First Impressions of Monteverde
Monteverde is so beautiful.It is rich with life and the dowtown is so cute and artsy.It has a lot of character and young energy.Its secluded nature is nice too.From up on the balcony at the station I can see all the way to the Nicoya Peninsula, I can even make out the water bodies and land mass and see the southern most tip (where I would love to go).It seems so close.It is windy here all the time, and a bit chilly, but it is absolutely beautiful.Since we have been here we had Spanish placement exams at a Spanish school down the road from Monteverde (p.s. 30 minute walk).It was so great to use my Spanish.I feel like I am always around English speaking students (oh yeah, I am) and that I'm physically in another country, but it doesn't feel like it.I look forward to my 5 month long home stay.
Yesterday I walked into town (1.5 hours) and fell in love.There are art galleries and craft shops everywhere.There are also a couple really cute bookstores, on of which I bought Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in espagnol.Yay!I'm going to finish it one day.So far, I have made it through a paragraph.It will be exciting to see if it gets any easier as I start to use Spanish more.We have Spanish classes pretty much every afternoon.Oh yeah, the Spanish place lets us use their Jacuzzi tub, gym, internet, AND they provide bus rides and taxis back to the station or from our home stays to the station.This is great considering some of our home stays could be a couple hours away.Santa Elena and Monteverde are fairly spread out and especially from the station so it is quite a feet to get places, but the walk is beautiful and I can expect a strong heart and legs by the end of my stay here AND because the internet is out at the station, these walks will be more frequent especially as we have to do more research projects.
They tax everything here.I went out to eat with some of the girls for a pizza, which cost 14 dollars.They charged a $6 tax on it!It makes sense because Costa Rica's economy is supported almost entirely by ecotourism, but I won't be eating out very often.
On our first day here before our Spanish class we took a hike up some of the trails around the field station.It was incredible.I felt like I was walking through a temperate forest because there was moss everywhere and ferns filled the under-story.However, there were lots of epiphytes all over the trees and occasional bright tropical flowers, which DEFINITELY isn't like a temperate forest.We hiked all the way up to a lookout where we could see Arenal on the Atlantic slope and the Santa Elena valley on the Pacific slope, as well as the Nicoya Peninsula of course.Everything in between was lush forest or clearings for pastureland.Because it is the dry season it is really sunny here and because we are so high up the fluffy clouds move really fast, like 5 miles/hr it seems (if that means anything to anyone).
Our rooms here are nice.I share a room with Katelyn and Lena and we have bunks, of which I got the top!Yay.I don't enjoy getting town, but I love sitting on a top bunk, it is like hiking a mountain, but much closer to the ground.We have occasional hot showers, if you pick the right time of day like early morning or late evening.I tend to get up early and take one just so I can have hot water.It is such a luxury that I take for granted in the states.In fact, having running water in general is a luxury.I am so lucky.
Now, I am sitting up on the balcony of the field station I am at, enjoying the view, but mainly working on homework.We have a few papers due this week and a big exam on Saturday, so I need to take advantage of this free time.
Costa Rica Feelings:
It is so weird because I feel like my connection with nature is a search for my spirituality that is only strengthened immensely while I have been here.Every place we have gone has had a greater spirit that is so strongly felt.I don't know if it is because these places are new and I am more in tune with my senses or feelings.I guess I would like to think I am strengthening my belief in a greater spirit by connecting with nature (which is why I want to do EE).Everything is just so incredible.
Hope all is well with everyone.