My Spanish continues to leave a lot to be desired. I’m noticeably improving every day, but for now, even the simplest conversation is a trying process full of phrases like “Mas despacio, porfavor!” (very slow, please!), “Otra vez.” (Repeat that again.), and “Como?” (literally translates as ‘How?’ but basically means ‘What did you just say?!’).
|my first glimpses at the banana plantations|
Along the way, we witnessed many miles of Chiquita banana plantations, and the homes of the Nicaraguan immigrants who worked on them. These families lived in absolute squalor. Many of the ‘homes’ were simply sheets of thin black plastic suspended by rope around trunks of trees. I’ve been told that in Costa Rica, there is very little work for Nicaraguan immigrants outside of plantations, so they are forced to accept the difficult conditions and meager pay. From what I hear, it is still a far better option than remaining in Nicaragua. I know I’ll never look at a banana the same way.
|one of the better houses Nicaraguan plantation workers live in|
It turns out “circe de Nicaragua” was the Delta of Costa Rica, the highest peninsular point of the country where the San Juan river separates Costa Rica from Nicaragua. This was the first time my family (and our 80 something friend) had ever laid eyes on another country. Here I am, only 20 years old, and I’ve already planted my feet on the soil of six. The river was nice, but spending a whole day getting to know my new family was even better.