Sunday, March 29, 2009

Making the Most of Every Moment

Yesterday I said goodbye to my host mom before heading off to the beach for the day. It was indeed a sad moment. My host mom has been the best any international student could ask for. I know I went into enough detail in the previous post but I can't help but not think about leaving all the time. Being on the beach helped me to not think about leaving so much and so will being in Montezuma and Mal Pais Monday-Thursday. It's a sensitive subject for me and I have to say everytime it was brought up yesterday I was on the verge of tears talking about it. I'm really going to miss this place, this tropical country that I've called home for the last 3 months. This is a place I want to come back to and to visit those that I've come to know so well. I even have some friends from Guatemala and Mexico that have extended and invitation for me to stay with them if I visit those countries. I'll just have to mkae it happen.

Today I'm keeping it low key. I safely made it to Krystal's apartment and am hanging out while she's at work. Then bright and early tomorrow we'll be on our way for my last trip in Costa Rica. Updates will for sure come Thursday when I get back, hopefully. Otherwise you'll probably hear from me when I'm back in the states. Crazy to think 5 days from now I'll be home. It'll be a nice feeling but a hard one at the same time. I afraid of dealing with the culture shock at home and I hope it's not too unbearable. At least I'll have others to turn to in case it's too unbearable.

Hasta Luego!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Saying My Goodbyes

Tonight is the last night I'll be spending in the host house that has been my home for the last 3 months. I've had a blast in this house and if it weren't for my host family I know that my study abroad experience would have been completely different. They were amazing and kind and the best international family could ask for. Ashlee and I got the better end of the host families and there will never be a moment where we won't be grateful for all they've given us. I'm gonna miss Marjorie, my host mom with the amazing cooking skills and the best second mom one could ask for. Jerry, Marjorie's husband, who you could talk to about anything and he'll offer the best advice one could ask for, not to mention he knows just about anything there is to know about Obama. Memo, the spunky dog with the small dog complex. I won't miss being woken up at 5 a.m. because he's ready to go for a walk and doesn't care who he wakes up bit I will miss how cute he is with his obsession over bread. And I can't forget fluffy, my feline friend who was there for me so I didn't miss my cat as much. The Siamese cat has slept with me a few times and took advantage of sprawling out on me when I watch tv. The cute cat who is always looking for someone to rub her head, I'll miss her indeed. The house in Barrio Cordoba, a 15 minute walk to Veritas will be my second home I'll always remember. It'll be a bittersweet goodbye tomorrow morning when I take off. When I visit Costa Rica this will for sure be one of the stops. If you ever go to Costa Rica I'll tell you how to get to Marjorie's house so she can cook you one of the best meals you'll ever have.

Today was also the day I had to say goodbye to my friend Kirsten, whom I bonded with since the beginning. Kirsten and I are almost the same people and have shared our filled of laughs over the dumbest things. I'll miss that tall blonde girl with her blue eyes because her dad's a painter (ask me about that comment sometime). She lives in Colorado which is just far enough where I can't see her all the time but close enough to make a roadtrip doable in the near future. She's off traveling around Costa Rica with her family and won't be back in the states until after I get back but we hope to stay in touch and I'm glad we will. If we don't then I'll pissed over all the tears I shed today when she left.

Today's been a depressing day but tomorrow I'm spending the day at Playa Hermosa, one of my favorite black sand beaches near Jaco one last time. It is one of the most gorgeous beaches I have seen in Costa Rica and might as well go one last time before I leave. Then tomorrow night I'm off to stay at Krystals and then some traveling before I return to Nebraska a week from today. Sad days ahead but I'll always be able to look back at this experience and remember how amazing it was and how much I've changed because of it. I'll never forget the people I've met here and have help me feel at home in Costa Rica. The white girl from Nebraska has to return to her hometown eventually but this time she won't be so white.

Hasta luego!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

An Ode to the Man Who Sells Eggs from His Car

For the last 81 days I've been here I've always heard a man drive around my neighborhood spouting something off in his megaphone. Knowing little to no Spanish in the beginning and now knowing a good amount but nothing when a fastly worded phrase is thrown at me I never knew what he was saying. Until today. Today I figured it out. The man in the car wasn't advertising a political figure as I imagined in my head, the man is merely selling eggs. the key word was "huevos," the Spanish word for eggs. I also have heard my host mom talking about how sometimes she buys eggs from the man in the neighborhood if she forgets to get them at the farmer's market. This must be that man. So this blog post is dedicated to the man in the blue station wagon that drives around Barrio Cordoba selling eggs to those who need their supply of protein. I will miss the convenience of your egg selling ways.

Today wasn't a super busy day but tiring for sure. I spent the day working on my photography project due tomorrow. The last bit of work of my undergraduate career *gasp*. Then this afternoon was dedicated to purchasing souvenirs for various members of my family. Some people were easy and others, are just plain difficult to buy for. Spent a good amount of time in the Central and Artisan markets trying to find a good deal. I hope the people receiving gifts from Costa Rica will enjoy them. I hope they will since I've spent 3 months pondering over the right gift. If they don't well, then I wouldn't mind it for myself.

Received yet another care package today. That brightened up my day. Exciting to see some American snacks filled within it that will be put to good use at the beach next weekend for sure.

Tonight is the ISA farewell dinner. This will be the last time that the Winter 2 ISA group will all be together. Most people will be heading home on Saturday so of course, it'll be a bit sad to see everyone one last time. Tomorrow is the last day of classes and then the last days of the beach. Sad days indeed. Plans for this weekend include just a day trip to Playa Hermosa one last time in order to save my money for the 4 day trip to Montezuma next week. I'm excited.

At first I was worried that I was going to be homeless on Saturday evening because my host parents are going out of town for a vacation and I was hoping to be able to stay at my friend's house for the night but that didn't work out either. I was relieved to find out that Krystal will be home on Sat evening and I'll be able to head over to her place a day early. Quite exciting and such a relief! The last resort would have been to find a hostel nearby for the night but that would have meant paying $12 that I could use foro next week's beach trip. All worked out though so I can sleep better tonight knowing.

9 days until I'll be back in the states. Oh man!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Adventure at the Beach

Spent the weekend at Playa Dominical. I have to say I really liked the vibe at that small beach town. Gorgeous beach, gorgeous sunset, an existing night life but not too crazy and just an overall relaxing feel. Krystal and I began our adventure to the beach on Friday. We wanted to take the 10:30 bus but ended up taking the noon bus. We were ok with that because it gave us time to catch up in the bus station. Unfortunately there are no direct busses from San Jose to Playa Dominical so the fastest way was taking a bus from San Jose to San Isidro. The reason we wanted to take the 10:30 bus was so we could catch the connecting bus from San Isidro to Dominical. Well once we arrived in San Isidro we realized that a 30 car ride takes 2 hours by bus because of all the stops, not to mention the bus leaves from a different station than the one we arrived at. We decided to splurge and take a taxi, I take that back, Krystal decided to treat me and we took a taxi. We just wanted to get there and be able to see the sunset in time.

We successfully made it to Dominical despite the taxi driver's need to drive fast on the curvy road to the beach. We checked into our room at the Tortilla Flats, a cute and small hotel on the beach. Literally a 2 minute walk to soft grayish sand. Gorgeous. We lounged, watched the sunset and just hung out. Then the adventure really came. In our room Krystal's bed, the double bed was for some reason infested with ants. We even sprayed down the bed with raid and they seemed to want to stay, for whatever reason. After inquiring about moving to a different room we were told we'd have to find another hotel because they were booked for the night. After being offered a discount we decided to stick it out.

The next morning we awoke with a few ant bites and the immediate need to move to a different room. Lucky for us one was available. The rest of the weekend went smoother. Plenty of time on the beach and plenty of relaxing time as well. It was hard to fully relax this weekend because I kept thinking about all the things I have due this week. Not really THAT much but a bulk of my overall grade in both of my electives. I wasn't looking forward to this week at all.

Not only is basically everyone in the program leaving this week but I have an 8-10 page paper due tomorrow (also my last paper of my college career) and a 10 photo photography project about tropical flowers. I was told to find flowers that were less obvious but I have neither the time nor the patience to go out of my way to find less obvious flowers. I understand the idea I just can't be bothered. Not a big concern of mine at the moment. I just finished my paper, of which I've been working on all day. Hopefully it'll be edited soon and will be fabulous. Then tomorrow I have to briefly put together a presentation to talk about my paper, or I could just wing it, I haven't decided yet. It's only an 8 minute presentation so I could probably wing it.

All I gotta do is get through this week and then it'll be a day trip to Jaco on Saturday, most likely Playa Hermosa and then a Monday-Thursday trip to Montezuma and Mal Pais with Krystal for my last hoorah in Costa Rica before I fly out on the 3rd. Que triste! I know the time will go by fast. In the mean time I'm going to enjoy every minute left. Hasta luego!

Album 1

Thursday, March 19, 2009

One of Many Goodbyes

One of my first favorite foods my host mom made us were bean and cheese empanadas. Tonight was the last night I'll get to eat those delicious, delicious homemade pockets of amazingness. I tried to get the recipe from her but I'm afraid mine won't turn out as delicious as they've been here. I ate 4 empanadas for dinner, a record for me since I've been here. I guess I figured if this was going to be the last time I'll eat them that I might as well live it up. My host dad, Jerry spiffed up the plate for the photoshoot, he's a pretty awesome chef as well so he couldn't help it.

It's still surreal my time is almost up. I know I keep saying that but it is. It probably won't set in until I'm flying out of San Jose and by then will be followed by endless tears. Next week will mark the last week of my college career. After next week, no more classes for me. My last photo project and my last college paper will all commence next week. That's even more of a crazy thought. I can't believe that not only will I be back in the states but graduating no less. Granted, I'll get to hang out for a bit, hopefully find a job and relax before the actual graduation ceremony but it's a nice feeling that I won't need to be rushing around the last few weeks to get papers done, tests taken and any other loose ends taken care of, I have a month to do it instead.

This weekend I'm headed to the beach, again. Might as well while I have the chance. I'm going to Dominical with Krystal. I've been wanting to go for awhile now, and I'm also going to try to budget seriously this weekend so not only my money lasts through the trip but also so I don't blow it all away before I get back since it'll probably be awhile before I not only get a job but get paid as well, and unfortunately everything costs money. I'm trying not to think about that part though, I just want to enjoy the rest of my time in Costa Rica. There's still a lot to get done here. I even still have presents to purchase. Hopefully I can get most of it done this week so I don't have to worry about it the last week when I'll mostly be traveling. Oh man, it'll be nice to see everyone back home but it's going to break my heart leaving here.

Every moment feels like my last here. I'm just glad I was able to enjoy every opportunity that I've had. See you after the weekend! Hasta luego!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patty's Day

Again, I've been meaning to post but have been distracted by other things. It's allowed ok.

First of all the day in Jaco was fabulous. It was a nice last day in Jaco, because I'm guessing I won't have another chance to take a sweet 2 1/2 hour bus ride to a beach so close and so pretty. It was a really hot day and the water wasn't very cold, which didn't offer much as a refreshment but all in all it was a nice trip. We were all exhausted by the time we got back.

The last couple days have been dedicated to working on a final paper and a final project I have due in my two elective classes. The class I have a final paper due in I also have to do a presentation and 2 of my sources are surveys so today I was diligently passing out surveys like they were nobody's business so I could have time to compile the results and work on my paper. Not too stressful and definitely not as stressful as finals week at UNL, so I can't complain much.

This weekend I'm heading up to Playa Dominical to relax for the weekend with one Krystal O. I've only had a chance to hang out with her one other time since being here so it sounds to be a nice weekend. We're going to be staying at a hotel on the beach that's only $15 a night, which you cannot complain about one bit. Come Friday morning we will embark on our adventure there and hopefully sometime during the stay get some surfing in as well. I'm excited and I know Krystal is as well.

People in Costa Rica don't really do much to celebrate St. Patrick's day but I'm sure one of the few Irish pubs in San Jose do. That's where a bunch of us are headed tonight, Stan's Irish Pub to enjoy some (hopefully) St. Patrick's day specials. I don't have class tomorrow so it'll be nice to hang out, unwind and have fun. The countdown is about 2 1/2 weeks which is creeping up faster and faster as the days go by. Before I know it I'll be home and won't know what to do with myself.

Speaking of not knowing what to do with myself I was confused when I turned on my cell phone to look up a phone number. I can't believe I'll have gone 3 months without using a cell phone. And frankly, I'm not complaining. It's been nice to not have someone try to get a hold of you at all times or to always have the convenience of calling someone. Granted there are those times where it's nice to call someone in that moment but for the most part it's much more peaceful not being able to. Little things like that I think might get to me when I'm home, that and using American currency again. I have a feeling it might feel foreign to me for the first few days. I'll just have the instinct to calculate what it would be in colones and find the appropriate amount in colones. I just know it's going to happen to me at least once or twice when I'm initially home.

It's down to the wire here. I'm constantly reminded of how much time I have left and it's crazy that it all went by so fast. I'm for sure going to miss this place and already have plans to come back, it will indeed happen! Other than that, life in Costa Rica couldn't be more fabulous. No regrets or complaints here. Just living the life.

Hasta luego!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

70 Days and Still Going Strong

Wow, I've been in Costa Rica for 70 days!!! Who would have thought this would have been possible? Not me, that's for sure. 3 weeks from yesterday and I will be home. I'm not ready to leave, that's for sure. I already know I want to come back. When I come back I want to bring my friends with me and show them around. I think I will forever be looking up flights to Costa Rica so I can one day in the very near future come back. I've started to realize that I only have 2 weeks left with the people who have helped me call this place home. I've started to let it set in now so I'm not so much of an emotional wreck when I have to leave.

To start it off see below a photo of one of my favorite meals my host mom has cooked here. Everyday I'll try to post photos of my favorites here because it's the same thing as making a list that I need to say goodbye to. Now keep in mind this is not just ANY pasta, this is the pasta I crave at least every week or every two weeks. A simple tomato based sauce (fresh tomatoes that is) add in some fresh cilantro and some cheese and I tell you this is the pasta I make sure I fill up on because it's that good. This is also probably the pasta I will have a recipe to bring back, which might be tough since my host mom tends to just cook based on instinct and doesn't really measure stuff out. Sound familiar mom?

It was like my host mom read my mind today because I was craving it practically all week and for sure today! So excited to have it for dinner and now so full from it.

Tomorrow is a day trip to Jaco (only 2 hours from San Jose) to continue my nice Latin American tan. A nice relaxing day on the beach is what I need since Nebraska is conveniently land-locked. I just hope it's warm when I get back because I left during the winter for a reason. Hopefully there will also be plans for the beach next weekend and all other free time after that, gotta get in all the ocean I can. For now I'm slowly going to start saying my goodbyes. I can't deny that I have to leave and the longer I deny it the harder it will be when it comes time to leave. It'll be a bittersweet goodbye but it'll also be nice to see everyone I've been missing in the states. See you all in less than 3 weeks!!

Hasta luego!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Life is What You Make It

This week has been pretty content, which I'm ok with. Well I take that back, all week I've felt like I'm missing a part of me. It's also because my watch, that if you know me I wear all the time, broke this weekend in Tamarindo. Somehow it got water behind the glass and faded away the display. Sad story of my life. Good thing my mom kept the receipt so I can return it since it's um, only like 3 months old. Stupid watch. I've been trying to get by this week without one but it sucks not knowing the time during the majority of the day and constantly having to ask people what time it is. I have a clock on my ipod but it's not really something you can just easily glance at. You have to physically take it out of your bag to check, such a pain and not worth the hassle. Hopefully I'll get by for the next 3 weeks here. I'm sure I'll survive but it's still a bit rough, not gonna lie.

This week I had a professor tell me to stop being an overachiever. I'm not sure how I'm supposed to take that. As in I'm not sure if he was just joking or serious. What he doesn't understand is when I'm in student mode I have a need to stay in good student mode. It's been a routine that had been ingrained in me since I was little, I probably also get some of it from my mom ;). Anyways I was a little offended because I wasn't trying to be an overachiever I was just trying to explain my thoughts about a particular source I'm working on for a paper in this class. I'm by no means trying to overachieve it I'm just really excited about this topic and I want to write a good cohesive paper on it, which is a rare occurence in my college career. Maybe he just doesn't understand my student moral code. I guess he's not the only one that's been judging me on actually trying in my classes even though I don't need the credits. I'm not going to spend a fortune studying abroad and screw over the classes and waste the money just becuase I don't need the credits. I'm sorry but that's not what I came here for. I've been receiving a bit of crap from a few people the entire time I've been here about how I care too much about my classes and blah, blah, blah that I've had my limit. Good thing there are only 2 weeks of classes left. That way I can just get my assignments done and people can stop worrying about me.

The last few weeks have been a little frustrating for me and I'm not sure if it's just because of me or what. I've felt like my host mom isn't taking too kindly to me much anymore. Again, I don't know if it's just me or not but it seems like she's taken more to Ashlee and seems to favor her a little more. I mean these observations are subtle things I pick up on. I guess it's kind of hard to explain but the point is at first it really bothered me and now I just don't care anymore. She's been nice to me when she's needed to be and maybe I was seeing something that wasn't there but for this to be a consistent feeling I don't think I'm making anything up. Hopefully these last 2 weeks will still be worth coming here. If not, maybe I'll still keep in touch every now and then. We'll see. I'm not keeping my fingers crossed.

Today one of our professors were telling us that we need to start saying our porper goodbyes to the things important to us here so it's not as overwhelming when we leave. Even though I'll be traveling the last week here, in 2 weeks I won't see the people I've been taking classes with for 3 months anymore. That's a sad thought. I've meet some amazing people and at least a couple I plan on continuing my friendship with after I leave. I'm scared to think of the culture shock I'm going to be going through when I get home. I'm afraid it'll be harder to cope with than here. It'll be a roller coaster of emotions I'm sure but I'll get through it. It'll be nice being home and seeing my friends. Getting a job and having a steady income again will also be a nice perk. And especially seeing my family. I've missed them the most here and I'll be happy to be with them again. I'm glad I made the decision to come here. Now that I can evaluate the majority of my trip I can without a doubt say that this was the best decision I made during my college career. I would love to be a study abroad advisor just so I can make sure college students don't miss out on this opportunity.

Alright enough with the deep blog post. Hasta luego, I'll see you all soon!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Only Time Will Tell

This week is going to be an exciting week, I can feel it. I can't divulge any details now but I'm sure in short order all will be out in the open.

Today at the gym was probably one of the best runs I've had in awhile. I think there was a nice combination of my running off some steam in conjunction with trying to out run the random aching my ankle has been doing. It's been on and off a little sore. It must still be a little off from when I rolled it in November. Stupid stairs in my apartment.

I felt like I had something I wanted to blog about today and have been meaning to all day but now the thought has escaped me. Oh well. I'll just ramble. Classes as usual today. Again, trying to soak up every moment here. It's nice to only have classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays now. I do like my free days that come on the days I don't have class. More time to get other things done. Now I'm just busy trying to finish up and get going on final projects/papers for my only 2 classes this month. Then before I know it, I'll be home, then to attempt to get a job in the somewhat real world, or any job really.

I've gotten into Sudoku here. I always said I never understood it and never got it, until I tried out some puzzles here, and now I'm hooked. I have a sudoku book I've been cracking into every now and then.

I just found out my brother started a blog. Welcome to Brandon to the blog world. is the site if you want to know everything and anything there is to know about Husker sports. Trust me, this kid knows his sports. I've heard his ramblings many a time and I don't even know where most of it comes from. Amazing really. So check it out if you are into the Husker sports scene, he'll give you the 411 for sure.

Off to bed so I can get up for the gym in the morning. I've been promised an adventurous day tomorrow so I'm excited for the outcome.

Hasta luego!

Monday, March 9, 2009

As Luck Would Have It

This weekend was probably one of the best weekends I've had at the beach since being in Costa Rica. This weekend my friend Kirsten and I went to Playa Tamarindo, a 6 hours bus ride from San Jose. Not too bad of a ride, but long enough to not want to be on the bus a minute longer after it arrives at said destination. We left at 11:30 on Friday and were more than stoked, especially since it had been a little chilly and cloudy in San Jose all week. We were definitely ready for sun and beach. When we arrived we were approached by an American that lives there who asked us if we had a place to stay. Prior to arriving we had made reservations at a hostel and told him so. He told us that he rents out apartments here and had one available and offered us a ride to our hostel if we looked at his apartment first. We agreed, I was under some impression that maybe he was trying to get us to invest in a timeshare or something. We arrived at the apartment that was furnished, had a private bathroom and kitchen with dishes at our disposal. The best part was he was going to rent it out to us for $10 a night. The hostel we were going to stay at was $12 a night that was in a dorm room with 3-5 others we didn't know and possibly a private bath. Plus this apartment had a sweet pool as well. We decided to take the apartment with it's amazing view of the ocean because it was such a sweet deal. We were excited to start our weekend off with an awesome start.

After we settled we went to get some groceries to make meals so we could save money on eating out all the time. Kirsten made some macaroni and cheese and I had a cup of noodles because it sounded so good. Plus, if you know me you know my appreciation for ramen noodles. Our new friend we met from the bus came and visited us later that night to hang out. We also ended up testing out the pool and all it's amazingness. At night there were 3 frogs that decided to swim with us in the pool as well, which was kind of fun. The night was topped off with Batman Begins on TV, which we could not miss.

Saturday was dedicated to beach day. The apartment also rents boards for $5 which we only rented one since they were so massive. We trekked our long board down to the beach to catch some waves at some point in the day. Our new friend, Chris met up with us on the beach just after we arrived and caught some rays with us as well. Kirsten and I attempting to do a bit of surfing but the waves weren't very strong nor were they very consistent. We were content with just hanging out and enjoying the cool water to cool off. Saturday night we went to dinner with Chris at a nice Mexican restaurant. The food took forever to prepare but it was delicious and totally worth it, a bit on the spicy side too, which is a first here I think. After dinner we hung out at Chris' hostel before we met up with Sarah (our friend from ISA) and her boyfriend. We all went to a bar nearby that seemed to play just about every 90s rap song I happened to know. It was a done deal for me. Another late night swim was cut short due to it being a little chiller at night and a neighbor wanting to sleep because he had to work in the morning.

Sunday we had to check out before noon but we were able to keep our things in the landord's apartment. We headed to the beach to meet up with Sarah and her boyfriend, Zach and hoped to meet up with Chris as well. No sign of Chris but plenty signs of jellyfish hanging out in the shallow water. It was kind of cool seeing them swim like that but we were afraid of being stung. This was the first time I've seen jellyfish in the ocean and not at the zoo. Then we got to observe some cool mussels that were washed ashore by the tides. I also discovered I have some kind of fascination with sea animals because I was perfectly content just watching the mussels attempt their way back into the sand after being washed ashore. We caught our bus back to San Jose at 3 p.m. We had to buy more expensive tickets because the public bus back was already sold out on Saturday and this was all that was available for Sunday. That ticket set me back finacially a bit more than I hoped, but I'll just have to save somewhere else so I can still enjoy the heck out of my last month here. The bus back was nice though, more like a van and had AC. Can't complain.

Now I feel like I'm still recovering today. I'm still tired from the weekend. Being at the beach and in the sun, a lot is taken out of you, that's for sure. Not much major going on this week, just working on a few projects for class and just soaking up the culture even more. Below are links to photos if you are interested. Hasta luego!
Album 1
Album 2
Album 3

Thursday, March 5, 2009

60 Days and counting....

I've surpassed the 60 day mark in Costa Rica. Technically it was yesterday but it can be just between us. I've been meaning to blog the last couple days but have found myself caught up in other matter, so again I apologize to my faithful readers.

The last time I blogged I forgot about what I wanted to blog about and of course I remembered yesterday. So now I'm going to blog about what I meant to blog about: Mayonnaise.

Costa Ricans love mayonnaise. I don't know why and I don't think they know why but every Costa Rican loves to put mayonnaise on things you wouldn't think to put mayonnaise on. For example after leaving the clubs Saturday we made a late night visit to Taco Bell, not my idea I swear. While my friends braved the massive line I stayed at the table and people watched. I saw a group my age sit at a table near me and watched one of the males put globs of white stuff on each bite of his crunchwrap he was eating. At first I thought he maybe had a packet of sour cream and I wondered to myself when Taco Bell started giving out packets of sour cream because as far as I knew that didn't happen in the states. Then I caught a glimpse of the Hellman's mayonnaise logo and almost hurled a bit in my mouth. I could not imagine putting globs of mayonnaise onto basically a taco before EACH bite. I also don't care for mayonnaise on anything so the thought of putting it on everything makes me a little sick to my stomach. Again, baffled by this obession. They even like to mix it with ketschup (which is sweeter here) and dip whatever in it. Maybe they wanted to fill the void of sour cream so they discovered mayonnaise. I don't think I'll ever get used to it here.

In other news, I'm excited for my advanture to the beach this weekend. My friends and I are going to Tamarindo, a beach on the Pacific and I couldn't be more excited. My tan is starting to fade from my last trip to the beach 3 weeks ago. My plan is to continue my beach excursions for the last 4 weeks of my time here so my tan won't fade as fast in the states. Not that I have to have a tan but it would be nice. The goal is to also practice my surfing skills. I'm bound and determined to come back a fairly decent surfer, not like there's many places to practice in Nebraska but you never know.

Other than that, I'm just trying to soak up every last minute here. Before I know it I'll be home and job hunting and then graduating. Scary thought, entering the real world. I hope I'm at least somewhat prepared but I have a suspicious feeling that I won't be and it's gonna suck when it all hits. Good thing I'm trying not to think about it here. Here's to enjoying my graduation present to myself!

Hasta luego!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Speed Kills

I'm not sure I've blogged about this before and if I have then I'm going to again. Let me mention now that the drivers in Costa Rica are terrible. See in the states we have this security called "pedestrians have the right of way" that rule must only exist in the states because pedestrians never have the right of way here, the drivers do. I think the drivers get extra points if they hit a pedestrian or scare them so badly that their life flashes before their eyes. My Costa Rican professor claims that since Costa Rica is so calm in general, the Costa Rican drivers release their anger when they drive, which I would believe in a heartbeat. We have to cross a highway everyday to get to and from school and although it may take awhile to get across I'm glad I make sure no cars are in sight before I cross because there are times when you think you have enough time to cross but before you know it you are hightailing your butt across the street to avoid being it, scary indeed. When I get back to the states I am going to be an expert street crosser from all this experience.

Today is day one of my 5-day attempt to work out. I figure now that I have my mornings free I might as well be productive and get to the gym more. I also think I'm going to try to volunteer at the school near my house or at an orphanage near the school. I have one month left and thus, I need to make every second count because before I know it I'll be home wishing I were here. Although if I went home tomorrow I would definitely leave satisfied. So I'm glad I have an month left. My goal is to master surfing, learn more Spanish, make some sort of an impact on the community, and to leave with no regrets. I hope I can accomplish those for sure.

Today has been a pretty lazy day, but I'm also ok with that. I went to the gym around 12 today and I've been helping my host mom with her computer since she just got internet access today. I think I'm gonna walk over to the grocery store near my house and get myself some crayons so I can do some long loved coloring. Nothing brings back your childhood memories like coloring a picture for someone. We'll see how that works out.

Hasta luego!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Lo Siento

I've been meaning to update for the past few days but seemed to have gotten caught up with finals and well stuff this past week. This weekend has been a good combination of productiveness and fun. Thursday I had a nice surprise and received a care package in the mail with many goodies, including Cheez-Its. Just about the best thing that was in that box, among many other awesome goodies. Pretty sweet day brightener if I do say so myself. I've been munching on some of the goodies off and on since I received it. I guess it's a good thing I'm still going to the gym otherwise I would probably be gaining weight. Maybe I am, after weighing myself at the gym once and knowing the scale was wrong because I have never weighed that much in my life, I've refused to step on it again. I think it was off by 12 pounds.

Friday was the ultimate Spanish final. I was a little nervous about it, not gonna lie. It didn't turn out to be as bad as I had thought but I guess I can be the judge of that when I find out the grade I got on it. Thankfully we started right away thus giving me plenty more free time once I finished. This was also my last Spanish final of the program because since I chose to take 2 electives then I was only allowed to take 2 Spanish classes. I'm ok with this because we learned a good chunk of information last month so it'll be nice just to practice speaking this month and to remember more verbs and vocabulary.

One month, that's how much I have left. Crazy to think I'm 2/3 done with this program. I have a huge feeling this last month is going to fly by and then before I know it I'll be at home in a frantic search for a job since I'll mostly likely come back with little to no money. I'm ok with this fact here. Who knows when the last time I'll be in Costa Rica will be right? Might as well live it up as much as I can. Right?

Now onto the weekend updates. Again, the plan was to stay in San Jose in order to get homework done and save a bit of money for my last month of traveling I'll be doing. Success probably in both ways.....well maybe a bit more on the productive end than the saving money end. Friday night we originally had plans to go to the casino but they were changed from group majority to seeing a movie instead. We went and saw Slumdog Millionaire. The best part about living in Costa Rica is you can see current movies that are out for $3, and usually on Wednesday nights they are about $1.79. My goal is to try to catch up on the movies before I get back so I don't have to pay outrageous prices in the states. I would highly suggest seeing Slumdog Millionaire. I garuantee you whatever you think the movie might be about without reading any summaries, you are probably wrong. You just need to go out and see it for yourself and you will most likely enjoy it. And probably fall in love with the soundtrack, like I have.

Saturday was supposed to be, again, a productive day. I guess I can say that I got some reading done but I ending up mixing in a few naps with that as well. Saturday night became bowling night. It was kind of our fair trade to Nestor, a Venezuelan exchange student, for going to the movie the night before. Bowling was a blast. I can't even remember the last time I've been bowling. I also bowled terribly, but I've never been an excellent bowler. Afterwards we decided to hit up some of the bars/clubs. This was also the time everyone else in Costa Rica decided to go out becuase every place we went to was packed and had a huge line. We hopped back and forth until we decided to just wait in line at the original bar we stopped at. By the time we got there the line was down and we were able to get in right away. This bar was called "Retro" and had retro collectibles all over. They also played a nice mix of 80s music, which is fairly popular here. I also didn't end up gettin home until 4 a.m, which was also later than I had originally hoped. Oh well, I was able to sleep in today and I still had fun last night.

Today has been more focused on the productive part. I've gotten everything else I wanted to get done this weekend except writitng the rough draft of a paper I have due on Tuesday. I don't know how I want to start it. I just need to jump into it and get it done. It's just a rough draft so it's not like it has to be perfect. No biggie.

Now that I don't have Spanish the plan is to go to the gym 5 days a week in the mornings since I have more free time. Should be an awesome work out month, that's for sure.

57 days and still going.....

Here's to making this last month count! If any of you readers out there want to mail me anything you should get it in the mail soon because most times it'll take 2-3 weeks to get here, sometimes less but that's few and far between.

Hasta luego!