The end of the program

Trip Start Jun 23, 2008
Trip End Aug 10, 2008

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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Friday, August 1, 2008

So the program is finally coming to an end.  Some people are so ready to go home already, and I just kind of look at them like they are crazy.  If I could stay here another month, or two, I would.  For most of them this has been their first trip away from home, so they aren't used to being away.  Also, we have had a problem with things coming up missing lately.  First a few girls had either lost some money, or had it stolen, equaling to about 100$. And people are missing random clothes and other things. And what sucks is my freaking umbrella was jacked the day after I bought it. Let me just tell you, not having an umbrella during the rainy season sucks, and Im kind of refusing to buy another one, beacause it will be my 4th one.  The first umbrella I left in Manuel Antonio at a hostel, but it was getting gimpy, so I wasn't to upset, because I had a second one.  That one lasted all of 2 weeks, and completely fell apart, no kidding.  Now the third one has been stolen. Really, who steals an umbrella. ANYWAYS.  This week has gone by so fast.  And I felt like I havent done anything.  On Monday we had planned on going to Cartago, but we waited around until about 2 and then we decided not to go.  So we just kind of hung out around the house.  On Tuesday afternoon a small group to Cartago, which I was surprised that it would be worth the trip.  So, we ate really fast after class, and we were about to leave for the bus stop when our host dad volunteered to take us there.  He takes us to the bus stop that he believes is correct, then after getting out of the truck and looking blankly at the signs and looking like completely stupid tourists. A man walks up to us to ask where we are trying to go, and turns out that we have to walk 5 blocks to where the buses are. Luckily for us there are buses that leave evey 15minutes, and it was only a 20 minute bus ride.  At first when we got to Cartago we weren't really sure where this basilica was.  But we made it.  It was pretty cloudy when we first got there and the rain held off for about 20 minutes then began to downpour, and kept on for the rest of the afternoon.  The church has to be one of the prettiest man made structures in this whole entire country.  And I kind of wish we had gone last week because they were setting up for this weekend, which is a really important holiday.  People from all over the country literally walk to the city. Then they wait in line to enter the church and literally crawl on their knees up to the front.  It is an interesting sight. After looking around inside the church, which was partially blocked off because of this weekend, most people wanted to get holy water.  Honestly, I think the whole concept of holy water is a little crazy.  I mean seriously who is to say that water is anymore holy than some I can get out of my sink. But that is all besides the point, so everyone (except for me) bought creepy little Marys to put this water in.  One girl bought 5, to give as presents to her family.  If I was the one to receive something like that, I would be like seriously? You went to Costa Rica just to bring me back some freaking water, which probably will taste bad because It will have been in a cheap pastic container for over a week.  So after getting the holy water we decided to find some church ruins, still in the pouring rain. The church had been damaged by an earthquake, was repaired then later damaged by a fire, so they just left it.  Now there is a little garden in the middle. It would have been a pretty place, except for all the rain.  After that we caught the bus to go back home.  Later that night I went up to the Veritas computer lab to work on my presentation and I ended up staying almost 2 and a half hours. Which brings me to another point, Costa Ricans can be loud and obnoxious too.  So me and this other girl go into a pc lab, mainly because Veritas is a design school so most of the students like to use the mac.  So we are in this lab with two other people, then this guy stops by to help this girl out.  Which is nice, for her, and he is telling her what to do in photoshop to help her out with her picture.  Which by the way looks like crap.  So hes helping, and instead of being considerate of other people, he is talking so loud Im pretty sure people outside the labs could hear him, and he continues to do this for over 15 minutes.  We are like, seriously.  But we dont know how to tell him in spanish to be more quiet, so we went up going to another one.  After I get finished for the night I head back to the casa.  And just my luck, Tuto is here and looked bored.  So I asked him to help me with my presentation.  And since he claims I wrote to big, and that there wasn't enough space.  He literally rewrote it all to correct my errors.  And I had almost 3 pages handwritten.  Most people wouldnt do that, but I think he actually enjoys helping us.  After that I studied a little bit and went ot bed.  On Wednesday after class we decided to go to the market, for probably the 10th time.  Anyways It was torrential downpouring like usual, and one girl needs to go to the ATH.  Which Im like why dont you use the ATM on campus, but she thinks that she will get to many charges, and she has been so frugal the past two weeks so that she won't have to use her debit card to get money, because she ran out of money on her travel card.  So we head off to the ATH, and Im pretty pissed about this because one i'm having to walk all that way, and two its in the rain.  And Brittany and I are having to share an umbrella because both of ours have been stolen. After we got to the ATH and she got money, I thought we would try and catch cabs, since it was raining even harder.  But no, they wanted to continue walking.  So we walked for forever in the rain, and it sucked.  When we finally got to the market we were all pretty drenched.  But luckily, its covered so it wasn't to bad. We ended up staying several hours, walking around and trying to barter with the vendors. After that we caught cabs and went back home.  Wednesday night was also opera night, and the Teatro Nacional was having Faust.  One the first week we had all bought tickets, and I ended up not going because I was to stressed about my 12 minute presentation and quiz.  Im glad I ended up not going because most people hated it. So today was my presentation, which I did on Blood Diamonds, I was inspired by the movie.  And I highly suggest seeing it, but it does have alot of violence.  The three people that went before me only talked for 5 minutes, so I was getting really worried because I hadn't practiced mine and I wasn't sure how long it would be.  And I ended up talking for 10 minutes, it was 2 minutes to short but way longer than the other three girls and only one girl ended up talking longer than me. This afternoon I really didnt do a whole lot. I went out to eat with Brittany, Corey, and Lindsay, then went with Lindsay to the Bank to get some US dollars, to use in Panama.  Also, for about 30 minutes this afternoon we seriously considered going to Cuba.  It was a really good deal, and it was 2 people for 669, which would have been like 230 each.  It included round trip airfare, 2 nights and 3 days at an all inclusive resort.  It would have been amazing, but then we realized there were all these taxes not listed and it would have been over 500 per person. So that wa a little much.  And well Americans aren't really supposed to go to Cuba because of the whole embargo act. Which is a little ridiculous. But the Cubans have a good system worked out for everyone.  They give you a paper to put in your passport, because they cant stamp anyones who wants to ever go back in the US, and then when you leave, they take the paper.  So basically they are cheating the system, and making it possible to still have tourism. Also, we had to make travel arrangements to this hostel, called the Aqua Lounge which is impossible to find a number for unless you know someone who has stayed there.  Luckily I remembered that the hostel I stayed at in Manuel Antonio had the info, so I called them to get it and make reservations.  And what was weird is the guy recognized my voice, and rememered exactly who I was just from my voice, so weird.
 Tonight was our farewell dinner.  They took us to a really nice resturant in the hills in Escazu.  The view was AMAZING, you could see all the lights from the city. And for the first time the city looked pretty. The food was so-so, the Costa Rican food still hasn't grown on me. But the best thing was the live entertainment.  For about 30 minutes they had professional dances, in colorful costumes dancing different types of dances.  It was pretty amusing.  After that we headed back home, and now we are just hanging out because finals are tomorrow.  And there is no way to prepare for a final like mine so im just trying to relax and hang out with people before I leave to tomorrow.
Bocas Del Toro is going to be AMAZING!!!!
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