Thursday, February 21, 2013

La Vida Tica

So when I wake up tomorrow, I will have been here for 7 days.  It's hard to believe it's already been 7 days yet has only been 7 days.  My ability to keep up with time has escaped me which might be a good thing to live in Central America but I know tomorrow is Friday which means WYLD LIFE night!  I'm sure there will be stories and possibly pictures from the Hobbit themed club but we'll have to wait and see.  Until then, let's recap this week. 

My host family has been great.  I haven't taken any pictures with them yet but I promise there will be stories and pictures to come about them.  I have a host brother named Luis who is 10 and might be one of my favorite people ever.  We like to play games - I taught him War and Slap Jack - and watch tv together.  He likes to explain everything to me and keeps me very entertained.  Since I was the youngest in my family I never had the experience of a younger sibling but so far I like this kid.  I also have two Tica sisters (Tica means Costa Rican).  One is in college and the other is my age.  So far communication with them has been a bit of a challenge but things are starting to settle in.  I also have a host mom named Doña Ana who has taken great care of me and cooks really well!  

Saturday night Ella and I went to the 32nd Anniversary party for Vida Joven in Costa Rica.  It was, of course, a neon party.  The picture below is of the Costa Rican Young Life team plus Ella and me.  There are three interns, Tiffany, Sarah and Elena that have been here since August and will leave in June.  Jessie (the other pelirroja) and Alex are on staff here in San Jose.  They work with the middle school and high school kids of the international schools here in San Jose and have invited Ella and I to be a part of their team while we are in language school.  

On Tuesday, we were sent out on "Mission San José" which was like a scavenger hunt without a map or clues to get around...So really we just wandered the city until we happened upon a few of the major landmarks in the city.  

First stop, frapuccinos. 

Isn't your manger scene still up in the middle of your city too? 
My beautiful teammate in front of the National Museum (that we didn't go in). 

Call me crazy but I love artistic graffiti - not to be confused with vandalism. 
We had had our fill of Tica food lately so we treated ourselves to a little Pizza Hut. 
 Finished the day of being a tourist with a picture at the bus stop. 

 The parents of one of the interns, Elena, were visiting this past week so we were invited to eat dinner with them on Tuesday night.  Elena's mom used to be a chef for people in California so it was definitely a good home cooked meal.  This was the view from their hotel which may have been one of the best I've seen of the city this week.

All in all, I would say my first week in CR has been great and I am looking forward to settling in more. I have felt so cared for by the team here, my host family and the few friends and family I've been able to chat with.  Next Monday language school starts and the adventures continue. 

Abrazos de la Casa Amarilla. 

Friday, February 15, 2013


I made it to Costa Rica and I wanted everyone in the airport to know what I was doing...but no one asked...BUT YOU KNOW!  Let me just remind you, I'm in Costa Rica for language school through August (even though my Tica - Costa Rican - host mom just told me my Spanish is already good!) so don't be confused as to why this blog is called the redhead in Nicaragua because it's all part of the journey.

I want to be insightful and reflect on the process of getting fully funded and moving to Costa Rica within a month but I'm tired.  The things I want you to know right now is that my host family (one of many at this point) is great.  My host brother Luis has taken it upon himself to entertain me with YouTube videos & tv in Spanish - he's in 5th grade.  My host sister Brenda made me dinner and showed me around the house.  And my host mom Doña Ana is already taking care of my cough that I brought with me.  It's going to be a great time in the Casa Amarilla.

Language school doesn't start until the 25th so I'll be getting to know the neighborhood with my host family and the YL staff here in San Jose.  Tomorrow is the anniversary of Vida Joven in Costa Rica so they're having a neon dance party with 200 barrio (neighborhood) kids & staff/volunteer leaders. - That just solidifies what some of the Raleigh crew was saying at my going away party last week that YL folks always wear neon.  I didn't believe it until right now.

Thank you for your prayers.  It's the only explanation of the smooth start to this big adventure.  I am so thankful for each and everyone of you who have helped me in every and any way to get to this point.  If I think about it too much + I'm running little sleep = I might cry.  Just know, you rock more than you will ever really understand.

Con mucho amor desde la Casa Amarilla.