I am alive. Someone told me that I needed to post simply to know that I am alive and well. It´s been a crazy few days. After hanging out in DFW for 5 hours on Tuesday, Erin and I made it to San Jose, took an hour to get through immigration, then looked very much like gringas as we sat on the floor for 2 hours waiting for the rest of the group to arrive. We spent the night at a retreat center, then had orientation for about 4 hours on Wednesday. 4 hours. Their philosophy is experiential learning, and though I might not be singing the same tune later, I think I like it for now.
About 3 pm, we all gathered in a room, and met the host families we had randomly chosen from a pile of papers earlier in the day. It was a joyful time and they were excited to see us, as were we. Though, I admit that we all had nervous smiles. I arrived at my casa in Guadalupe El Alto, a sort of suburb of San Jose that sits a little bit higher in the mountains than central San Jose. And I´m not actually sure if it´s a suburb. It could just be a region of the city. When I am able to speak a bit better, I´ll try to find out. Or I might just ask tonight. My family is made up of my mami Yolanda, my papi Marco, and 3 sisters, Raquel, Franci, and Waleska, aged 15, 11, and 8. Raquel took me on a long walk to show me around, and was extremely helpful. Of course, I understood about every 10th word, so she´ll have to tell me again. And again and again and again. Yolanda loves to cook natural food, so I´m pretty excited about the possibilty of Tican cooking lessons. I am also excited about the possibility of not becoming the size of Atila the Hun while I am here. So we´ll see how that goes...
For those that don´t know, my first name is Veronica and my middle name is Rhea. After trying to explain the difference in my extremely deficient Spanish, I gave up. You may now refer to me as Veronica. (It´s actually more like VerOnica, but I can´t find the accent mark on this keyboard. Baby steps, right?)
Today my mami brought me downtown, where we students split up into groups of 3 and were given a list of things to accomplish. It was basically sink or swim, and I think my group is at least dog-paddling. We are supposed to figure out the bus system, which is slightly terrifying, but rather exciting. Today we have ridden in many buses, hailed a taxi, and talked to a women in la Plaza Cultura about the cultural activities that take place there. She turned out to be British and thought that the tican girl catching pigeons and kissing them was, ¨rather hideous.¨
I´m sure there were many more things I planned on talking about, but those will have to wait for another time. I love you and miss you all, and am SO appreciative of your prayers. I could not make it without your love and God helping me through all of this. I am enjoying Costa Rica much, and am so looking forward to what I will learn here. Love you!