Feliz Fin de Semana!
Our first weekend in La Fortuna! After so much travel and the first week of school, I was so ready for this weekend to come! On Friday we only had classes until 10AM, due to the fact that the person cutting the school grass (with a machete, naturally) burst a pipe outside the school and there was no water. We were told that Costa Rican schools were randomly closed early or had days off for random reasons, and I wouldn’t be surprised if many of them are machete related! Seriously, having machetes at school at all just seems muy loco y peligroso to me.
We hung around with some muchachos after class. It is incredible how many students want to talk to us and get to know us. Some students started giving us stickers and by the end of the day our shirts were covered in stickers! One little girl (a first grader) came into the English office with a card for both me and Ross, it had a drawing of the two of us (me with yellow hair and Ross with his blue and white striped shirt) and it said “Los Quieros todos”. I don’t even think the Spanish is correct but she meant to write “I love you both”- too cute!
After leaving school we went for a long run around our puebla and then came back and did yoga on the front porch with our host mom and brother. The running here is great, but I’m hoping to try to get in some earlier morning runs once we have our schedule down. The afternoons have been really, really hot and sunny which is nice but not for exercising in! The family got a kick out of our yoga moves, and tried their best to keep up! Despues yoga we had cafecito and made baked pina (pineapple) empanadas from scratch (they were delicious hot and right out of the oven, the Costa Rican version of PopTarts!)
We all sat outside Tico style and watched the sunset behind the volcano.
We spent Friday evening having dinner with the family and then playing Scrabble, the Spanish version of course- Thank goodness for prepositions consisting of dos lettras, or I wouldn’t have made it very far. It’s still incredible to me how exhausting thinking and speaking in Spanish all day can be. I nearly fell asleep during the game, and was in bed by 10pm. Amigas, you will be happy to know that I did manage to leave some time to do an at-home-facial and paint my toenails and do some pleasure reading (in English) before bed, pampering is required in Costa Rica too! La Fortuna has many spas that offer affordable massages and special treatments with the mud from the volcano, so I have a lot of fun things planned for when you all come visit me!
This morning (Saturday) we decided to make a big American breakfast for the whole family (our host dad Vincent even had a day off of work, which is rare, so he was here to enjoy too). We woke up early and went to to the super down the street to get our supplies. For breakfast we had scrambled eggs with spinach, tomatoes and Cheddar cheese (very rare and expensive here), Ross’ famous Donovan home-fries, multi-grain toast (also pretty rare here, everything is white bread and sugar) with strawberry jam and butter and a fruit salad consisting of fresh mango, melon and accidental plantains. We meant to buy bananas (rookie mistake), they look the same but taste very different (plantains are discusting raw). Our host mom saved the day though, but picking out all the plantains and saving them to fry later. Fried Plantains = muy rico. And of course orange juice and coffee (not American style coffee, Costa Rican cafe is mas mejor). Plantains aside, the American breakfast was a hit!
I realize how much I write about food on here, and it certainly points out how important food is to human beings universally. The whole food process, the learning, cooking and eating allows us to share a big part of our unique culture and learn more about others and it emphasizes the differences as well as similarities. I would never have thought to bake pina empanadas at home, but something about doing it here is felt so familiar and comfortable, the equivalent of baking chocolate chip cookies with family at home. I know I’ve mentioned how much I love having gallo pinto breakfast (and I really do) but having a big American breakfast this morning with our Costa Rican family was really nourishing to the soul as well as to the body for me.
Later tonight we are going into town to attend the fiestas in Fortuna that happen each year mid-February. I don’t really know what to expect, but I’ve heard a lot of good things about bull running, cheap beer and lots of dancing. Ciao!