Saturday, July 27, 2013

First Day of School

It says Welcome Northern Arizona University Students!!

School started at 9 in the morning. We talked, took pictures and made sure we stayed clear of the wild drivers on our 15-20 minute walk to Fidelitas Universidad. Many of the drivers honked at us as they drove by. Upon arriving to the campus, we realized how easy it was to tell that we were foreigners. While we were dressed comfortably in tank tops and shorts, the native students were in jeans, heels, and nice shirts as if they were going to the club. We don’t know about everybody else but we felt waayyyyy out of place.

When we got into the classroom, Javier gave us a quick rundown of the Costa Rican culture. He informed us that the drivers don’t care about you. “Don’t carelessly walk into the middle of the street because they will hit you.” He also told us that there’s a lot of criminal activity at night which explains why people have gated houses. Because of the crime rates, he also told us not to act too foreign taking pictures because people will know that you are a tourist and it makes you vulnerable to getting robbed.The teachers continued by telling us to go to a dance class later that day as a cultural event. We learned the Salsa, Cha Cha, and the Merengue. I’m not gone lie, I was getting it

San Jose Mall

The next morning our guide, Javier, met us at our apartments at 9am to show the way to the San Jose Mall. We all made our way to the bus stop. Javier told us to have our bus money ready because the Costa Rican culture is very past paced. The bus finally arrived and cars began to file behind it and had to wait for the bus to move. Mind you, there are 14 of us. After the third person got on the bus, the cars already started honking for us to hurry up. We got on the bus and made our way to the mall.  The things they had at the mall amazed me. They had hair salons, nail salons, and tattoo parlors. Although the currency was different, surprisingly, the clothes cost the same, sometimes more. They also had the same fast food restaurants as the U.S. Taco Bell, McDonald's, KFC, Popeye’s and Wendy’s. The only difference is that they were 10 times better. McDonald’s even had a separate station just for dessert.
Costa Rica Fam Bam

On The Bus

Costa Rican Change

McDonald's ONLY for Desserts!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Time to Take Flight

Packing was a struggle for me because I didn’t know what all to bring. Sooooooo I packed pretty much everything. My suitcase was big...VERY big and it fit everything. I thought it was going to be a breeze the next day. Well, it wasn’t. My bag was overweight by 35 pounds so I had to pay about $100 for it. Then they tell me my bag is over-sized which cost me about another $175. --___-- You could just imagine how upset I was....I mean that’s $275 that I could have used in Costa Rica!!! LOL When taking my bag down off the scale I dropped it on my foot and broke my big toenail. I messed up my newly done pedicured toe and had to walk around in Costa Rica for 3 whole weeks with half my toenail missing. Other than that the flight was fantastic, seeing how I slept the whole time there.
Such a BEAUTIFUL view

      After a two hour flight to Atlanta, and another four hour flight to Costa Rica, we had finally arrived late at night. All 11 of us got in a van, and made our way to our new home. We lived in gated, 3 bedroom/ 2 bathroom apartments. I rushed in the bottom apartment hoping to find the best room for me and my sister. I run into the first bedroom which had two beds and its own bathroom. At first, i thought this is definitely our room! Then I walk into the bathroom, and surrounding the bottom of the sink were three dead cockroaches. Ewwww right. Knowing how much of a bug freak my sister is, I quickly found the next best room for us. Yea, we had to share the bathroom with two other people, but at least there weren’t any cockroaches lying around.

After picking rooms, we were given these cheap rinki dink cell phones so that we could keep in contact with each other and of course, EVERYBODY was worried about connecting to the wi-fi. In order to get the phones to work, we had to call an operator, who only spoke Spanish, to have them turned on. You can already imagine how that worked out. didn’t. Only about four of us actually got our phones to work and of course the passwords for the wi-fi weren’t working either. Typical North Americans...lost not knowing what to do with their lives without internet. lol First night in Costa Rica ended with us sadly not getting anything done.
Living Room
Kitchen/Laundry Room


Rink a Dink Cell Phones