Well, I made it! Here’s a recap of my first day in Costa Rica:
I traveled with my friend Meagan from Nebraska. Here’s our slightly teary picture before leaving the airport in Omaha.
My first impression was muy incómodo (very awkward). My host family didn’t recognize me because my clothes and hair were different than my picture, so I kind of had to sneak up on them. And the welcome hugs/kisses on the cheek that I had tried to prepare for were much more difficult because I’m quite a bit taller than them and had a lot of luggage. Not to mention that I said “Nice to meet you,” in English. I didn’t quite have my Spanish brain on yet.
Eventually I said a few things correctly so they figured out that I can at least speak some Spanish, but I also had to ask them to speak more slowly and/or repeat nearly everything they said on the way to our house. I looked out the windows the whole way home and already noticed a TON of things that are different from home or that I’d never even seen before!
Everything is very close together here. Most of the cars seem smaller, but the roads are also. This doesn’t keep people from driving very fast. I would tell you how fast, but my kilometer to mile equations are not very accurate yet…
Most of the houses are connected. My room is small, but it’s the perfect size for what I brought from home. My window looks like a glass blind, which means my room is very loud, but it also has a wonderful breeze!
We had coffee and cake in the afternoon, which seems to be something that is typical here. I gave my host family some cherry mash as a gift from my hometown, and my host mom said she liked them!
Before I even finished unpacking, we were off to meet more family members. Everyone has been very patient with me, which I appreciate more than I know how to express to them. My host brother, Victor, showed me pictures he had taken of Costa Rica, and he told me that he wants me to like his country. I think I will.
Sleeping was hard because it is so much louder than my house in the country at home, and it was the first time I’d been able to really think about how much I already miss my family, but I survived the first day!
This is the first sign I saw at the airport! I had to be a tourist and take a picture.