Blog Post #3: Write a one page description of your living situation within Costa Rica and the differences between life in Maryland and life in Costa Rica.
Wow! I could write so much about this topic! I have been writing my parents and boyfriend multiple paragraph length emails about my life here! First off-just having my two feet in another country is a huge change and adventure! I live with a host family in Costa Rica. There is a mom, and her two children, and three Costa Rican students who rent rooms from the mom and attend a local university. I am the seventh person in the house, and it’s great! (I am getting the dorm experience I never had! All of the members of the house (except for the mom) are very close to my age. They are all very nice to me! Unfortunately, from day one, I am really struggling with the language barrier between myself and the family members. I am trying hard, however, they do not know much English and I don’t know a huge ton of Spanish, so it can be very stressful. My Spanish is sort of limited, so its hard to have conversations. However, my Spanish is improving at an INSANE rate!! (that’s what happens when you live and breath Spanish every second you are awake). I have my own room, and share a bathroom. My room is nice! Right now it’s a little weird, because I pretty much have to eat whatever is given. That is something different than my life in Maryland. However, I get a little more flexibility for lunch because we are at school. Some of the food is very good, some I have not liked. But—there are many foods I have already come to love! Leslie, Caroline, and I have been exploring local stores, and buying various different lunches.
I could write forever about the differences of life! You would be amazed though at the amount of similar things. As I noted above, my Spanish has already improved dramatically. The biggest difference from my life in Maryland is that everyone is speaking Spanish here! And my brain is constantly challenged, all day long! I have to speak, and try to understand everything that is said to me, in Spanish. However, the fact that I have already used the bus system, purchased groceries, exchanged money, ordered at a restaurant, and purchased a movie ticket….by myself…in Spanish, says a lot about my improved capabilities.
I am really glad Leslie and Caroline are here with me! They have been extremely helpful to me, because life in Costa Rica is so different. We get to walk to school together (that is also new—I get to walk everywhere, which I actually enjoy). We have Spanish class for 4 hours each day, and then other various school activities at ICADS, our school center. I am going to miss them when they move to their school placements. But-I am glad I am staying with my current host family!
Each day is a huge challenge, living life in Costa Rica. I feel that I am learning 10,000 new facts a day. It has been difficult to learn the route to school, and I get lost a lot. Everything in this country is new to me. Many people walk, and many people take the bus. It is also different for me to take the bus (instead of drive a car to places). But it’s fun! Its also different that most of my meals are just given to me. And my family wants to do everything for me, and I am not used to being “waited on.”
Anyways, life in Costa Rica has been a challenging, very fun adventure nonetheless! Everyday I make large gains in Spanish. And by living life here, I get to experience a new culture, and also directly experience the process of language acquisition, and how it feels to struggle with the language that everyone around you speaks so freely and fluently. I could write so much more, however, I know this is a blog post, not a book. I hope what I have written has satisfied your curiosity. If you have any questions about my life here, please feel free to e-mail! -Christine