January 1st, 2013
around 1 a.m.
I am writing this in Costa Rica, at the beginning of the New Year, while fireworks explode all around the apartment we are temporarily staying in. (We'll later move to a permanent house that we'll stay in for the rest of the time.) Music is playing loudly across the street, and people are dancing. A few minutes ago, we watched the firework display that surrounded us from a balcony connected to our apartment with our Costa Rican friends, Edwin, Zeidy, and Monica. It was hard to know where to look, with constant fireworks that went off in all directions, demanding your attention! It was a perfect night to arrive, and it was almost like they were putting a welcome show for us! :) Some neighbors across the narrow street were setting off some big ones, and a few went off so close to us that some of us screamed (mainly the kids:) and ducked down; we could actually feel some of it falling on us! It was amazing to be so close to them. Also, you could see near the horizon, and even nearer to us, little glowing lights that seemed to float up into the sky and disappear. These were actually floating lanterns, like in the movie 'Tangled', and it was so cool to see them; they were beautiful!! And there were a lot of them too, you could see them rising up from the horizon.
Thankfully, the trip here was possibly the smoothest one I can remember, as we seem to have a large record of mishaps associated with flying. :) Our passports were all in order (thanks goodness!!) and we had no major delays! As our flight took off from KC this morning, it was just starting to snow. In Dallas, it had recently stopped raining. Then, when we got out of the airport here, it kinda like Spring, slightly humid, warm with a beautiful breeze. That's one of the things I love about Costa Rica: the weather. I love Spring, and here it almost always feels like that! And also the smell of the air, (when it's not polluted) is the best. The fact that I'm here is still kind of sinking in - driving back from the airport, in some parts of the city, I could imagine for a moment that I was still in Kansas City, or something like that. Except for the weather, all the signs and stuff in Spanish, and the palm trees that lined almost every street. Hahaha. All the trees are different here....more on that later.
Annie and I rode with Edwin, Zeidy, and Monica while the rest of the family rode in the van that had came to pick us up. It felt kind of like being dumped into a different world, suddenly surrounded by only Spanish. (Except for Monica some, who is 16, she knows a lot of English. But we mainly spoke Spanish with her too.) I just had to listen, and force my mind into all my Spanish that had been pushed back or forgotten. I feel like in just a short time I have begun to feel more comfortable with Spanish, improving and remembering.
I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year!! Welcome 2013! Costa Rica. What a great way to start the New Year.
Here's a video of the fireworks we saw from the balcony........
Here is the view from the plane window......
and the sunset....
my two sleepy cabin mates.....
around 9:30 a.m.
This morning I awoke to light from the window, then the amazing breeze and fresh air. I look out my window and the first thing I see is a large palm tree right outside! Also, a big rose bush with beautiful yellow roses. It's actually real! I'm still in Costa Rica! For a quick snack for breakfast I had some delicious mango juice, and one of my favorite CR chocolate bars called a "Yipy". Yippee!! I took these out to the walled-in patio that is our backyard, with my book, and read for a good while in the morning air. There's a palm tree out here too :) And a lot of flowers. The backyard is really only about 15 ft. by 15 ft., but it is so nice.
Today we visited the park, which is right down the street, only like 100 feet away. :) Edwin drove us over to their house and we had breakfast and spent a lot of the day with them. We also walked up to see the house we will be staying in for the rest of the time.
Some notable events of the day......
- Charlie found 50 colones on the street, which is worth about a dime.
- Annie, Monica, and I played an exhilarating game of volleyball laying down on our beds with a green balloon, in which Monica fell off the bed twice. :)
We got to move into our house today! It's a pretty nice size, and once we got used to it, we love it!! I love the feeling of the open windows that let the air run through the whole house. We went to the park for a bit, but the whole day was mostly spent settling in, and unpacking. For dinner we went to a Brazilian pizza place called Paulista's. It was great! On the way home we got some groceries and bread for the next day. It was fun getting to walk everywhere!
Papaya for breakfast. Interesting, but not too bad. :) Also eggs and some delicious bread from the bread shop. They were like apple cinnamon rolls! My mom went to ILE (the Spanish learning Institute) for her first orientation, which lasted for the whole day. Her classes start on Monday. Us kids plus our dad went on a walk through the city, to two different parks, which were beautiful! One of the parks has a running track that goes around it, and we are planning to use that a lot. :) Around lunch time we came back home. We have two neighbors, one on each side, that both go to the Institute. One of the families has four children, two girls and two boys: Tayler, almost 13, Tori, 8, Clayton, 11, and Cody, 7. So we swapped Charlie for Tayler and Tori, and got to know them for the whole afternoon! They are really fun, and we taught them how to play Dutch Blitz :) It will be really fun to have neighbors with kids our age!
These first few days have been wonderful, so peaceful. I love the lifestyle, and can't wait to keep exploring and getting to know the neighborhood. More posts soon!
~ Caroline Meek :)