Saturday, June 30, 2012

Holla! Amigos! Part 1

So I've been in Costa Rica this past week fulfilling my Cross-Cultural requirement for Asbury. Asbury you say? Didn't you graduate a year and a half ago? ...Yes, well...almost. This stupid Cross-Cultural requirement has been haunting me like Great Caesar's Ghost. Basically I was required to pay lots of money to go outside the country to "experience" another culture. I might be a tiny bit bitter, but we won't go into that. Every trip that came along, either fell through, or was at the wrong time. Luckily, my dad let me tag along with him on a business trip. His company has a plant/branch in Costa Rica that he visits a few times a year. I might have spent a lot of time by the hotel pool, which is totally Cross-Cultural by the way, but I did have a chance to do a few cultural things.

I stayed with my friend's Rob, Yami, and their 2 girls Natalie and Heidi. Rob is from the states, and works with my dad for the plant in Costa Rica. He and Yami graciously offered their home to me for a few days. Yami and the girls showed me around their beautiful town, which included a trip to a volcano, their coffee farm, an oil painting lesson from Yami, and lots of beautiful countryside.

Small view of town

- Side story -
When Rob and Yami first met they couldn't talk. Rob didn't speak a word of Spanish and Yami didn't know a word of English. I asked Yami how they communicated and she slyly laughed and then made kissy noises.

 The Volcano
(left to right)
Natalie, Yami, and Heidi

By the end of my stay I wanted to stuff these two into my suitcase and illegally take them home with me stay for forever. Her girls are simply fun, we had a great time together. Yami and I found a common love of tea, painting, and loving on her girls. I'll post more pictures and write more about our adventures later!

A few things that I've learned about Costa Rica so far:

* Traffic lights, signs, and rules are simply suggestions not regulations.

* Motorbikes have a special lane.
Which would be in-between you, and the car next to you. 
Like this:

* Costa Ricans' always back into a parking spot, and can parallel park like nobody's business. Please come teach Americans your parking skillz asap.

* I hopelessly suck at understanding Spanish. I'm mentally exhausted everyday from just trying to understand what the heck people are saying. Hence why this post might be anywhere from boring, vague, or confusing.

* Loose fitting clothing doesn't exist. The tighter the better.

* Ceviche is amazing.

* You have to beg for your check at dinner. They just aren't in any hurry, and don't think you need to be either!

* There are no street signs. All directions are given in landmarks. (Women's paradise!)

* Dad and I rented a car. When we picked it up they explained to us that they would be moving the car rental location Wednesday. We called to get directions (that in itself is funny) only to tell us that they hadn't moved yet, but would for sure be moving the next day. Needless to say, we have called everyday only to hear the same thing, they would for sure be moving the next day. It is now Saturday night and they stilled haven't "officially" moved. All this to say, they don't get in a hurry.

* It's completely normal, and OK to stop in the middle of the road, shut the car off, get out, and take a picture.

Buenos Notches!

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