Hoping everyone is having a dandy month of May wherever you are in the world! At this very moment I am deeply craving chocolate…but then again when am I not! They have amazing desserts and cakes here but I am trying to stay away. I’ll keep you updated on how that goes. Instead, I have been treating myself to lot’s of plantain chips (YUMMMMM) and Costa Rican salsa (EVEN YUMMIER!).
In this wonderful post I will fill you in on what I have been up to since my return from Baldi Hot Springs. First off, for you non-Spanish speakers (aka me), the title of this blog in English is ‘What Doesn’t Kill you Makes you Stronger’. I picked this title for two reasons: 1) my successful strides towards living it up and being less paranoid in my daily practices, 2) the strength and power the people in this country exude regardless of how tough times can get. So let us begin…
My second week in Costa Rica began in quite a strange manner. We’ll have to rewind back to the night I returned home from Baldi Hot Springs. As I pulled up to my house in a taxi I saw a 6’8 Caucasian boy standing in the doorway. I was taken aback at first since I had not been told that anyone else was arriving on the Saturday. I did, however, know that someone else would be arriving that weekend since my other roomie had departed Saturday morning. Despite the extreme pain that occurred from having to tilt my neck to look up that high, I was successfully able to keep my cool and greet the nice young fellow named Grant. I then attempted to open up the door of my room to place down my backpack and such; however, my host mom quickly stopped me and asked me to wait. At this point I was beyond confused. Please remember that my host mom does not speak any English. She led me towards her daughter who speaks minimal English who told me that I had to move to another room next door. This was around 10 pm by the way. I was a tad annoyed but figured I would be getting my own room so I went along with it. As I opened the door to my old room to grab my stuff, I see another 6’4 boy chillaxing and napping on the bed next to mine, with all my stuff laying around the room. So basically the boys were confiscating my room…RUDE. I was so confused as to where these boys even came from that I just focused on quickly moving all my stuff (including my bras and panties), into the other room.
Although our initial encounter was very strange and bizarre, it didn’t take long for the boys and I to develop a very strong sisterly/brotherly bond. Adam is from Ottawa, Canada, while Grant is from Virginia. Our breakfast, lunch and dinner conversations are actually quite hilarious. We usually speak about the differing slang words in Canada versus the US. For example, they say such phrases as “Damn, that girl is a fox” or “That boy is such a doucher”; whereas, us Canadians say such things as “This party is so live” or “This party is so live, ey”. Adam and I laugh at Grant’s lingo all the time…he is just soooo goofy (another very common word in Grant’s vocabulary). Grant and Adam are also my official exterminators. They literally have zero fears when it comes to bugs. Grant picked up a cockroach by its antlers and threw it in the toilet; meanwhile, I saw a june bug and dove into the door trying to run away resulting in a ginormous bruise on my back -_-
On another note, over in Carpio (the location of my volunteer placement) this week, my bond with the kids has grown even stronger. I have no idea how I intend to leave them in just 1 short week :(. On a typical day everyone takes about 30 minutes to stare out into the streets and wake up, and then the younger kids begin playing with toys, the construction boys begin cementing the walls and I begin my lesson 1/3 for the day with the older kiddos. I spent the week teaching the kids about different questions such as “what is your favorite sport” and “what is your favorite animal”. Of course, this also involved me teaching them about sports, animals etc. The sports that kept getting them confused were Football and Soccer because in Spanish soccer is Futbol while Football is Futbol Americano. For my lesson on food I created little menus for each kid that had pictures of different foods inside, which they had to fill in the English name for. Another favorite activity of the week for the kids was Go Fish. They loved it and even wanted to continue playing it through recess. I played this game with them to get them more comfortable with the numbers.
The littler kids at the Carpio church can often be found playing jump rope, soccer or kindly drawing me pictures. Jump rope is huge and they all use the word “Tornado” to request the people spinning the rope to go faster! It’s a ton of fun!
And then of course there’s the girlies who decided to thug it up this week. Meet Carpio’s very own security guards 🙂
The sad thing this week was that I had to say goodbye to many amazing people that I met in my first week in Costa Rica. First up was goodbye to three amazing Canadian blondes that never took themselves too seriously. Whether it was freestyle rapping in a British accent or demanding Pizza at 2 am, there was never a dull moment with these girls.
My next goodbye was with three very special boys who I had the opportunity to spend tons of time with. Christian, Vinnie, and Chris did construction work up in Carpio. We shared many great laughs day and night whether it was jokes about the boys rolling around in cement since they would get so dirty at work, or over beers at our fave bar Cacchios. I’ll miss them truly and surely.
The last time I saw them one of the boys’ host brothers gave me a ride home on his motorcycle. Guess I can officially check that off my bucket list now!! Don’t mind the picture where I look like a total dork with my glasses. I was wearing them because we were taking off on a 5 hour bus ride to another beach 20 minutes later.
Another kind of strange thing that we do here on our way to Carpio is pat a statue of a naked women. It is apparently goodluck so we just go along with it.
One last thing I’d like to share is the reasoning behind the first set of tears I’ve shed here in Costa Rica. There are obviously a lot of stray dogs in a poor, rusty town such as Carpio. However, when I saw the smallest, skinniest dog I have ever seen in my life digging recklessly inside the garbage, I was devastated. The worst part was that I had nothing to give it since the food in the Carpio kitchen was barely enough to feed the church goer’s. i tried to give it some banana and some water but it opted to sleep under a car instead. Let’s all pray that it will survive and be rescued in short time.
Up next is a post about my adventures to the famous Manuel Antonio beach and my first ever stay at a hostel. Stay tuned! Tis all for now, I miss all of you lovely Canadians back at home. Much love or shall i say Mucho Amor?
Be Healthy, Be Happy, Be Chic.
xx Neda xx