First Day in Heredia

My homestay roommate and I eagerly awaited to hear our names called while waiting on the charter bus. As soon as they were called we both rushed down the isle and off the bus to meet Mama Tica, the matriarch of our Costa Rican homestay family. We quickly learned that Mama Tica did not speak any English and it was up to us to utilize our limited range of Spanish vocabulary to communicate. Before coming to Costa Rica, I expected our family to speak at least a little bit of English, clearly this was not the case. Initially I was nervous but after a conversation over dinner I began to feel more comfortable with my slight Spanish speaking ability.

I’ve been to Costa Rica before, but I did not have the opportunity to stay in a city. In addition, many of the places my family and I visited were popular tourist attractions and locations. While walking around Heredia it was clear that our group were some of the only outsiders in the area. Initially I found this to be intimidating but after exploring Heredia a little more and conversing with more local people I began to feel more comfortable. Heredia is unlike any other part of Costa Rica I have seen before. Before arriving in Heredia, I didn’t know what the city was going to be like. I didn’t know if it was going to be spread out and rural or close together and jam packed, what I discovered is that Heredia is somewhere in between. Many of the houses are close together but from my experience the houses have still been comfortable and spacious. After seeing many of the parks and malls that the locals hang out in I can appreciate that this city more knowing a where the local Ticos spend their free time. I’m beginning to understand and appreciate more and more of this city and I can’t wait to continue to explore and learn more about life in Heredia.

One of my expectations for Costa Rica ended up being completely true, that this country has delicious food. I really enjoyed the breakfast of rice, eggs and plantains Mama Tica prepared for us. Also, the Casado we had for lunch was incredibly fresh and very satisfying. Additionally, I expected the weather to be very hot, and it is. But I did not anticipate it would rain as much as it did. prior to coming I did not know that we were coming in the middle of Costa Rica’s rainy season. Many of the expectations I had for this trip were based off my previous trip to Costa Rica, but I was unsure what to suspect of Heredia and of my host family. So far, I love the time I’ve spent with Mama Tica and in Heredia and I’m excited to explore the city and build new relationships.

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