Life in Costa Rica

hello all,

I am sorry if you (mom) have emailed me…I am trying to stay away from Skype and email and facebook for a while just so I can adjust. I had a rough few days…I felt very homesick and alone. After starting school my time here looks brighter! I understand the whole idea of “culture shock” now….my emotions are like waves….in the mornings I am homesick and don’t know why I am here or how I will push through, but around eleven or noon I don’t want to leave! I am glad I chose to stay for six months because I miss my Corvallis family very much. School is VERY different here, classes feel like they last 5 minutes (from the time the teacher actually gets there to when the bell, more like siren, rings) and no one takes notes or pays attention. I am in eleventh grade here, which is nice because I am taking physics, chem,  bio and math classes that can transfer(hopefully) back to my school. Sometimes in school the teachers just don’t show up and class is canceled ( this has happened twice and I have been in school only a week). My first day was hard, but I found some familiar faces from AFS and knowing that they were going through the same struggles as I was felt very comforting. The kids in my grade are very interesting…the first day of class we had PE and a guy in the class, he is very fruity and very very sweet and lives to dance, taught me three of the traditional Costa Rican dances…and another classmate taught me some interesting soccer tricks! The guys here are very…weird (rado or extrano en espanol)…today in class a young fellow told me he loved me continued to say interesting things…but( this is for you mom and dad) I have no interest in anyone at my school, so no need to worry. There is so much to cover…my brain is very scattered. Lo siento. My family… My host sister (the sixteen year old is very sweet and very similar to me and her friends are now my friends, although sometimes I feel pushed to the back because I understand very little of what they are saying. Every Saturday we will play volleyball together in Puriscal and every Monday and Wednesday we have gymnastics. Since on Mondays and Fridays neither of us have school until 12:30, we can run and study! My younger host sister, she is thirteen, is very sweet and a little bit shy. Mellisa loves listening to music and doesn’t speak up very often, but when she does her little tiny voice has helpful things to say. My host brother is a sports guy…he is eleven and playing professional soccer. Okay, in Costa Rica there are two professional teams, each of these teams has multiple age groups and they practice three times a week. Here it is not common to play a sport that practices more than once a week unless you are professional, because of this I am playing soccer only once a week…oh well! 🙂 Anyways, my host brother is very spunky and athletic, yet very hardheaded and doesn’t like being told what to do by anyone but his dad. My host parents are very great…they are trying very, very hard to teach me Spanish and help me feel comfortable in their home. Although my host parents are helpful, my host sister is really great at translating and helping me out throughout the day. I have had the worst earache of my life for the past few days..so lots of trying not to cry and taking weird medicine every eight and twelve hours has been difficult but it is making me stronger already. I have sososo much more appreciation for my Organic, non GMO, MSG free, homemade, yummy food now…food is a big part of Costa Rican life, so my family is constantly asking me if I want leche de cocoa(powdered), galletas..etc. In my home here I got lucky because we often have really yummy salads and lots of fruit, their meal schedule is very different as well….everyone here eats big breakfasts and lunches, but very tiny(if anything at all) dinners. I guess it is better for your health because you don’t needs lots of energy while you sleep, but I am not used to eating lots in the morning yet. Drinks are huge as well, I am lucky I have a family that understands that I don’t want juice or soda and that water is perfectly okay, but in school and restaurants soda, ice cream, candy, cookies, etc. are very popular an very common. I miss salads from the garden, eggs with healthy cheese and peppers, GLUTEN FREE pasta and bread, whole wheat bread, organic fruits, the coop, being told not to eat suger or dairy or wheat when I am sick…etc. Everyone wakes up wayyyyyy too early (its not wrong, its just different) and takes very quick cold showers before eating and rushing off to school and work. When school ends, in November, my host family and I will go spend a week (maybe) in Guanacaste ( a beautiful tropical beach area) and maybe a few days on some other beach…I hope my family from home visits in January, but if not I eagerly await their familiar arms and faces. I know that there is so much more to write but I am tired and should get off the computer. I send all my love and I really am trying not to miss home too much!! Six months will go by fast…right? Love love love love and more love to you all. xoxoxoxoxoxo

Met four boys from Switzerland…it is mandatory for them to fluently speak German, English, Italian, Swiss German, french and then an optional language (usually Spanish). The US needs to work on our education

Here :)

Hola amigos y familia 🙂 I just got to San Jose, Costa Rica and I am in an orientation with 140( i think) other teenagers from around the world! I traveled to Miami yesterday and spent the night in a hugenormous hotel…seriously, this place had glass walls that had rainbows dancing behind them! Anyways, I met fourteen new people( all from the US) there and made eight new friends. 🙂 the eight of us ( we are the ones staying for six or eleven months, the other six are staying only six weeks an have an orientation somewhere else in Costa Rica) but we flew out to Costa Rica this morning and met up with all the other AFS people and took busses to a little hostile where we all stay in dorms with different people! Everyone from Europe is so beautiful! I don’t know what it is but people from other countries are attractive in unique ways. On our bus ride here we drove through downtown San Jose and it was so diverse! You would see one tiny crumbling house with barbed wire fencing and dogs and old rusty cars and right next to that house there would be a huge house with beautiful trim and gorgeous views. Anyways, I meet my host familia on Sunday… But today a girl from Germany came up to me and asked if I was Rozalyn and told me that she got displaced from her host family and will be staying with mine! So I have another host sister to go through all the tough stuff with 🙂 everything is very new and exciting… Taking a lot of Chinese medicine that my mom got me and trying to stay healthy and not get food poisoning! Came here with a cold and fever but I’m better and starting to work on my Spanish- it’s crazy how fast you pick it up…a man on the plane gave me lots of tips on how to live here 🙂 going to go play ukalalay with some friends 🙂 adios!

Hello!

I am on the plane to Miami! So many emotions the past few days…going from laughing to choking on tears. Goodbyes to my family and my friends and two best friends were so hard, but I feel like I left with instructions given to everyone( nothing too bossy of course…it’s me after all;)…) and I hope that my relationships with loved ones won’t change too much over the next six months! Zen tangling( look it up its pretty cool!) has become my new calming and de-stressing tool! Gotta go!