed so much in my whole life (from what I understand.) Very entertaining! It reminded me of the Park City-Wasatch rivalry. The Jamaica-Costa Rica game was different but just as much fun! Went with my brother, sister and two friends of my sister. Just as much screaming and worked up Costa Ricans. Many people had Fifa signs about the game played against the US in which it snowed about 8 inches during the game. Everyone thinks its unfair and shouldn’t be counted. Costa Rica won the game against Jamaica! It was really fun and I can’t wait to go to more soccer games!
I was finally able to go to church a few weeks ago! The first time I showed up late because the time on the internet was different than the actual time. Went to the last little bit left and then someone showed me how to get the bus. They helped me get on the right bus to the mall where I would meet up with my parents. In the chaos of getting on the bus and getting my money out I heard, “The next stop and it will take you right out front.” I thanked them and got out on the next stop. After I got out and looked around I realized this wasn’t the right stop but the bus was already leaving and I couldn’t get back on. I looked around and found what I thought was the mall, seeing it was close I started walking towards it. The closer I got I realized that wasn’t the mall and I had absolutely no idea where I was. I was all alone, in a dress and 4 inch heels. I started freaking out and practically running down the street avoiding eye contact with anyone and crossing the street when I saw someone coming towards me. Coming up with all sorts of scenarios and kicking myself for not asking the bus driver I kept jogging in my heels. Asked two girls for directions and they pointed me in the right direction. Just as I was about to really melt down and call a taxi it started getting more crowded and I found a bus. Sweaty and nasty I asked the bus driver if it took me to the mall and he said yes. It took me a good 10 minutes to calm down and get my hands to stop shaking. Made it to the mall alright and met up with my parents. The next week I stayed on that bus and sure enough- several stops later- it takes you right out front of the mall. I also didn’t wear heels again. Such a scary little situation, i’m just glad nothing happened! It was really cool going to church, I met lots of nice people and some missionaries. One guy was from Idaho!
I’m getting use to all the little things about Costa Rica. Some things drive me insane and other things are just normal. One thing that I hate is the garbage at my school. People will throw their bottle or wrapper or any kind of trash on the ground instead of walking the 10 feet to the garbage can. It drives me absolutely insane. Any time any of my friends drop garbage I make a point of picking it up and throwing it away. They’ve all made a point of throwing their trash away now, or dropping it when I’m not watching.. I’m looking into doing a service project and cleaning up the school! It’s going to be weird going back to Utah and there not being any dogs wandering around like people. There are so many stray dogs. They’re really smart and I swear they look both ways before crossing the road. Many of the same dogs stay at our school. My art teacher feeds the same dog every day and she is now the “owner”. People adopt dogs by feeding them and calling them theirs. It’s not at all weird for a dog to wander through class or be laying in the middle of the hallway.
I was finally able to make cookies a few days ago with Butter Flavored Crisco and chocolate chips shipped from my momma. Happily set to work in the kitchen jumping around I was so excited. The dough turned out pretty much exactly the same as in the US which surprised me. After eating about 5 cookies worth of cookie dough or more, I was about to put some in the oven when the power conveniently went out. I almost screamed, but instead covered up my dough and put it in the slowly thawing freezer. The power came back on a slow 20 minutes later. I happily cooked my cookies and ate way too many when they came out. They turned out way better than I was expecting! When my mom and sister walked into the kitchen I almost shouted, “GALLETAS!” I then watched like a small child waiting for approval as they tried my cookies. They said they were so delicious but they didn’t eat 5 like I’m use to everyone doing. Especially my family. Then I realized that we are binge cookie eaters. I ate the majority of the batch of cookies, walking around happy and giggly the whole time. About what, 20 or more in two days? It should of made me sick, but it didn’t! After writing this paragraph I just might go make myself some cookies…
This last week was Semana Santa, I’ll try to blog about that soon! As well as the Festival of Masks in Barva!