Journal Entry #3

My last week at the beach and first week in San Jose:

Friday: This was my last week in Quepos/ Manuel Antonio and it was one of mixed emotions. Over the past month I have formed some great friendships with students here, other Ticos, my host family, and with my Spanish teacher. My time here was filled with hikes, beach days, surfing, progress and dinner conversations with my host parents, Wilbur and Carmen, and I can’t believe it’s over. They, especially, made my experience here so much more enjoyable and welcoming. This last week specifically was filled with conversations that a month ago I would’ve never been able to have in spanish. But I think that is what makes this program so great. Students who genuinely want to learn and grow are able to do just that in open and welcoming environments. Tomorrow morning I head out to San Jose for volunteering/ spanish lessons for two weeks. I am SUPER excited to see what is in store for me and while I am sad to say goodbye to the beach I am ready for a change of pace and new faces.

Wednesday: Wow! I have been to San Jose a few times before in my life but haven’t experienced like this. Don’t get me wrong I like it here. The big city life was a huge shift in flow but I think it’s fun. One main difference is riding buses to get to everywhere I need (as an American, this is weird). To get to my volunteering program in the morning I either need to take an hour long bus ride on 2 different buses or take an Uber. What I’ve decided, or maybe what my wallet has decided for me, is to take the bus. This time on the bus has allowed me to think, journal, and get to know the city a little bit more. Speaking of getting to know the city, I have gone to three museums and found them to be extremely interesting. As someone who likes history, learning about the original Indigenous people who lived here before the Spanish conquest or the founding of Costa Rica as a regional power in Central America has been fascinating. But what has me the most excited is my volunteering program at a kids daycare/school. It has been 3 days and it seems to have gone by so fast. The kids are so enjoyable, funny, lively, and talkative that it doesn’t even feel like volunteering. It’s more hanging out with some friends who are 4 feet tall. This next week and a half is going to be super fun and I can’t wait to see what it has in store for me.