Like a band of gypsies we go down the highway
Alright, I know I've been here a while already and haven't given an update. Well, I arrived, I'm safe, I'm here. Went out one last time with Stuart last Friday night before saying goodbye to Panama. Went to bars, clubs, etc. before returning "home" to go to sleep because had flight in the morning. Went into the kitchen after Stuart went to bed to get water and found some strange Panamanian looking startled, who I think was as confused as I was as to why the other person was there. I later discovered he came to feed that cat that I wasn't aware was living there... interesting. Got up early Saturday to go to the airport. After a fairly short flight, arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica. Met some other students there and then we all took a bus to meet our host families. I met my "papa" at the school with his car. He told me they lived really close and then literally backed the car up a couple feet and told me we were there. The family is really nice. Dad: Juan Pablo, Mom: Letti, Daughter: Catallina, who actually works at my study abroad program and is my same age, and Son: Andres, who I have met only twice for a total of about 10 seconds. They all live in the main house, where I eat my meals, but I have my own apartment outside, complete with separate entrance, kitchen, bathroom, cable TV and internet (however I don't have a computer, so that doesn't help much). A girl (Marcina) who's going to school in Denver, CO (I know, I seem to attract people from here as roommates)lives in an apartment above me, and a girl from Guatemala (Christine) lives right next to her. We have a little deck area that we share with a nice cover over it since it rains almost every day. It's a pretty nice set-up to say the least. They have three dogs: Torri, Luna and Lucy, and I am sharring my apartment with a couple geckos and possibly a ghost (my tv will randomly turn on, and trash will go missing from my garbage can). My ghost likes channell 56, but I prefer 44, so it's a constant battle. The streets don't have street signs, or names for that matter. The map of San Jose that I got has random arrows instead that I don't know what they mean. My "address" is "100 meters West of University Veritas, diagonal to Mango Park." Some of the others that I have found include: "75 meters Southeast of the Special Pharmacy, the house with green trim," "100 meters North and 100 meters East of University Veritas, the tan house with white trim on the left" or "The two story yellow house with palm trees in front, close to the ministy of security." I don't understand how anyone really finds their way around, but it seems to work. In fact, my mom addressed a package to this description and I was convinced it was lost for good until it magically arrived yesterday. I've only been downtown briefly, and the program has more than emphasized that petty theft is very common. I think I may have to go buy some cheap disposable cameras so I can take pictures downtown because I'm scared to bring my camera out. Today was my second day of classes. I have Spanish everyday from 8-12 and then on Tuesdays and Thursdays I have digital photography from 4-6. So I'll have a lot of freetime in the afternoons to explore. This weekend am going to Monteverde Cloud Forest, and the weekend after that I am going with a couple girls to Limon, which is on the coast of the Carribean for a huge festival. What else, what else, what else??? ummm.... that's about it for now. Sorry this was so long. les amo, un abrazo y un beso. P.S. Oh, and I put some more pics up, but one of my cds is refusing to work, so Peru (part II) is coming, and I'll try and get some pics from Panama and here up soon.