Part 2 of this adventure begins... Costa Rica!!!!

Trip Start Nov 05, 2005
Trip End Jan 04, 2006

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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Friday, November 18, 2005

"Habitat Global Village Guatemala group" parted ways today after 2 wonderful weeks of laughing, crying, sweating, scratching, sharing meals/bug spray/sunscreen and Advil. Now what!!??!! Well, part two of my adventure!!

I made it to the San Jose airport and waited for about 5 minutes until I saw my name on a clipboard --- yaaayyy! My ride is here, or at least he better be my ride. Marcos is a tiny little man who speaks NO ENGLISH - none - nada. And so the fun begins. Where is Rosalinda or Leroy when I need them to translate!

The driving here is a bit more civilized than Guatemala although there was a motorcyle that passed between us and a bus - just made a 3rd lane. It feels more humid here than in Antigua but not anything like Flores. I swear Bon Jovi was on the radio, singing in Spanish. Does life get any better!!

My homestay is in Tres Rios (Three Rivers) which is about an hour from the airport and maybe 25 minutes from the centre of San Jose. So itīs a suburb.. a nice suburb. Tres Rios has mountains around in every direction. Itīs really scenic.

Rosa is my "mama tica" and her son (23), Pablo lives with her. She has another son, Juan who is married with a little Juan (1). Both sons speak English and Rosa speaks a little. Upon my arrival, Rosa made coffee (sooooo good) and fried plantines for a snack. I am going to be so hooked on coffee.

Rosaīs house is very homey and I feel very welcomed. We went for a walk this afternoon around the neighborhood and stopped at this huge mall which is even bigger and nicer than Chinook Mall. Quite a bit different than Chichicastenango and snapped me back into my world in Calgary but I didnīt mind too much because it was a Spanish lesson all the way there and back.

For dinner, we had rice, zuchini with ground meat (beef?? Iīve learned not to ask) and salad and black beans. Sheīs a great cook! While we ate, we talked about her pets: 2 dogs, Princessa and Chantal (very yappy - I donīt think weīll get along), her hummingbird, Pio (Pee-oh) and then there was a third. A little critter (lizard) was crawling on the wall behind me. She said heīs good for the plants cuz he eats the insects. I know that I should be tougher by now, but I had to ask if he and his friends would be crawling in my bed. She just laughed so Iīm not sure if she understood me or not......

It was great to unpack my suitcase! I have a room to myself but the bed is a very small single, with a 4" foam on a wooden frame. I shouldnīt complain but man, I miss my soft bed.

Here the houses are all caged in. There are private security guards patrolling the neighborhood day and night. There is not one front yard that is completely open - they all have a barred wall surrounding the property. Iīm really confused about this - what the heck am I being protected from?? I should feel safe but itīs unnerving.

I noticed a sign "Desayuno" or breakfast and it said $2950 and then I remembered that I had to learn a whole new currency. I was just getting used to the Quetzales - just divide by 7ísh for US dollars. With Colones in Costa Rica, you must divide by 414 to get Canadian dollars.... great. Out comes the calculator.

Itīs Friday night and Iīm in bed at 9pm - long day. I wonder what my friends are doing at Peteīs Peanut Pub in Calgary... probably enjoying a Strongbow or 2.
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