Up and Away

Day 2 – January 4, 2013

What did you do today? Today was largely a day of traveling. Buses to planes to vans. I woke up at 2:15 in the morning to catch a bus to the airport. I fell asleep, woke up, and headed to the airport in the same time that most undergrads pre game, go to the bar, and get their drunk munchies on a typical night out. Waking up that early after only a short cat nap made for one tiring day of traveling, but the adrenaline of going to a new country and experiencing a new culture kept me going until 11 that night. We arrived at Apartotel Santa Maria in the afternoon and were just taken aback by how nice it was! I really didn’t expect to be this pampered on this trip….a living room, kitchen, A/C, beautiful tile showers, a pool with a view of the mountains?! Livin the dream. After settling in to our hotels briefly, we met up with the other iMedia group going to a different part of Costa Rica (read: the middle of nowhere to live with an indigenous tribe for a week) for a brief meeting about Costa Rican culture and a dinner at a local restaurant.  We had delicious grilled chicken, rice, refried beans (which I originally thought was molé), cole slaw, and chayote (I think…a type of squash). We had fresh juice (I tried the passion fruit juice – maracuyá – SO TASTY) with our meal and vanilla ice cream for dessert (which tasted better than any other vanilla ice cream I’ve ever had in the states, I don’t know what’s different about it, but “que rico”). We topped of our meal with coffee which was useless against battling our fatigue from the early morning wake-up call. Afterwards, we headed to the grocery store to stock up on some snacks, had a meeting before bed to go over the game plan for the next day, and headed to bed for much-needed sleep (but not before fitting in some Harry Potter with Spanish subtitles on HBO).

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With regards to the project, what specific things are you concerned about? Once getting to Costa Rica, I got a little more nervous about being one of the key translators for the group. Spanish speakers just talk so fast! Have you ever heard them?! It’s like a sorority girl cracked out on too much caffeine talking about the most recent gossip…times the entire population. I know it will start coming back to me the more I’m around it, but I just don’t want to fail my group.

Do you feel prepared for the project culturally, why or why not? I definitely feel fairly culturally prepared for this project in large part because I studied abroad for the fall semester of my junior year. I think if it had been my first time in a foreign country, I would have been a little more nervous, but since I had lived in a Spanish culture for 3 months previously, I felt confident stepping into another culture. I do wish we had had a little more contact with someone specifically from Costa Rica to share their experiences in their culture, their beliefs, attitudes, etc. in contrast with those in the United States. The speakers that met with us in the fall semester were interesting for the most part, but I think we could have discussed the culture in more depth to better prepare ourselves for customs and current affairs.

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