Monday, May 16, 2011
Volcano and First Day with Host Family
Today was filled with all kinds of excitement and nerves. First there was the volcano, which was very neat to see since I had never been that close to one before. I kept smelling something that smelled weird and when I had asked by guide he said that it was because of the sulfur in the air from the volcano. Then we hiked to the lagoon that has acid rain in it from the volcano. Since there is acid within the water the only organisms that can live are the bacteria that has been able to survive in the acid water. While our group was enjoying the lagoon a few of us had apples from the previous day with us and we were eating them. Then a little girl came up to us with her eyes so big that she wanted one of our apples. Luckily I had a couple extra that I was able to give her one. I found her to be so brave and she was maybe three years old. She did not speak English but had the courage to come up to me to get what she wanted. I had put the experience in the back of my mind for the day.
Next we went back to the school where we will be learning Spanish for the rest of our time in Heredia. Since we had to take an entrance exam to see where our Spanish skills are was a bit nerve racking to say the least. I had thought I knew some Spanish before I came to Costa Rica and I am quickly learning that I do not have as many skills as I had thought I had.
Then after sitting around catching up on emails and just relaxing for a couple hours, my family came to pick me up to go to their house. Once I got in the car and no one spoke English is when my nerves set in. This was now a real event taking place and I had to try my best to communicate. After getting to the house I felt a little better because it was very relaxed and there was no need to be nervous. Then my Mama Tica made me fish, rice, beans and some kind of tuna salad. I was a little apprehensive since the fish was a whole fish which I had never had before but I have to say it was not bad at all. It was hard to figure out how to socialize with everyone since there were about 10 people here that were all speaking Spanish. It was at this point that I really understood just how brave the little girl was to come up to us and ask for an apple. I was so scared to ask or say anything because I was worried about not saying something right or offending someone when in reality that is what I am here for. I am here to make mistakes and take chances because if I do not then I may miss an opportunity that I will never get again. Luckily my Mama Tica has a son that speaks English and I was able to talk to him about Costa Rica and he was able to communicate with the others and me. He was able to ask my Mama Tica if she could teach me some traditional dishes from Costa Rica which she abruptly replied with tomorrow. For the rest of my stay here I am going to try and have the courage of the little girl at the lagoon today.