My First Weeks (Sarah in Costa Rica)

School has been so crazy, yet so much fun! I met my host family last Saturday, and honestly I can’t believe I was so worried about it. They are so loving and kind and fun, that it’s actually starting to feel like home. I call my host mom, “mom” but as for my host dad, I still refer to him by his first name because he’s kind of intimidating even though he’s also really nice.

It’s really hard for me to get wifi here, so sorry for the sporadic posting. However, just know, that at the Jade Museum, there was the cutest miniature clay goat made by the Olmecs around the year 200. They actually had hundreds of super adorable figurines but you’ll have to come to Costa Rica to see them for yourself!

As for school, I didn’t know I could pay money to be forced to learn things, and love it this much! We have Spanish from 8-12 in the morning and “Latin American Perspectives on Justice and Sustainable Development” from 1-5 every day. We don’t have every weekend off but honestly I’m loving everything we’re doing. Spanish is kind of hard, but since I’ve learned all the grammar already, it’s kind of a nice review. Our teachers took us into San Jose so we could find our way around if we ever wanted to go into the city, and we just had “La Fiesta de Frutas” (The Festival of Fruits), and learned about all of the different fruits that grow in Costa Rica, that don’t even exist in supermarkets in the US. My two favorites are Cas/Kas and Guanabana. Super yummy and even yummier in juices.


My school — isn’t it adorable?!

Spanish is frustrating because I know most things, it just takes hours to try and figure out how to say it. But my afternoon class is where all the fun is at. We’ve been learning about the concept of development, the history and contemporary issues of Costa Rica, land and natural resources, church, state and gender, agriculture and certification, colonialism, and economic systems, and we aren’t even two full weeks into the program. This past Monday, we got to take a trip to the edge of the mountain surrounding the city, to tour an organic coffee plantation and learn all about how coffee is grown, and the challenges of growing organic. Then, our scientist professor named David showed us how to use soil samples, observations, and interviews to determine the Land Use Capacity (what you can and can’t do with the land) of the cattle grazing land next to the coffee plantation. It was awesome, and I’m totally going to do it at home to determine the Land Use Capacity of my backyard. Woot! Science!
For more information on the Environment and Sustainable Development in San José, Costa Rica program visit the MCompass page.

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