I arrived in Costa Rica yesterday afternoon. It has been an adventure for sure. I am staying in Barva. It’s a small town not far from Heredia. I am staying with a host family. She is very sweet. She speaks very little English and I speak very little Spanish. We have been using hand motions and google translate to communicate. It is very hard on me. I had to cry a little bit this morning because of the feelings I was having about the language barrier.
I have meet a few people from the course already. Yesterday, I met one of the guys from my course. His host family is just around the corner from me. He and I walked around Barva yesterday. It was nice seeing the church, the local gym, the town square, and a duck/chicken. The church is over 100 years old. It’s a catholic church that looks old from the outside and absolutely gorgeous on the inside. I have to go back to take some pictures for you. The town square has a basketball court, a playground, and plenty of open space for skating. This town has some strange things in it as well. It has these masks everywhere. They are clowns heads, shrek heads, and even flounder from the Little Mermaid. Apparently, it’s a popular thing they do here a few times a year. They wear the heads and dance around the town square. Also, I saw a chicken that looked like a duck. It had a chicken body and a duck like head and bill. Very crazy.
Today, I meet 3 other guys taking the same course as me. We took a trip to Volcon Barva. It is a dormant volcano about 35 minutes from where I am staying. We took an UBER to the farthest point we could (you need an SUV after a certain point) and walked the rest of the way. It was a steep 2.3 mile hike to the rangers station. We only had an hour before the park closed so we paid and went on a quick walk through the park. We could not go see the Laguna Barva for time-sake. We will try again soon. (I know I will regret saying this next part if my dad reads this. Sorry, Dad.) Since we took the UBER to the top and there was no cell service we unfortunately could not UBER back. We decided to just walk until we could get cell service. We walked for about 20 minutes and still had no cell service. It started raining. We just kept talking and walking while getting wet. Then a man we ran into at the rangers station drove by and offered us a ride to a place we could get cell service. We all hoped in. The guy was on vacation with his family from Washington DC. His family did not want to hike the volcano and stayed in San Jose. He was really nice. He actually took us right into the town of Barva. (It was on his way.) It was pretty awesome. Mind you, I would never hitch hike alone. I only did it because I was with 3 guys who were fit and big. I knew they would keep me safe.
My feet are killing me after that hike so I am relaxing in my room. I know this will be a tough month for me. I will grow and learn a lot. There are so many things I am struggling with including the language barrier and being one of the only girls in the group. I will keep you updated on my adventures!