I’ve Arrived

2 Jun

The flights were a breeze, after no sleep the night before and lots of tears, I slept through them both. I was a little nervous about getting picked up at the airport because it said to just wear your EWH shirt and look for others who are wearing the same. Be patient, you may have to wait up to 3 hours, and for no reason should you leave the airport. I quickly saw  JJ (our coordinator here inCosta Rica) holding an EWH sign in the window and he directed me towards the other 15 or so participants that were sitting outside with their bags. I was hardly feeling social and immediately started to feel a little anxious but luckily I was one of the last ones to arrive on the morning shift, so within a half an hour we were on a bus headed to the language institute. Our host mom, Vera, came to pick up myself and another girl named Sigi and take us back to our new home. Thankfully, she  asked if we were hungry (I was starved) and fed us a big lunch of rice and black beans, and a delicious dish made of chickpeas, carrots, onions, and a little bit of pork. Sigi and I were both so tired that once we finished we climbed into bed and slept the rest of the day away.  The two other girls, Kara and Melissa,  arrived late at night around 11:30 pm, and we all did our best to situate our luggage in the bedroom that we all share (two twin beds and a set of bunkbeds) and still leave a small path to walk. We did some quick introductions and it was back to bed because we had to be back at the institute at 8:30 this morning.

Our host dad rode the bus with us so that he could show us the route that we will have to take to school everyday. We were all freaking out because none of us had exchanged money yet and so after breakfast I mentioned it and they told us not to worry, that they would cover our fare for the day. Such a quick pleasant conversation, that we stressed about for so long because everyone was too afraid to speak up hah. I guess we will learn. Our first day of lectures was basically the owner of the institute, Gladys, trying to scare the hell out of us about being safe in the city. She told us thatCosta Rica’s economy is based on tourism and since they don’t have a national army, for many, preying on tourists is a natural way to make a living. We were told not to wear any jewelry, they’ll rip it out of your ears or off your neck. Don’t take out your camera, they are watching they will follow you and steal your bag, etc. You probably will be robbed, and it may be at gun point, etc. We all left feeling extremely vulnerable, clutching to all our belongings, and just hoping to get home as quickly as possible. I know that this was just a scare tactic and they are just worried about oblivious people who are not used to living in a city and don’t know how to be aware of their surroundings, walking around with the word victim written on their forehead. It is going to take a little bit to figure out what was exaggerated and where and when is it safe to go.

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