Days24-29: Posessed children and a day in paradise

Trip Start Jun 14, 2009
Trip End Aug 01, 2009

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Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Puntarenas,
Monday, July 13, 2009

Actually, there was only one possessed child. Lauren speaking.

Hi friends! It´s been a while since we´ve written, and we´ve done a lot. Last week, we had class in the morning and various activities in the afternoon. I boogied down in salsa/merengue class on Tuesday, and we learned how to cook empanadas on Wednesday. Friday, we gave presentations on various health specialties to a group of bored Germans and then peaced out for the weekend.

We took a crowded, sweaty, four and a half hour bus ride from San Jose to Manuel Antonio, a small beach town on the Pacific coast. Amanda and I sat in front of what we feel certain was a possesed child. She stood up in the seat behind us running her grimey, peeling little hands over our heads until I turned around and said, <> (don´t touch me!) in as mean of a voice as I could manage. This method worked for a little while before we felt the grubby little hands again and turned around to see a little face with an expression that Amanda acurately described as saying, I´m touching you, and there´s nothing you can do about it. The worst was that she would start singing loudly and her mom would say, how beautiful! Sing it again! Gaaa.

But we survived our encounter without resorting to exorcism and arrived in Manuel Antonio. It´s amazing how beach towns the world over are kind of similar. This one had lots of cute restaurants and bars and one of the coolest hostels we´ve stayed in. Backpackers hostel has hammocks, a pool, a kitchen, and free internet. We stayed in the shared dorm with three of our friends from class, which turned out to be cheap and comfortable.

In the morning, we went to the national park, where we strolled down paths through the jungle looking at monkeys and sloths. You may think you know that sloths move slowly, but you can´t really grasp just how slowly until you see them in action. Although maybe action is not the right word. Eventually, we wandered out of the trees and onto a beach with fine, white sand, few people, and calm water that was green from the reflection of the surrounding jungle. After swimming a bit, we sat on the beach and watched monkeys playing in the trees and stealing people´s food.

Saturday evening, we found a delicious pizza restaurant and enjoyed the tropical night air. Sunday morning, we were sad to start the long bus ride back to San Jose.

Today we volunteered for the first time. Amanda delivered brochures about swine flu, and I spent my first day in the clinic - unfortunately, the people at the institute told us last minute that we couldn´t volunteer together. Basically, neither of us has very much to do, but I spent a good two hours chatting with one of the nurses about travel, and Amanda got to hang out with two of our classmates, so we had a lot of fun anyway. Although this program is not exactly what we were expecting, we´ve taken the Costa Rican chill way of looking at things and are having a great time. We´re learning a lot of medical spanish, travelling on the weekends, and playing with our host brothers in between. All in all, a pretty nice lifestyle.

Also, Amanda uploaded pics to some of the older posts, so feel free to check them out!
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