Today I am sitting in a small sandwich shop about 500m from school. I have a long break in between classes on Mondays and this place has really good food, friendly employees and it is a great place to blog. The last two weeks in Costa Rica have gone by fast! I live with a wonderful Costa Rican family, have become familiar with public transit and LOVE the coffee here. The school that I attend has the most beautiful view of the mountains and it is truly amazing everyday. I am grateful for this opportunity to study language and learn about Costa Rican culture this summer.
My classes are pretty intense during the week and I look forward to the weekend excursions to enjoy the natural beauty of Costa Rica. I have visited El Rincon de la Vieja in Guanacaste Province and this past weekend Manuel Antonio Nation Park in Puntareanas. During the week my classmates and I travel to a local language school to practice Spanish with students who are learning English. During these exchanges no one speaks “perfect” anything, but we do work hard to listen, pick up on context and build our confidence in our language skills. What I have observed here in Costa Rica is that when learning a new language and especially in a new culture your 5 senses are a critical facilitator of learning. I rely on my eyes and ears so much in Costa Rica. I can not always speak what I want and at times that is a disadvantage. However, when I can not speak I think–and I try to think in Spanish. This type of reflection and learning has lead me to keep a journal of words I do not know. After long days commuting to school, spending hours in class and navigating my way around the last thing I want to do is homework or recall my new vocabulary, but I found it a great time to engage with my host family. I am usually seated at the dinner table with my homework and having conversations with “mi hermana tica.” She is learning English and I am learning Spanish and there is about a 15 year age difference between us but that doesn’t matter. We share good food, laughs and lesson and I am appreciative of it all! Over all I am having a great time in Costa Rica. Here is a selfie as proof 😉