When thinking about Costa Rica, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. This is my first time out of the US and I didn’t want to judge the country before actually seeing it. In the back of my mind, I thought that the city would be less protected. I was very surprised by the amount of security on buildings, even though Ticos say that Heredia is safe.
On another note, the city was beautiful. I wasn’t expecting the city to be so organized (but the driving was terrifying). Also, the heat was much less intense than I anticipated. I was expecting overwhelming heat waves constantly pouring over the city, but I was pleasantly surprised when there was a calm breeze this morning. The temperature was perfect, but the sun was very intense! The humidity was the worst; making every moment not a question of will I sweat, but how much will I sweat.
When thinking of things to sweat about, my nonexistent Spanish skills come to mind. Thank God for my roommate who speaks Spanish rather well. I don’t think I would’ve made it through this first day without his ability to translate. My Spanglish has been working rather well. I wasn’t expecting it to actually work, but for some words, it’s great. It’s now clear to me that I know very little Spanish and learning more before coming to Costa Rica would’ve been a good idea.
Finally, the homestay. I’m not sure what I was expecting when it came to this part of the journey, but it’s wonderful. Like everyone, I was in the dark until we got off the bus from the airport about who our family is. I am very pleased with my host mother. She’s kind and very patient when I’m spanglishing.