Heredia, Costa Rica is more amazing than I ever could have imagined! I suppose I didn’t know what to expect, since this is my first time outside of the country; but I do know that it has surpassed my dreamed expectations in many ways.
To begin, my hostess, or “abuelita zaneida” as we were instructed to call her, is a very sweet woman. I did expect her to speak a little more english, but I’m actually happier that she speaks no English because it has given me a great opportunity to learn and speak Spanish more. I’ve studied Spanish for a while, but it is not the same in America. Immersing yourself within the culture is how you truly learn, and I love it. I could not have asked for a better host family.
Secondly, the scenery is breathtaking. There are countless views of far away mountains combined with beautiful naturaleza (nature life). I saw many pictures before I came, but the real experience, again, surpassed my expectations. My camera roll is slowly starting to fill with so many amazing pictures of Central Heredia.
Furthermore, the country is very advanced. Yes, it is a Central American country, and yes, they work harder to save utilities such as electricity and water; however, it by no means suggests that the country isn’t advanced. This is a common theme in America, where we sometimes write countries off as less advanced if they are simply not as technologically advanced. I would argue that Costa Rica is more advanced in some areas (Certainly in fresh produce!)
In Heredia, it seems like everyone is friendly, and many people look to offer a helping hand. They are not careless but carefree. Yet, they are a formal people, and as a businessman, I both respect and appreciate this. Usted is used more often than I thought (Zaneida uses the usted form to address my roommate and me.)
Last but not least, the food is amazing. In our pre-departure meetings at Pitt, we were told the fruit and vegetables are better in Costa Rica. It was hard to put this in perspective when we were still in the states, but after I tasted the pineapple and strawberries during breakfast this morning, I could finally understand. I cannot wait to try more food tonight at dinner and throughout the remainder of the trip. Until then…