Well, I just finished my first weekend abroad! It was crazy how great new experiences can be. Friday afternoon we started the weekend by going to a neighboring town, Barva for a festival. I'm not sure what they were celebrating but the Ticos were all very excited about it. It could be almost be compared to Halloween for America. People have scary masks on everywhere. There's no candy though. Children carry around balloons on strings and hit eachother with them. The real kicker is that the balloons are made of cow and pig intestines and reek! Once you are hit with one you smell horribly for a while. Luckily none of our group go hit.
They have a small carnival and venders around selling different things and some AMAZING looking food. And of course while we were at it we had to visit a bar in town and have a drink.
Once we got tired of the Barva festival Kaitlin and myself caught a bus back into the city. Once back in Heredia we met up with Sasha and her host family. They took us to this awesome "Disco" or bar that was way up in the mountains. There was live salsa music and a lot of dancing going on. We were fully satisified watching the others dance and listen to the music. It was SO GOOD! We got pulled up and tried our best to dance with the Ticos. It's harder than it looks, but we had a great time!
Yesterday (Saturday), was a GREAT day. We started the day by visiting Cafe Britt where we got a tour of the coffee plantation and drank some really good coffee. The tour guides were very funny and made the whole thing a big show so there was a lot of laughing and fun.
We headed up to the Poas Volcano. This is exactly what the doctor ordered. I've been struggling a bit with my decision to come here. The mix of culture shock and homesickness has been getting me a little bit down. As soon as we began to climb the trails up the mountain all of it started to lift away. With two good friends by my side I began to realize some pretty big things. I made the right decision to come here. I found these two friends who are on the same path as me, trying to find ourselves. As we discussed cheesy and rather profound things I realized how important it is to me that I gain these experiences to further find myself, as well as to love myself.
Costa Ricans use the phrase "Pura Vida" which translates to Pure Life, or to live a pure, happy and fulfilling life. As cheesy as the saying is, during my hike up the mountain it resonated with me a little deeper. This is the good life and I have the chance to live it. From day one of meeting Sasha and Kaitlin we decided that this is a trip of learning who we are and beginning to love ourselves and love this life. PURA VIDA. From there we can learn to love and handle whatever is thrown at us.
The pictures are beautiful so I hope you enjoy them!
Hugs and kisses!