San José, Costa Rica Blog #1
December 20th, 2015
Local Time: 4:33 CST
I’m stuck in that last week of San Jose, Costa Rica pre-departure. It’s really hard to focus on preparation for the trip given that I still have a few finals left that run through the 23rd of December, just a few days before I fly out. I’d give anything to have free time to watch El Juego de La Vida or read Los Cazadores de Sombras in an attempt to beef up my Spanish mode to thriving in complete immersion status. Unfortunately, I am only able to blast some Juanes and Jesse y Joy songs in the background of my seemingly endless piles of Mathematics and Computer Science review. The fact that I will be showing up at the door of my host family just one week from today is almost dizzying. I am really not sure how I feel about staying in a stranger’s house in America, much less in a foreign country. In Shanghai, I was allocated a dorm room from which I was able to come and go as I please. Host families are going to have rules which may or may not make sense. They may even have weird family dynamics or dramatics that result in discomfort. Meh, I’d rather stay in dorms. I don’t even share a room on UW campus and that is just the way I like it. Oh well, I guess part of study abroad is about broadening oneself and the host family situation will be a large contributor to forcing me out of my comfort zone. At the very least, I hope they are cool people.
Another component I’m slightly concerned about is the actual studying bit. I’m taking Spanish 224 Introduction to Spanish Literature. My Spanish has grown rusty since the dawn of my borderline and ether-proclaimed obsession with learning Chinese. I don’t know if I’ll be able to sit through multiple Spanish books containing content which may or may not interest me and that I may or may not understand. Don’t forget the small detail that the class is being crammed into just three weeks. Will I even have enough time to really explore Costa Rica on a cultural level, both in San Jose and outside of it?
Aside from the doom and gloom of my usual concerned self, I really am excited to be off to my second trip abroad. Looking mostly forward to the abundance of Spanish language and getting to know people, but also the food, the weather and the scenery. Several of my friends have studied in Costa Rica before, so once finals finally end I’ll be bugging them for recommendations regarding weekend trips, sites to see, foods to try and general dos and don’ts. I also need to look up some Costa Rican phraseology since I’m really only familiar with the vernaculars of Mexico and Spain. ¡Muy pronto me voy!