Hello All! This is my first entry since arriving in the CR. The first few weeks have been crazy here, for I have been adjusting to a new lifestyle, and everything else in between. My experience thus far has been phenomenal. I am living in a community called Atenas, a small, rural farming town where everyone is family and or knows each other. My family, the Salas Rodriguez clan ( Ana Cecilia, Eduardo, Ana, Ismael) have many ties here in Atenas. We live 2 doors down from Ana Cecilia´s sister Roxanna and her family. Other brothers, sisters, aunts, grandparents, mothers, fathers etc. live no farther than a 10 minute drive. The first Sunday I arrived I had the pleasure of meeting all of their family in a barrio called Rio Grande. We had typical Tico dishes, including plantains, ceviche, imperial ( the beer of CR), coffee...etc. It was crazy having to speak only Spanish upon my arrival, however it is providing a wonderful learning experience. Thereafter each and every day I spend time with my family, and their extended family, for someone is always stopping by or we´re going for a quick visit
. The emphasis on family and togetherness in Atenas is amazing, and it is nice to see people hold their family in such high regard and esteem. Moreover, I feel like I am a part of their family already, it is very comforting. In short, my experiences with my family and the extended relatives have been by far the most amazing experience thus far in my trip. Beaches, national parks aside, nothing can compare to my family and the bonds we have already made in these 2 weeks.
I am teaching at Colina Azul and Atenas Preschool , which is a private school and one of the most recognized in the area. Right now each class is working on their English Festival performances, which happens every year and is a time for each class to showcase their knowledge, creativity, and enthusiasm regarding the English Language. In the morning I assist the English teacher in grades 1-3, and then in the afternoon I do math and English centers with the kinders. School here is quite different from the states and is offering me a whole knew perspective on our education system at home.
I traveled with one teacher from my school, and a volunteer. We ventured to Manuel Antonio, a national park and rustic beach. We saw monkeys, sloths, and other animals. The beach was pristine and uncrowded, for it is the low season traveling, which makes for a thrifty experience
. Overall, the trip was beautiful minus a few bumps in the road.
Goodbye for now!