Arroz y Frijoles (rice and beans) is the title of this post because we eat that every day here. You haven't eaten if you didn't have rice and beans. This post is full of daily activities and just a regular weekend living in San Rafa so I feel like the mundane title fits perfectly!
Some of us decided it was time for some relaxation so we decided to spend the afternoon just hanging out and observing at the mall in Heredia. A few things we discovered:
1) Clothes are expensive in Costa Rica
2) 80% of Costa Rican clothing stores have a counterpart in the US, they sell the same things but have a slightly different name
3) Ticos (another name for Costa Ricans) have 4 kinds of clothing stores: athletic, fancy, urban, and intimates
4) It is not uncommon to hear English music in the stores or see English words on all of the products being sold
5) McDonalds and Subway are both rip offs here- $5 6”? no thank you!
Overall it was a great experience. I considered it a success from the start because one of the first things I did was achieve one of my goals for my time here- buy Harry Potter in Spanish! It was so tempting to buy more than one but that’s a lot of dough to throw down so I bought the first one and Nathan bought the fifth one and we decided we could always share when we get back to school.
When I got back from the mall I watched TV with my host parents. It was fun because I finally got to watch some shows made by Costa Ricans. Other than the nightly news and morning show I have only seen shows from the US dubbed/ with subtitles or shows from Mexico or other Spanish speaking countries. One of the shows we watched was called “1/2 Docena” which means half dozen in Spanish. It was a comedy show that was actually pretty funny. It was made up of lots of little skits and used lots of witty jokes and word play. A fun way to end my night! :)
Jessie and I had decided the night before that Saturday morning we would run some errands around San Rafa. So at 10:30 we set off for the post office, as we both had some post cards to mail. To our surprise the post office here is closed on Saturdays! Close to the post office is a movie rental place that we were going to check out to see if they had X-Men (because we saw the new one in theaters the day before and now really wanted to see the others again). To our surprise the movie place was also closed. We knew of another place a little farther away so we walked the extra 5 minutes to get to the other store, which we discovered wasn’t open until noon on Saturdays. Laughing at our comedy of errors, we headed home and decided to try again at 2 when it would be open. It was pouring at two so we decided to wait until 3 hoping the rain would mellow out by then… it didn’t but we decided to go anyway! We walked to the store where we discovered that you need your passport number to start an account so we had to walk back to our houses for a passport! On our way back the third time we discovered that the closer one was open and had X-Men! It was a success-finally!
At night Jessie and I went with my parents to church- a different church than the one we had visited two weeks prior. This church was also Catholic but of the group my parents are a part of so it was more interactive. They did communion by walking around to each individual so Jessie and I felt unbelievably uncomfortable when we had to tell the guy no. We were the only ones- other than the young children- who didn’t take communion. We were like “no seriously guys we love Jesus too its just that we’re not baptized Catholic!” sups awk…
My parents took Jessie and I to see a place that is owned by their church group because its up in the mountain and really beautiful. The drive was cool because we saw a different part of the country than we have before. Plus, I think they were pretty proud to show us around this beautiful place that they go to often.
After the little adventure we had, we hung out with Jacob and Nathan. We bought some pan dulce and went to watch X-Men at Jessie’s house. We watched it in Spanish with Spanish subtitles and it wasn’t difficult to understand. Now we really need to watch the next two because they are much better made! Its really fun watching movies in Spanish because you learn new vocab words and its just exciting to know that you know what’s going on, even thought its not in English! :)
I know it sounds like I’m only goofing off here but let the record show that I also worked on my paper this weekend! I’m writing it about the mistreatment of women here in Costa Rica- a really interesting topic but kind of depressing/angering. I’m about four pages in right now. It’s a big deal to have started, I feel like getting started is half the battle! I still have more to do but it’s not as daunting now that I am a few pages in. It is supposed to be 5-10 pages long and I still have to do an interview with someone in this field here, which I am currently setting up and I think will be really interesting.
I had class in the morning then after lunch went with two guys to la Una (short for Universidad) in Heredia. We were doing research for a presentation, next week we have to take the rest of the class to show them around our site. It was cool to see the national university; it’s a lot bigger than Wheaton but still smaller than you might think a national university might be!
Now I’m just working on homework at Jessie’s house because she has internet… woo!
Hope everyone is having a great week!