Today was our first full day in Costa Rica and it was quite eventful. We ate breakfast with our host family, enjoying our first of many gallo pintos. Then we walked to the Universidad Latina, where we met up with Prof. Teeter, Laura, and the rest of our group for a safety and orientation presentation. After the presentation, we took a bus to downtown Heredía for a walking tour of the city. We got to see the Parque Central,
a lovely garden plaza located in front of the Iglesia de la Immaculada Concepcíon, the main Catholic church of Heredía. The park was quite busy since it was a gorgeous Sunday morning. It was interesting to see how many people were out and about on a Sunday doing nothing more than taking a stroll through the park or a leisurely shopping trip through the Miraflores (the local mall). After the Parque Central, we visited the Mercado Central, which was busy with people buying the food to prepare Sunday dinner. We continued onto another small park and ended by the Estadio Eladio Rosabal Cordero, the stadium where the local soccer team, Herediano, plays. The vendors were setting up for the big playoff game which was to take place that night.
From there we took a bus to Leno y Carbon for lunch. We learned a lot about Costa Rican food during that meal. Mainly, that the portions are huge and everything is delicious. We
enjoyed pollo asado, refrescos de frutas, plátanos fritos, and salad with all sorts of fruits and veggies. Everything was delicious and filling. By the time dessert came, everyone was stuffed but somehow made room for mousse trifles. Completely full and exhausted after the meal, we headed back to the Universidad Latina for Survival Spanish class with Dr. Teeter. We learned a lot of fun Tico slang and that Engineering and Business students probably shouldn’t write children’s books.
All in all today gave a very good first impression as to what life is like in Costa Rica which for the most part, met my expectations for the trip. People are very laid back and like to
enjoy relaxing in the park especially on Sunday. Tico time is also a very real concept as several of my friends found out this morning. People in Costa Rica aren’t as concerned with being on time as we are and tend to take their time when getting somewhere. Overall, the mentality is a lot more laid back than in the U.S. My roommate and I also learned very quickly that no matter how much you eat, Ticos will always try to get you to eat more. They also love to talk and get to know you. My roommate and I were eating breakfast while our host dad talked and asked us about everything from driving in the snow to how many people attend our university. Overall, I think my first impression of Costa Rica is that it is a very laid back, friendly place where it always rains and you can never eat enough.