Primeros Días

I have been in Costa Rica for 2 days now and I love it. The first day was epic because CR played Greece in the World Cup and won, which called for a huge celebration.
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Here you can see the streets filled with people. This country’s pride is amazing. Everyone was watching the game and celebrating after-babies and grandmas alike. After the final penalty kick was made, horns were blaring, people were cheering “OLE OLE OLE OLE, TICOS, TICOS,” cars were driving around honking, with people hanging outside the windows shouting. The whole city was painted red with people, country flags were ubiquitous, motorcycles were revving their engines, and people crowded the streets nearly stopping traffic. The people in cars did not react with anger but instead were happy, honking and cheering; they went with the flow, it was inspiriting. Alexis, my host family and I all paraded around the town. It was a beautiful experience. It was comparable to gay pride except that instead of one street being filled with people, the whole COUNTRY had flooded the streets. The unity and pride was something I’ve never seen in the United States.

I already feel more comfortable speaking Spanish than I did the first day. In fact, I keep writing my thoughts out in Spanish and have to rewrite it in English. I’m very lucky that my host family ONLY speaks Spanish, I’ve already learned so many more words than I would have in a class environment. My host family is a blessing. Mi mama is a sweet, empathic lady. Her young daughter is just as delightful and her two sons are very caring and protective.

The food here is DELICIOUS. I am vegan and it is seriously so easy to eat here-dare I say easier than most places in America? The traditional dish of spiced rice and beans is simple and satisfying. There are lots of vegetables and PLATANOS are so good. I expected food to be spicy but it not at all. Nearly every meal I have had so far included platanos, rice and beans. As I write this I can smell mi mama tica cooking platanos 🙂 When I return to the states, I plan on cooking food like this. It is so good and I am pleasantly surprised.

Yesterday we went on a city tour and got to see downtown. All the graffiti art in the city is incredibly beautiful and I often found political statements that were thought-provoking. Por ejemplo:
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Image and video hosting by TinyPic

One of the more interesting things I learned on the city tour was that a part of the Berlin wall is actually here in San Jose. Unfortunately it was behind a fence and trees, so it was hard to get a good picture.

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Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I love the colors in this tropical country. Lime green birds and electric purple flowers make for a happy Anjali 🙂 Wine corks are made from the bark of this tree. And the braided tree is my favorite thing I have seen so far, it’s so beautiful I really want one! In addition, I learned about ten fruits that I had never heard of before and I am excited to try them. I had no idea the world had such diversity amongst fruits.
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Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I am planning for weekend excursions with Alexis and it is difficult to choose what we want to see most because this country has so much to offer. As of right now we are thinking about going to the Pacific coast (Manuel Antonio), the Carribean coast (Puerto Viejo), Monteverde which is the cloud forest, Corcovado National Park and with the whole group we are going to Volcano Arenal. I am stoked to explore this country! PURA VIDA!

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