We have been in Costa Rica for over a week now and have gotten to do some amazing things. Not only did we go to a national soccer game (which was an event to support child cancer), travel around the central valley of Costa Rica (where its capital, San Jose, is located), and saw a giant volcanoslashcrater (I have trouble typing on Spanish keyboards), but we have also been living with some amazing homestay families. ¡Que tuanis! (In English ¨how cool!¨)
The town where we live is called ¨Carrillos Alto¨ and it has a beautiful view of part of the central valley of Costa Rica. Every morning that we walk down the hill to catch the bus for school and I am again stunned by the the incredible beauty that surrounds us. This beauty is also in the hearts of the Ticos (Costa Ricans). The families we live are all extremely helpful and make us feel secure and welcomed. My host mom always asks me how my day is, how I´m doing and is so generous with her time and home. The other day we sat and discussed religion and marriage after dinner, and I felt privileged to hear her opinions on Catholicism and more about her life. I also love that it is custom to ask how people are doing every morning as a form of greeting.
Last week I went with my host brothers to a local soccer game and we cheered on the oldest brother. Just the experience of being surrounded by Ticos and chatting while watching a game of soccer, the most important and unifying sport in the country, was amazing. I love talking, walking, and playing with my host brothers and my little host sister makes me smile every time I am with her. Coming from a smaller family it is wonderful to be in a large host family and in a town where most of the families and related through first and second cousins. Families live next to their siblings or parents and I´m constantly discovering who are my host cousins. Everyone knows everybody.
I won´t steal stories from others in our group who might also want to write about their families, but thus far the vast majority of experiences that I´ve heard about have been incredibly positive. I can only hope that the experience for the host families is just as positive for them as it is for our group. It will be very hard to leave my host family in less than two weeks.