Hola mae! My name is Lindsay Tufts and I am currently a Sophomore here at CUA. For this week’s edition of Globetrotters I am writing to you from Costa Rica, where I have been studying abroad since January 12th! Unfortunately, the sun has set on my time here and I am officially heading home for summer break! My time here in Costa Rica has flown by faster than I ever could have imagined and these past four months have truly been some of the most rewarding of my life thus far! So let me give you an idea of what it meant to live the “Pura Vida” life…
While living in Costa Rica there was truly no shortage of things to do; and thanks to the amazing program, SOL Education Abroad, we were taken to many cool places and always had awesome hotels and accommodations (all of which were included in the program fee!). With my fellow SOLmates I traveled to many beautiful places such as Manuel Antonio Pacific Beach, Arenal Volcano & Natural Hot Springs, La Fortuna Waterfall (we also went on a Rainforest Zipline tour here!), and a weekend in Boquete, Panama. The rest of our weekends we were free to do as we wished! I traveled with my friends to Playa Jacó, Playa Dominical, Bajos del Torro Waterfall, and San José. I even was lucky enough to have made friends with a fellow SOLmate who is from Guatemala; he took us there for the weekend!
However while I basically was on vacation for four months, I still had to do school work! Luckily for me, our classes were very fun. Not to mention, our teachers were amazing! We had class five days a week from 8-11 AM. I loved going to class everyday because our teachers understood that we were there to learn the language and immerse ourselves in the culture, and therefore we had fun activities every day that helped us learn Spanish faster than if we were sitting in a lecture or doing worksheets. We always had fun assignments such as making an instructional video on how to prepare a traditional Costa Rican dish or a talent show where we acted out a famous piece of literature we had read in class. The fun never ended in Costa Rica!
Overall I have absolutely loved my experience here. There is so much to love about this amazing country! The best experience is most certainly the home-stay. My host family welcomed me and my house-mate as if we were there own children and loved to spend time with us. The other amazing thing about studying in Costa Rica is that there is so much to do and it is possible to get nearly everywhere in the country via public bus. While that does mean sitting on a bus anywhere from 2-10 hours, the most expensive bus ticket is $12.00. So affordable, how could you not want to explore the country! Not to mention the faith life in Costa Rica – you couldn’t walk down the street without seeing a statue of Mary or seeing a beautiful church. As for the slip side, there are not many things to dislike about Costa Rica. However, the diet was big adjustment! While I thought I would never want to eat beans, rice, and plantains ever again, since arriving home I have eaten them nearly every other day! The other adjustment was to the bugs. The kitchen of my house was open-air and the front door was left open during the day. This meant getting used to cockroaches and little lizards living in our house. While at first this was horrifying, it soon became funny to my house mate and I to see where the next cockroach might show up and debate over who was going to kill it. One of the lizards even took a liking to my room specifically and lived behind my suitcases- I named him Gary!
As I said earlier, my experience here as changed my life in ways which I am so thankful for. I have 40 new friends who live all across the Unites States, I have visited places I never could have dreamed of, and experienced God’s graces in every beautiful waterfall I saw and every
person I met. I now have family in Costa Rica and I now know what it means to truly relax and live “Pura Vida”.
Hasta pronto, Lindsay Tufts