Thursday was a day of surprise birthday celebrations. Lis (one of the girls on our trip) baked a cake for me and the Quiroas (the family of our professor from Wheaton) bought pan dulce. They brought it out after lunch with a candle (the only ones they had were real candles like the kind you put on a mantle!) for me to blow out!
After we enjoyed all the yummy food they told me there was another surprise I had to wait for and spent 10 minutes trying to throw a rope up over one of the beams. The surprise was a piñata that Amanda had bought at a market in Heredia. They put a scarf over my eyes, gave me a stick, and had me go at it. It was tough because they kept pulling on the rope on the other end so it would move plus we were kind of close to a wall so I hit that once on accident and left a mark! Overall it was a really fun time and we all enjoyed the candy that came out when it finally broke! :)
In the afternoon Lis and I had our massages- what better birthday present is there? Jessie’s host mom works planning the schedules of a massage school close by so she hooked us up with free massages from the students who are learning. It was awesome! Neither of us had ever had a massage before so it was a fun experience to share. Definitely something I’ll never forget!
Then we had spaghetti and garlic bread for dinner… does it get any better?
Friday: (The actual birthday)
My host family is so sweet. Friday morning they made a giant breakfast with bananas, pineapple, gallo pinto (the breakfast version of rice and beans), scrambled eggs (with chopped up tomato and pepper mixed in), sausages wrapped in tortillas, tamales (some sort of potato thing wrapped in a tortilla thing- really yummy), plus some little ham wraps and a big glass of OJ. They decorated the table and even got me a little cake! It was a nice surprise! Plus they invited Jessie to come over to join us so that made it even more special.
After breakfast Jessie and I left for this weekend’s excursion, which meant almost 4 hours on a bus- woo! We tried to read but the roads are so bumpy that you can only read for a bit then you have to take a break. But with lots of fun people around us the trip can be fun.
We went to a resort for the afternoon near Volcán Arenal that had about 30 small pools. We only explored a few of them but the majority were hot springs- some too hot to even dip your toes into! It was fun to just hang out in the warm water and chill. I laid out and read my book for class for a bit but since it has been so cloudy this weekend I didn’t get much sun. :( oh well!
After dinner we checked into our actual hotel and got cleaned up. Then some of the boys came over and we had a movie night. We also broke into the little cake that my parents had bought me and suggested I take along (because there was no way we could eat it after that huge breakfast!) We watched Tangled (in Spanish of course) and it was really fun.
This morning we got up at 6:30 so we could have breakfast and be ready for zip lining. That was a great experience- such amazing views! I think my favorite part was just how fast we went- I love feeling the wind rush past me. We also did something called the Tarzan Swing, which was intense! They hook you up and have you lean off the platform while they’re holding you from your harness in back then they just let you go and you plummet down and swing back and forth. So epic!
After the zip lining we had a few hours to just chill at the hotel, which was pretty refreshing. I was able to get some more of my book read and just catch up on little things I’d been meaning to do. We were all getting pretty testy after lunch though, when we went on a boat trip on a lake near the volcano. It just wasn’t what any of us wanted to do so we had a pretty bad attitude about it. If you guys could be praying for me to have patience and overall just a better attitude that would be great! It just gets so frustrating for me sometimes since our professor’s management style is so loosy-goosy so we never know what is going on-the opposite of how I like to run things.
Now I suppose I will force myself to do some more homework… who ever thought it was a good idea to take classes in the summer? :P