Tuesday, November 15, 2011

At Last I am in Costa Rica

Costa Rica boasts their ecotourism and dedication to conservation. 25% of the country is protected national parks. Unfortunately , not all Ticas practices environmental behaviors. San Jose is busy with tons of people and car traffic and small stores. You see liter on the streets and the cars are not so eco friendly. Of course, I realize CR is a developing nation and they are not as wealthy as the US. I never felt so much like a foreigner till now. I’ve been to South America when I was 19 but that was with a school trip; that’s my only developing country visit.  Now I am solo and don’t know the language. I also never had American friends in a foreign country before. Two different sets of Portland couples I knew moved here recently.

It is so nice to know a familiar face in such a different country. Mo, my friend, met me at the airport to help me take the buses to his house. The buses are cheap and go everywhere. But trying to figure out which one to get on, where to get on, and when/where to get off is very tricky. CR does not display street names. Everything is off memorization and landmarks and they say we are located 300 meter from YXS park. But how do you know when to turn right, left, go up, etc is beyond me. The drivers barely speak English. If you run for one they will not wait. Even a local, old guy with a cane and one arm who was so darn close did not get a break.

San Jose was so busy. I only stayed one night and did not have a chance to take one photo!  I was a tad overwhelmed and exhausted mentally. One can only stay 90 days here however you can easily visit a nearby country and come back, but you must show when u enter that u are leaving the country in 90 days. They asked me before boarding my 2nd plane in NC. She saw I was leaving in exactly 90 days and said to me “ wow, you are living on the edge”….I am glad that I am spending so much time here to adjust and get familiar with the lingo and not be in such a hurry, especially b/c u need time to get to places. The roads are curvy and not all paved.

Mo explained to me that his neighborhood use to be a farm and all the housing plots are kept in the same family. The houses are gated, topped offed with barbwires. The residents even employ a security guard.  San Jose is not the prettiest part of CR and I am glad I will just be passing through to chill with friends and taking buses to visit other sections.

The 2nd day, I ventured on me own via two buses to beautiful valley of Orosi to take 2 weeks of Spanish, which I am happy I am doing. I was a bit nervous with the bus situation, as I don't know any Spanish. The 2nd bus driver forgot to tell me when to get off, only a 15 min delay. People try to talk to u even when u tell them u don't understand, so cute. Click here to see photos of my hostel in Orosi since I did not take any pix in San Jose.

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