Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I'm Here!!!

I wrote this on the morning of our second day, but I just got internet last night so I've been behind in posting it.  I will be writing another post in a little bit about the past couple days.

Saturday, January 23 :

It’s 7:38 am and we’re about to start Day 2!  Yesterday was a verrrry long day.  My flight left at 6:30 yesterday morning, and Mom, Dad, Erin and I arrived at Lindbergh airport in Minneapolis at about 3:15 am.  Unfortunately, we didn’t realize you couldn’t check-in until 4:00.  After finally checking in and getting through security at about 4:30, I waited at my terminal until 6:30.  My flight was on time and from there we went to Houston and had a layover of about an hour and a half, then we flew on in to San José, Costa Rica!! 

Once we got through immigration and customs, we found the other group of students who had arrived at the airport an hour ahead of us and went outside to find Ana and Maria, our program coordinators, who would be picking us up.  The weather was 86 and breezy – absolutely perfect!  We were all dying though because most of us were wearing pants and zip-up sweaters.  We climbed into a little bus and started our way through the city.  We dealt with the fact that there was no air conditioning by opening up the windows.  The breeze felt nice but the smell of the city wasn’t that pleasant.  Mostly it just smelled like a lot of gas fumes, which was not surprising after seeing how many cars were around.  The driving wasn’t as crazy as I had initially expected.  Lots of honking, but there weren’t many near-death experiences.  The city itself, from what we drove past, actually reminded me a lot of Los Angeles – lots of little shacks and an obviously very Latin American feel to the design of the buildings.  We made our way through the tiny streets and arrived at our hostel. 

The hostel is absolutely gorgeous!  Costa Ricans are so lucky because their houses can be as open as they want, and if they’re accepting of the bugs, then they have nothing to worry about.  We spent the rest of the afternoon sitting at a long table on the patio, just talking as a group because by this time all 14 of us had arrived.  Carlos and Lesley, who own the hostel, prepared dinner for us: Lasagne.  Very cultural.  It was really good food but we didn’t eat until about 7 and by that time a lot of us were ready to pass out, especially me because I hadn’t slept since Wednesday night. 

Now it’s morning and breakfast starts at 8 and goes until about 9.  We’ll be having an orientation after that where Ana and Maria and the program assistant, Courtney, will go over all the important info we need to know.  When that’s finished they’re going to take us to meet our host families!  Yay!

Here are some photos of the hostel:

It was hard to get a good picture, but the mountains were gorgeous from this view.

The photos don't give this place any justice.  It was seriously one of the most beautiful places I have seen, and I'm sure there are many more to see in the next 10 weeks.  

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