On Thursday after class, the other study abroad student and I returned home after class and the house alarm went off. Most homes here have an ADT home security system despite already having metal bars and barbed wire surrounding their house. Anyway, we didn’t know the code to turn the alarm off so we called our host mom. She was at work and not answering. Great. Before we knew it, there was a security officer shining a flashlight into our front window. I went outside and had to explain to him, in Spanish, that we were just study abroad students and this was our host family’s house. We had been given the keys but didn’t know the code to the security system. After thirty minutes or so of giving the officer my information and small talking, my host sister finally answered her phone and gave us the code. Of course by this time, all the neighbors were conveniently outside and just happen to be walking their dogs or out for a smoke. I guess it’s good to know that my house is at least very safe.
On Friday a group of students and I went to a restaurant/bar to watch the soccer game. Costa Rica played Honduras and we won! It was amazing to see how much soccer means to these people. Every restaurant and bar in town was packed and there was a unanimous cheering to be heard throughout San Jose after a good play. Even though football is really big in the U.S, the importance of soccer here is taken to a whole new level.
On Saturday, we toured a coffee plantation. Despite the fact that I don’t drink coffee, it was still incredibly interesting to be able to learn about the life cycle of coffee, how it’s processed, see the plants themselves, and learn about its history. The coffee plantation was about an hour bus ride away and the tour itself was an hour. The gift store on the plantation had free samples of more coffee than one could imagine and free samples of chocolate covered everything. There was coffee infused chocolate, chocolate covered papaya, and all kinds of souvenirs.
On Sunday we went to a beach in Jaco. We had to take a taxi to the bus station, and then we took a two hour bus ride. The beach was gorgeous. That day we saw wild cows, wild roosters, iguanas, smaller lizards, and more of the already plentiful stray dogs and cats on the street. Once I returned home, my host mom informed me that Jaco is an extremely dangerous beach and many people die there each year due to the riptide. I only went in waist height and could already feel myself loosing control of where my body was being taken. The waves were huge so there were also plenty of surfers that were fun to watch. It was nothing like the resort beaches that I’m used to, but it was a great experience.
It’s crazy to think that an entire week has already passed. It’s even weirder to think that my first class is now more than half way over! This is such a once in a lifetime experience. I see myself changing so much already and this trip has only just begun.