The title of this blog is completely appropriate. "Adventures in Costa Rica," can be interpreted as many things thus far. I could begin by talking about day one, but instead I will tell the truths behind all of our experiences and "adventures" here in Sarapiquí, Costa Rica, of course from my perspective. I hope this blog post doesn't come off as me complaining. I first arrived with...an array of expectations, not necessarily high expectations, but just different expectations. Actually, honestly I wasn't sure what to expect at all. Initially, I will explain my house. The street is a dirt gravel road, located right next to our "university," Tirimbina. My house is simple, but beautiful, and my mother is a blessing. My family consists of my mom, my father, and my two younger sisters, Kisha and Yasudi, pronounced "yah-soo-di" - different, I know, but very fun to say. My house has three bedrooms, a dining room, a kitchen, a sitting room, and yes... a bathroom.
The differences I first noticed were the roof, and the bathroom. The roof is not attached, I can only assume for better air circulation because the temperature here feels like a mid-western summer...all the time. Which is nice when the facility located right next door to Tirimbina has an infinity pool :) I think we're all losing a little weight too considering that our diet doesn't have the possibility of consisting of cheeseburgers and french fries, instead those foods have been replaced by rice and beans, which I eat at every single meal, and love.
The bathroom experience for me was a little different. The "bathroom" consists of just a toilet, a colorful rug, and a trashcan. The trashcan isn't for your typical "lady products" either, instead it is for your used toilet paper. Yes, for those of you reading this that haven't experienced putting your soiled toilet paper in a trash can it seems disgusting, but with careful disposal, and a nice air freshener, its okay, and quite normal now. Secondly, the shower is located in a different room towards the back of the house. Lastly there is no sink in the bathroom, instead there is a sink located in a back room of the house. The sink has three separate parts. The center is always filled with water, so you must fill a bowl, put it in the sink to the left or right, and wash your hands in this small blue bowl. Its not bad, just different.
The sounds of my little sister crying, my mother yelling, "venga," (come here) and my father watching as much fútbol as he can, are sounds I much enjoy now. I feel like I'm living, I feel like I'm fitting in, and I have such a new respect for family life. For example, the name of my family is "Herra." There are six different Herra households located on my well lit, dog filled street. Almost all of the houses consist of a family related to my father. It is typical in Costa Rica that a female marries into the male family and then proceeds to have very close ties to her husband's family. I love how close the family is to each other. Every night, after a long day at school, I carefully walk home (trying not to fall over the large rocks in the street) to hear the sounds of my little "cousins" joyous laughter, and their mothers yelling at them to come inside to wash their hands for a hearty bean and rice filled dinner.
This experience thus far has been eye-opening, and I feel so blessed to be experiencing all of the good things, and bad things. And most of all, when I return to the United States I will be viewing life a little bit differently, knowing all of the things I have are not my necessities, but instead are my materials, I could live without. Life here is much simpler (sometimes it isn't for the better) much slower, and it teaches you how to breath, and how to see things...instead of just looking at them... like so many of us have become accustomed to doing.