After two long and horrifically boring plane rides, it was a relief to finally be on the bus headed to meet our families. It was very nerve-racking sitting as we waited for our name to be called to go meet our host family. The nerves turned to excitement as I was greeted by my host mom with a hug, a kiss on the cheek, and “¡Qué Linda!”
My first impression of the people was how kind and welcoming they all are. This has only been reinforced throughout our first day in Heredia. It was easy to see how interested the people are in speaking to us, and learning about our purpose in visiting their beautiful country. I expected this in a sense, but not nearly to the extent that I have seen so far; especially when it comes to communicating.
Even though I have had a lot of experience with speaking Spanish in the past, I expected to struggle with communication. I was surprised at how much I was able to comprehend and my ability to respond in conversation. My host mother is very helpful and patient, much like many others who I have been able to interact with (even the cashier at Starbucks). I believe this will be incredibly beneficial as it will help me learn to be more comfortable speaking throughout my time here.
In addition to the hospitality, I have come to realize how incredible the food here really is. I was expecting rice and beans for every meal, but I have yet to have any! I’m sure It will be on my plate in the near future, but I was surprised at the interest my host mom has in healthy foods. I genuinely enjoyed our conversations this morning at breakfast pertaining to health, religion, and machismo. I find it very interesting to learn about the people here in Costa Rica, and I look forward to gaining a deeper understanding of the culture in the days to come.