so as it turns out, it doesn't really end...

I didn't get to update during Megaventure at all.. time is money, people! At least in internet cafes it is. However, it was amazing. We saw so, so many really cool places, did a ton of incredible things, and it rocked. The only stressful part was choosing how long to stay in which places, and the only regret is not having more time. Danger made a great blog post about it, so if you want to read about it/see pictures, I recommend visiting http://www.dangerhuman.com/ and checking it out!

About being home:

It's weird. I feel this strange sense of loneliness at all times, and it's seemingly impossible to shake. Even when I'm with friends and family, or keeping myself busy, or have a lot of fun plans coming up, nothing really seems to fill the void. Time just feels empty, always vacant even when it's being filled with something. Being around friends/family does help, but I still can't completely get rid of the loneliness.

Before being abroad, I was fine not having plans and could easily keep myself busy, and happily, too. Then in Costa Rica, there was ALWAYS someone to hang out with, and considering that the people there were the coolest ever, it's been really really insanely hard to get back into the routine of not constantly having a friend at my side. I know that's something I need to get used to, but it's unexpectedly difficult. I just siempre want to be back in the Punt with everyone.

I've actually been trying really hard not to think about the Punt too much and this is the first night that it's been impossible to stop thinking about/missing it. I think I was too busy just missing people before, but I guess I'm ready to start missing my second home, too. Traveling, though, that's something that I have been missing every single day. It's suffocating, to go from being let loose on the world back to confining yourself to a particular location, it's like you can't breathe quite as well or something. I don't know, it's hard to describe, but no matter what I do I just don't feel as happy or complete as I did while I was abroad.

The whole thing has changed my outlook on life quite a bit, though. I always knew I wanted to travel, but I didn't know if I could handle being gone for more than a few weeks at a time. I thought I wanted to work somewhere based in the US that had occasional overseas business trips because I wanted to have a country to return to, where I could keep myself organized and always have that comfort of "home". I didn't know that it was possible to feel so at home in a place so far away. I truly hope that new travel locations continue to feel the way that Costa Rica did.

Right now my heart is in so many places and with so many people that I don't think I can ever feel totally 'at home' here anymore, and as lonely as that feels right now, that's the kind of thing that makes these experiences so special and worthwhile. As hard as it is to be away from the new people and places I love, I know we'll meet up again and it will be amazing when it happens.

Until then, I just keep daydreaming about living abroad again and trying not to think about how much I miss everything. It's hard, and I keep thinking about how it's quite possible that those were the best 5 months that I'll ever have. They were perfect, and I'm so lucky for that. On the plus side, I think I'm getting past the burst-into-tears-without-warning stage slowly but surely, haha. King Kone helps with that one.

I miss Costa Rica, so, so much. Central America in general is an amazing place where I really feel at home. It will take me a while to get over that, but it's changed my life for the better and I can't wait to see where it leads me next.


solo es hasta luego, no es adios

Wow. 4 months done. I can't believe it. Being here has taught me so much about being alive.

I could not picture what life would be like when I came here, and now I cannot picture life anywhere else. The places and the people that I have gotten to know have made such an enormous impact on my life. It is so, so hard to say goodbye, but I know it's just a temporary goodbye- we will see all of these people and places again. :)

Some of the many valuable life lessons I have learned along the way:

1) Don't freak out about stupid things. In the States, people get so worked up about things that honestly just don't matter, and here they don't at all. It's been really nice to be in a constant state of relaxation. Contrary to popular belief, you can be relaxed and productive at the same time.

2) Don't be sad about the end until the end. A couple weeks ago I was eating dinner with my host family and we started talking about how quickly it was coming to an end, and I said that I was sad, and Lidiette just smiled and told me that there was still plenty of time, and I should just enjoy it all until it was really over. That includes every last moment, even today, and even though it's hard not to think about sometimes, the optimistic outlook of the people here makes it so much easier.

3) Platanos are so, so delicious. As are apretados, granizados, arepas... the list goes on and on!

4) Spanish is a very, very interesting language. Some things are easier in English, and some things in Spanish. Spanish does not have too many adjectives, which makes expressing yourself hard at times. It sounds like people speak Spanish at a millino miles an hour when you don't know what they're saying, but it's the same way when we speak English in front of people who speak other lanuages. Either way, both languages are fun, and I hope I continue to learn more and more Spanish!

5) People here are generally the same as people there. There are some cultural differences, but for the most part, any 20 year old here could easily be friends with a 20 year old in the states and have plenty in common. I think the bigger difference is within the older generations, although not everyone here is as traditional as others.

6) The US is very much looked up to and admired. You can see it in the media here, the clothing, the news, the things that people say. One night at dinner Lidiette was talking about the problem of hunger in Puntarenas, and she said that the same problem does not exist in the US. We told her that it does very much exist, and she seemed surprised. People also think that girls from the US are easy, and for this, they harrass you non-stop.

7) Riding bikes late at night with a warm breeze is one of the best feelings ever.

8) Living on the beach is amazing, and I defintiely plan on doing this again some day, sooner rather than later.

So anyway, wow. Overall, it has been an incredible experience. It far exceeded my expectations in every single way. There is so much to say about it that I could just go on forever and still not be able to put it all into words. Every day has been so beautiful, and I'd hands down do it all again if I could.

But my mom is right, it's just the beginning of a lifetime full of adventure. Costa Rica has an extremely special place in my heart, but it won't be the only place I grow to love this much. It's funny that the first night we got here, Peligro, Jennifer, and I were all crammed into a car and fed delicious food in Lidiette's house. We are going to be ending it the same way tonight! And then there will be a bonfire on the beach, and tomorrow I am Nicaragua bound with some of my favorite people in the world.

If possible, I'll update along MegaJourney: Quest to Cancun. We'll see!


is it possible for the world to look this way forever?

This week has been ridiculous, mainly because of last night.

Classes are finishing up, I had a literature final today, and I'll be honest- my grade will suffer, a lot. Sorry, mom! I'm just hoping to pass... eeep! This is a weird feeling for me because I have never been nervous about passing a class before. I definitely took way too many classes this semester, and if I had taken less, I would have done much better, but what can ya do? The good news is, I should be less over-loaded come fall semester, and I will probably get the grades I usually do and all will be well. The bad part is, if I actually don't pass the class, then I will once again be taking way too many classes, and the process will continue. I hate grades and I am ready to graduate and move on!

But we had our dance final last night, and my literature teacher was there, dancing with the San Ramon kids, and I wasn't going to let her stay out later than me- no one wants to be out-danced by a 50 year old profesora... except she did out-dance me, and I went to bed at 3am, and woke up at 7am to study, and it's not fair because SHE didn't need to study for the exam like we did. Cruel joke, I tell you! Very cruel!

However, the dance final was a blast. Lidiette made me a salsa dress in one single day. I bought the fabric and thread which cost about 6$ and then she made it for free for me- she is so sweet! I still have glitter all over the place though... it probably won't go away for quite a while.

I also dabbled in "international modeling" last night, which is hilarious, considering my inherent lack of model personality/grace in general. Ivan, our dance teacher, asked some of the students to be in a fashion show for his friend's store that was opening up, so we did. Little did we know that by "modeling clothes", they actually meant "modeling scanty bathing suits", and they advertised it on posters as having "international models" (which I guess is half true?), and the fashion show was AT THE DANCE FINAL. In front of all of our peers. And a lot of ticos. I'm on a quest to make sure all of those pictures are burned. At least it's something to laugh about?!

Also this week, I went to Alajuela and saw a movie based on a novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez en espanol! I didn't understand a lot of it, the language was old and religious, but the parts I understood were exciting. I saw Titanic on TV in Spanish the other day and understood pretty much all of that, so that's exciting too! I feel like I'm making a little bit of progress. However, I also still feel like for all of the Spanish I've spoken and heard, I'm still not as good as I should be, and I can't figure out why that is, and it bothers me. At least I have one more year to practice before I get my Spanish degree. Oh also, Alajuela is home of the best cakes ever. And it is a really cute, colonial-looking city, and Hotel Alajuela is amazing, and if I ever feel sad in my life, I am going to go back, because it's one of those places that makes you feel good just by being there.

The rainy season is here. We get monsoon-like downpours and it's actually really nice, and really beautiful to be around. Trees are blooming with flowers, which I didn't even know was possible. I thought everything looked good during dry season, but I guess it's only going to get prettier!

MegaVenture commences in less than a week. I am freaking out. It's going to be so amazing, but it's also going to be so sad to leave. Lidette has already made sure to tell me that I must come back and visit her whenever I return... and get married in Montezuma and invite her, but we won't talk about that, because if I hear anything else about weddings I'm going to jump off the muelle! Everyone's getting married, and I don't understand! I'm 20 and the last thing on my mind is binding the rest of my life to someone else's. Costa Ricans date people for years before they marry them, and they wait until much later in life, like until their late 20's. I feel like that makes way more sense than just being like, oh hey there, we just met, we're young, LET'S WED.

Other good news!: I got summer work study! That hopefully makes me one giant step closer to having a summer job, which will also hopefully make me one step closer to keeping busy this summer, and being able to travel around in August.

This weekend, I am not traveling, due to rapidly dwindling funds, and a mountain of exams and projects and portfolios to do. I like learning, but I really hate finals. They're so stressful that I forget to actually learn. I'm looking forward to the weekend other than that, though- mostly everyone will be in town. :)


Que Verguenza!

Some fun things that have been happening lately:

1) THERE IS HERSHEY'S CHOCOLATE IN THE STORE AROUND THE CORNER FROM USAC. I repeat, HERSHEY'S CHOCOLATE!! I mean normally with supporting Fair Trade and all, I'm not really into this kind of thing but WOW it is amazing to get some good chocolate in my blood! The stuff here just isn't as flavorful usually, and I had just been talking to Danger the other night about how I wish we had really good chocolate... and then Costa Rica made it magically appear. This country is fantastic and magical! I ask for fireworks, I get fireworks, I ask for thunderstorms, I get them, and I ask for chocolate, and it LIVES NEXT DOOR. For cheap, too! Sigh!

2) We finally had a rainy day in our sunny little land. It was strange. Smelling the rain here is an incredible experience, especially when you haven't smelled a good summer rain in so long. That scent of earth right before it comes is the best thing in the world. It was so weird, we even got a little the other weekend on the way to Dominical and we all stopped talking and looked confused, and then rejoiced because we had no idea what that scent was, but when it came to us after a few minutes, it was so exciting. Lidiette waters her garden outside late at night sometimes and me and Peligro just wait for the moment that it hits our noses. It's really a treat.

3) We performed a skit in Spanish for our Ticos in their English class on Thursday. The assignment was to make a skit about anything, so of course we prepared a series of twisted, bizarre skits that all ended in "que verguenza!" which mas o menos means "what shame" or "how embarassing". Michelle, Hunter, and I prepared it all in their cooking class with only 2 hours to go, but it somehow all worked out and the Ticos actually laughed a lot, which is great considering we were exoecting some serious awkward silence. We weren't sure how well creepiness would translate from Spanish to English, but I guess it was all fine!

4) Apretados- I am one step closer to making them. I made an ice cream sandwich apretado and it was so delicious. Apretados are delicious ice cream mixtures in bags sold for 50 cents out of a woman's house. I've also been discovering all kinds of delicious foods. Over the course of the semester, the best have been: Trits, Recreo, Cremas, Apretados, Granizados con leche, Ollitos (SIGH a new mega-favorite), and horchata. There's more, but these are the most frequent to enjoy.

5) MegaVenture is totally happening! I got my plane ticket home from Cancun- May 29th, direct flight to Boston. I'm hoping that we'll get the bus pass this week. Traveling with Michelle and Zak and Peligro will be such a blast. I can't wait at alllll at all at all! :) I've been dreaming of this since last summer, and it's actually real now, and with the best company ever! Dang, I couldn't have asked for a better semester.

6) Spanish is the coolest.


Our weekend/Only having 2 weekends to go...

This weekend was really refreshing! It was also really interesting, and full of things I've never done/haven't done in forever... good and bad! The first night we went to Isla Cedros, a very small and deserted island in the Nicoya Peninsula, and camped out on the beach. It was fun, we brought an inflatable mattress and avoided crabs the best we could. Zak brought a yoga mat to sleep on and claimed that he woke up once to a crab looking at him, while this Swedish guy Tony said that crabs were attacking him all night. I experienced no bad crab times, and actually slept surprisingly well! There was a fun group of USACers and some Ticos, but that was pretty much it. We built a bon fire and looked up to see palm trees and an amazing heat lightning storm, and even saw glowing water on the way over because of something about algae- I won't pretend to understand science, but it was still really cool. It was a pretty relaxing night/Saturday morning, aside from the fact that there's a stomach bug going around and some of us threw up on the beach at one point or another... but the good news is, we mostly feel kind of better now!
On Saturday, we left for Malpais/Santa Teresa (we're still not really exactly sure where we were...) again. Me, Zak, Michelle, and Peligro stayed in the same hostel that we stayed in before, but this time with a SWEET trundle bed! ...and a really cool green lamp. We spent the afternoon on the beach which is really really amazing and had enormous waves, and then got some delicious smoothies and such. Zak bought a compilation of Leonardo DiCaprio movies for 2 mil which is only 4 dollars (common price of a good pirated movie down here, or in this case, 3!), and we watched one of them before we all fell asleep. Today we went to the most amazing bakery ever and then the beach again, which is seriously gorgeous. The Nicoya in general is really wonderful and relaxing, and filled with delicious food and fun hostels. We were all agreement that we could spend a lot of time there and thoroughly enjoy it. Where else can you spend an entire weekend without footware and not have anyone care? (We went through The Great Sandal Famine of 2010 this weekend... 3 of us lost sandals in various ways, and I opted not to buy a new pair yet, and it wasn't a problem at all).

So, now we only have 2 weekends left. It is unbelievable. We feel so at home here, definitely more so than we feel in the States at this point. It is such a bizarre feeling to know that it's ending soon, and it's extremely hard to put into words. I still feel like I'm just getting started here, like I just got here. I just keep thinking of all the small details about returning home that are so foreign to me now, and I can't get my mind around them. At first, this all just felt like an incredible vacation. Everything seemed new and strange and amazing, and the amazingness never really faded, but now what seems strange to me is thinking about going home and being in my living room and taking Tigey for drives to the store (who drives?!). The strange things have become the every day things I did in NH, the simple things, and I can't even picture what it's like doing them anymore.

What did I even do when I didn't have any plans? I honestly can't remember! I didn't take a 2 minute walk to the beach and lay around in the sun, that's for sure. And I HATE THE COINS, I hate them so much! They are SO SMALL and useless and I just never want to see a dime again! Am I going to be bored when I go back? I feel like I'm going to be so restless and aching for adventure and it's going to be so hard to just go back to life there. I'm not really sure if I can do it. My plane ticket says I can, but I'm not so sure that my heart will board with the rest of my body. Ughhhh, I can't do it at all!

My life is so changed, and it sounds crazy because it's only been 4 months, but I think it's because it took us hardly any time at all to adjust and make lives here, and we've had so, so many incredible and fulfilling experiences here already. We've gotten to know and explore an entire country, and learn the language, and see so many absolutely stunning places. We've all gotten used to traveling and spending insane amounts of time just looking out the window of buses and being in love with where we are.

And as amazing as it has been to live on a tropical beach and see all of Costa Rica, the hardest part won't even be leaving the place, but the people that I've met here. We all live so far away from each other- my best friends here are from Missouri, Alaska, South Carolina.. opposite ends of the country. And the entire USAC community is like a big family. There's always, always something to do or someone to hang out with, and everyone always has a smile and an interesting story about their travels to tell. I haven't been bored once since I've gotten here thanks to the amazing community of people, and it's so sad because even coming back to visit Puntarenas will never be the same without all of the familiar faces I know and love.
This has truly been something to treasure- easily the best 4 months of my life to this point, and has solidified my yearning to travel forever. I knew I wanted to travel lots in my life, but now I can't picture doing anything EXCEPT traveling, and living in amazing places, and meeting more amazing people. It really is exceptionally difficult to picture anything ever being any better than this, but you never know what's out there until you go explore it, so I hereby declare myself forever in search of perfect experiences in more incredible places. I can't picture a better way to spend my life.

So now I'm just left with this bizarre mezcla of feelings- being completely in love with where I am and who I'm with, but at the same time so nervous to leave, and so nervous about what will change... being impossibly happy, and not at ALL ready to change that. I'm so incredibly enamored with everything here, and it's seriously breaking my heart to think about the nights on the pier with apretados and my best friends that I won't have, and the late nights in Lidiette's living room descansing, and the runs along the beach, and the pull-ups I still can't do, and the crazy weekends of epic journeys and ridiculous experiences, and the salsa dancing at Happy Days on Thursday nights, and my host family, and host town, and just everything here that makes it so perfect- even the terrible, moldy perros all over the fricking streets. I love this place, and I love these people, and I love feeling this full of life, and it's going to really tear me apart to leave, but I guess that's how you know you enjoyed it the best that you could, and had no regrets, and made everything so so so worthwhile.

Siiiiigh sigh sigh. If you have any advice on how to be less neurotic about this, please let me know. I don't even really know what to be telling myself and this point. Also, if you live in NH, we're eating curry puffs and cookie cake the moment I get home, and we're all gonna like it.


Semana Santa real quick

Semana Santa was fun, illnesses aside! Panama was an interesting adventure- the border was relatively quick and easy compared to Nicaragua, and you had to walk over a really cool bridge to get to it. Bocas was a really interesting little cluster of islands- I wish I had gotten to experience them more, but alas, I was pretty much holed up asleep in a hostel bed for 3 days. Chris and Michelle and Zak and Cito and everyone had a lot of neat adventures, though! The downside was that the trip was pretty expensive, and Panama is hard to get around transportation-wise. We had a 14 hour epic journey back to Puntarenas one day, but it wasn't so bad!

It was also awesome to hang out with Chris! We went to Montezuma after Panama, which was beautiful! We hung out on the beach and at the waterfalls, and of course the geodesic dome. I definitely plan on spending more time there before the semester ends. Unfortunately, Chris had to leave yesterday- the trip flew by! Beware: If you bring beans in a bag home, put them in your checked luggage! Sorry about your loss, Chris. I will make sure to replace them, and of course, eat some in your honor.

There isn't really anything new to report, but there is a Marine Bio trip to Manuel Antonio this weekend. We get to snorkel and hang out in the National Park, so it should be really nice.


Semana Santa/Spring Break #2!

We are officially off on break! Since there won't be any updating while we're gone, here is my itinerary (Kristin's is much different!):

Sunday- Puntarenas
Monday- Monteverde
Tuesday- San Jose to pick up Chris! Then Puerto Viejo, Caribbean Coast
Wed- PANAMA! Bocas del Toro
Thurs- Panama
Fri- Panama
Sat- Panama to the Punt
Sunday- Punt to Montezuma
Monday- Montezuma to home, and Chris leaves :(

We're both super excited to see our friends and family members that were able to make it out! And the rest, we miss you dearly <3


A quick update post-Monteverde

Monteverde was really cool!! It was kind of sad because as a result of sleep deprivation and this trip being our last USAC trip, you could tell everyone was starting to think about how the semester is ending far too quickly, and honestly, it's the worst feeling in the world.

Leaving here is probably going to be the hardest thing I will ever have to do, and I honestly mean that. We've really made our own lives here, and they are incredible- I can't think of another time where things have been so perfect. We have homes and amazing new friends and we live in a tropical paradise laced with constant adventure, and the culture/language is amazing. Not being able to go salsa on a Thursday night is probably going to be the death of me. Not seeing the faces of everyone I've gotten to know and love here is going to be terrible, and not having this amazing country to explore and become a part of will probably make me cry until I return again in the future.

However, there is still a good amount of time here, and I'm determined not to think about the end anymore until it's actually here!

So about Monteverde. The drive up gives you even more of an adrenaline rush than the incredible zip line tour we did. Here's the view from the bus (I may or may not have stolen these photos from a fellow USACer... don't hate!)
It's really easy to fall in love with this place. :) Below is our awesome group of USACers ready to zip line, and below that is me zip lining! Unfortunately, I don't have one of Kristin, but someone else probably does!

The zip line here was hands down the best I've ever done! It wasn't even scary though, it was just amazing. The last cable is 1km long and you have to go with another person so that you don't get stuck in the middle, where you would probably be left to die because you can't even see the other end from the beginning. Michelle and I went together and it was amazing! You just fly into a cloud and look down and there are the most amazing trees ever below you that stretch for miles. It never stops being amazing.

We stayed in a really nice little cabin-style resort on Saturday night and everyone spent the night listening to music and just hanging out, but before that we went to an amazing restaurant called The Treehouse, and it was literally just a restaurant built around a giant tree. I'm not going to just go out and say it, but it MIGHT be possible that we spent all of our dinner money on the most delicious chocolate fondue I have ever even heard of. SO good! I guess that's about it- another awesome trip, as usual!

Spring break is fast approaching! Kristin's birthday is Thursday, and we have an epic night planned! Ummm I think that's it!


Our Weekends in Review!: the empty half of the glass

Here is a photo review of our first 4 weekends!

Weekend 1 was covered by Kristin's Curu post, so we'll start at Weekend 2: Jaco! Unspeakable Things.

Our friends know how to surf. Playa Hermosa, cerca de Jaco
We met some interesting characters at this house!Beautiful colorsOur travel group for the weekend! We stayed at Kat's (right) host dad's cousin's house- Piko!

Weekend 3: Santa Teresa or maybe Malpais (we don't really know) and Montezuma!!
We went to Montezuma 2nd, but here is a water body of sorts.Sunset at Malpaid or Santa Teresa... wherevz we were!Flower in Montezuma above. Beach at Montezuma right in front of our hostel is below:Our group at Malpaid/ST at sunset:

Weekend 4: Volcan Poas!
Our group at Volcan Poas's lago.

Poas and the cloudsHotel Alajuela- AKA Acurrucar Hotel!

That's all for now! Soon: the other 4 weekends, life in the Punt, and the people we frequently hang out with.


Culturally Chaotic: A Super-Epic Weekend

Just on Sunday, I jumped in both the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean on the same day.

But that's just the end of the weekend! Disclaimer: some of this post was written after a weekend of getting probably about 9 hours of sleep total, and 13 hours of travel. It might not make any sense.

Friday afternoon, Peligro and I headed to San Jose. We got there around dinner time and got lost around the city thanks to my amazing navigational skillz, but eventually found our way to the bus terminal, and then to my old friend, the Kabata Hostel. It didn't seem like it was going to be too epic of a night, but we ended up walking around and heard some awesome music. We decided to follow the sound, and stumbled upon a free ska concert featuring "Garbanzos" in this really neat little cultural center. It was like a city within a city, in this really cool old building with an open roof and tall concrete walls. We pretty much just spent the night rocking out with a bunch of Hispanic scenesters, went back to the hostel, and as we were crawling into our beds- Terremoto!!! We got shaken by a 4.6 magnitude earthquake. It was pretty sweet. We just kind of looked nervously at each other and then I quietly exclaimed "terremoto!!" because others in the room were asleep, and then we high-fived. I had never felt an eathquake before, and since nothing was destroyed but we got a really good shake, I have to say it was a pretty cool experience!

Saturday at literally the crack of dawn we took a bus to Cariari, a small town an hour and a half away from San Jose, to catch another bus to a water taxi that would bring us to our destination of choice: Torguero, located in the northeast region of Costa Rica, sitting right on the Atlantic Ocean, technically part of the Carribean Sea. We got to Cariari at about 7:30am and waited until 11:30 at the bus station. Luckily, we had the Fun Book of Awesome Games to keep us entertained!

So we eventually caught the bus, and after another hour long bus ride, some crazy adventuring began. The river that runs up to Tortuguero is considered by my travel guide book to be a "Mini-Amazon", and it totally looked like it! It was really, really cool, and I have pictures, sooo:

This was the bus that brought us from Cariari to La Pavona, where we caught the water taxis

This was the Rio! It was wicked cool.

Boating down the wild rioooo

An hour or so later, Tortuguero! It was rainy and shockingly cold, but also very beautiful.

Super psyched that we made it to the East Coast! So psyched you can barely see the tiredness!

The Atlantic Ocean/Mar Caribe :) Cold and lovely as usual.

Our ocean-front hostel... so cultural.

We stayed here!

We may or may not have found a secret entrance to the National Park...This is a very colorful part of the town of Tortuguero!We jumped in the ocean at 5am on Sunday through the rain and the cold, then jumped on a boat at 6am and got some sweet ponchos. It was worth it just for the ponchos.

This was the last of our zillion bus rides home- one of which was 1 hour, 3 hours of waiting time because of a mudslide, the second of which was a 5 hour route because of the mudslide, and the last of which was from San Jose to the Punt, 2 hours. We got back at 7pm, and then jumped in the Pacific! 13 hours of traveling for a pretty awesome end goal, I think.

So anyway, pretty good times. As for Kristin's previous post, I could not agree more with everything she said. I just don't really ever want to leave!


     I honestly can hardly believe that we’ve been in Costa Rica for two months. In some ways, it feels like we’ve been here for much less time, probably because I have just recently truly settled in and now finally have a grasp on the way of life here, and really understand most of the Spanish I hear in daily conversation. In other ways, I feel like I’ve been here my entire life. I absolutely love Puntarenas and everyone in it, even the creepy old men who cat call me. Don’t get me wrong, New Hampshire is my home and I love it dearly, like an old friend. But I’m IN love with Costa Rica. It’s so beautiful and tranquilo, and I feel so at home here. We’re exactly halfway through our stay here, and I already absolutely dread leaving because I know I’ll cry for the entire duration of our flight home. A friend of mine here put it well when he said that when he leaves, he’ll just be counting the days until he can come back. I’m going to miss my family and new friends and the city and the food and the beach and the weather and USAC and everything so much. I can’t imagine how the students who have been here since August will feel when they have to leave. Honestly, I wish I’d been here since August, too. Considering the fact that I chose this program last April, I very well could have (and should have) applied to be a year-long student. Last semester didn’t seem so bad at the time, I guess…but now, looking back on it, I know I would have been worlds happier here. Oh, well. I can’t dwell on that any more. For the time being, for the next two months (exactly), I plan to continue to try and live each moment I have in Costa Rica to its fullest. I’ve seen so many amazing places and met so many awesome people and improved my Spanish a lot and done so many fun things already, but there is so, so much more to see and do and learn. My goal is to not look back and feel that I missed out on something Costa Rican while I was here. So, I’ve got lots to cover in the next two months. :) Hasta luego!