If You're Going to San Antonio, I mean San Jose...

Trip Start Apr 06, 2008
Trip End May 10, 2008

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Cross-Cultural Solutions Homebase

Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Friday, April 18, 2008

I did not have class yesterday, so I went to the nursing home with the other volunteers.  I had a great time, and am known as "La Morenita" to the ancianos who can see and as the very tall girl to the ones who cannot see, but can tell that I am much taller than the average Costa Rican women.  It's always a great experience working with these gentle souls--but then again, who wouldn't enjoy working with well-mannered gentlemen who are always telling you how "linda" and pretty you are?  I can tell working there will do wonders for my self-esteem. 

After we returned from the nursing homes, we had a latin dancing class that turned out to be quite a workout and fairly entertaining.  Our teacher was phenomenal--he just glided across the floor and we all decided he must have some extra vertebrae, because there was no way we could move our hips or back the way he did.  After stumbling through the dance class, a group of us headed to the big city of San Jose for dinner.   Unfortunately, our trip was poorly timed to coincide with rush hour, so the journey was long and arduous on the way down.  It was also stressful watching the other drivers, and after watching a number of near-collisions with the other vehicles, Melissa and I decided we just couldn't watch.  Although downtown San Jose turned out to be very pretty, I was a little amazed by how much outer San Jose resembled most American cities.  For example, in one area we saw a Cinemark theater, a mall, a Hooters, an Office Depot, Pizza Hut, Domino's Pizza and an Outback Steakhouse.  I will confess to being more than a little disappointed that America had managed to export these chains to Central America. 

In any event, we had a fabulous dinner, but then barely made it back in time to catch the last bus back to Puriscal, which was supposed to leave at 10:00.  Lucky for us, our taxi driver was up for the challenge and gleefully hurdled his way through traffic, fearlessly switching lanes as we were tossed around in the backseat.  We arrived at the station two minutes late and then proceeded to wait on the bus for about twenty minutes as the locals wandered onto the bus in a decidedly unhurried manner, thus introducing us to the concept of "Tico Time"--or the local equivalent of CPT.  Yes, things definitely move in a very leisurely and unrushed manner, which is a welcome change of pace from big city living.  Although the bus driver was definitely in a hurry on the way back, because he flew back to Puriscal--I had to close my eyes so as not to watch him flying along the curving mountain roads (most of which did not have a railing to protect a vehicle that goes off the road from going over a cliff) at a pace much faster than I liked. 

This weekend, we are headed to a large national park known as "Manuel Antonio."  I will not be traveling with a computer, so check back in  on Monday to learn about the trip.
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