First Impressions

so i walked out the door of the San Jose airport in Costa Rica, to what seemed like the Juarez, market. only they were trying to get me into their taxi instead of selling me a poncho or a shellacked frog. i waded through the crowds of people to find a lady holding a little sign that said IPEE (the school that i'm going to here). i introduced myself and found out quickly that she didn't speak any English; wonderful :) i jumped in a car with her and her husband and headed to go meet my host family. now i was under the impression that i was staying in san jose, so after about a 30 min. ride when we started to turn from the main street to little ones, i was screaming in my head, "wait, where are you going, i can't live down here." lo and behold, the car pulled over to the side, and she said this was my new home. i was greeted by a big gate being opened into a little house that seemed to be in the middle of nowhere. an older woman came out and showed me to my room, off to a side of the house by itself. then standing there staring in this room, the car took off, and the lady introduced herself as Carmen, and then said she was leaving. for what reason i have no idea. at the time i thought she was saying something about going to buy clothes. i quickly found out that she too spoke no english. i did however catch the word "amigo" to which i was overjoyed. because my friend from Casas (Brandon) was down here too and arrived a week before me, and i was wondering if somehow he knew i was here. so Carmen said she'd be back in 30 min. and showed me my closet and said i should put my clothes away. so there i stood, in a room by myself in Costa Rica, very lost. i kept hearing someone come in and out and then saw an older girl in the other part of the house. in awful Spanish i asked if i could use the phone to call home and she looked at me like i was crazy, and why was i standing in her house. she didn't think it was important to introduce herself. i later came to find out that this is Carmen Maria, Carmen's 33 yr. old daughter that lives at the house. (it's not a big deal for people to live with their parents until they marry here). i think she's seen her fair share of exchange students come in and out of this house and doesn't see the need to be too friendly. to this day we've still said about 15 words. Carmen soon returned and my bags were still completly packed becuase i had spent the entire time she was gone trying to figure out how to make the phone work. again i kept hearing her saying amigo, and about an hour after i arrived, Brandon showed up at my front door with his mama tica (the mother of his host family in Costa Rica; his Costa Rican mother). i don't know that i've ever been so excited to see a familiar face so far from home. we caught up and then we walked around the neighborhood as he showed me everything he'd learned about the area, our school, and Costa Rica in the week that he had been here before me on his own.


Popular Posts