After being dropped off with my host family, I spent the first day adjusting to a Spanish speaking environment. I more or less understand what people say to me here, but it took me a little while to get comfortable with it. My friend Daria, who came with me on this trip, does not speak any Spanish. So being her translator really helped me get into Spanish mode.
I was a little shy for the first week, but by the end of our trip I felt more comfortable engaging in conversation with our host family.
Her son, Eli, even took us to his band’s rehearsal one night and invited us to come see them play at La Taberna the following Thursday. The family took us in and treated us like friends instead of strangers, even though we had only just met. I will be forever grateful for the kindness.
Our project here in Costa Rica was a day care/ preschool for underprivileged children. We worked with 3 to 4 year olds, which, in my opinion, is the best age group. They made us feel welcome on our first day and wanted to play with us and sit on our laps almost instantly after learning our names. Although we had to pick up half-dead cockroaches at one point after the place was fumigated, our time at the day care was mostly fun. I wouldn’t change a single thing about our days there. I just wish I could stay longer because I don’t know how I’ll get by without those adorable kids!
I’ve already decided that I’m coming back here to work there again as soon as I can.
Our days off were almost as fun as our time working. We went to Santa Teresa for a couple of days and visited some friends I had made the last time I came to Costa Rica. They own a beautiful hotel called Milarepa, and let us spend the day relaxing on their beach drinking fresh fruit smoothies. Although it took almost 7 hours to get there from San Ramon, it was worth the bus ride.
Overall, this trip was possibly the greatest experience of my life. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to volunteer in such a beautiful country. I can’t wait to share all my pictures with my friends and family, and I hope to be back next year!