So yes it has been an adjustment living with others, as I had just gotten the hang of flying solo in my 3 bedroom condo 7 minutes from the beach in St. Augustine. (it makes sense if you know how that all came about, haha!)
Anywho, I realized what a gift it is to have this host family. Not only do I have this job that I LOVE, but I get to learn the culture even away from school. Alright so I haven't slept on any floors, but I am learning how to live, eat, and yes, even cook!
Eat rice and beans for breakfast. More rice and beans with lunch, and more with dinner. Yes, this explains why I had to buy new shorts again when I was back in the states a few weeks ago. Meep. And soup you eat with your hands. Like there will be a chicken leg and corn on the cob and such in your soup, so you literally have to pick it out of your soup to eat it. I don't know how I feel about that.
As far as cooking goes, I did learn a few of the basics when I was in Heredia last year, but when I was home a few weeks ago I realized I haven't learned any new recipes. I am living with an absolutely amazing cook, so she's started teaching me a thing or two in the kitchen. (No promises that I will be able to duplicate Costa Rican cuisine as she cooks without recipes.)
I am learning to laugh at the absurdities such as the random horse tied to the fence outside of the grocery store waiting for its master to shop. Or the school dog. We are an environmentally friendly school--in English Escuela Futuro Verde means School of the Green Future--so we have a compost bin among other projects. Any food that we don't eat, and any scraps from cooking go into a separate garbage can. At the end of every day, this can is emptied into the compost bin. So Monday afternoon I'm sitting outside in the cafeteria (yes, it's outside) trying to check a thing or two off my to-do list and the dog who lives on campus was just helping itself to the chicken bones in the compost. He kept going and getting bone after bone and cleaning any remaining meat off the bone. I was like 'this is so gross and he might choke!' but then I realized that it actually tickled me a bit and I began to laugh at what was happening.
On Sunday my host family asked me if I wanted to go to BINGO with them. Sure, why not? We brought our own chairs, because they said there may not be seating left. Is BINGO really that popular here? I was told we were going to the store where I bought my cell phone. Well I assumed that meant the little cafe across from the store or something, because why would we go to Gollo, a furniture and appliance store, to play BINGO.
My assumptions were wrong. We arrived at Gollo, and good thing we brought our own chairs because all of Cóbano, Santa Teresa, and Mal País decided to come to Gollo that day too. Is this real life? All these people here to play BINGO?!? Yes. The townsfolk had parked themselves on the display couches and those who were standing were resting their BINGO cards on washing machines.
|hello entire population of Nicoyan peninsula!|
|my card, which proved numerous times not to be the winning card|
however, I am not the proud owner of a blue bike with a basket on front. Viene, viene, viene, viene, VIENE! I was sooo close to winning a twin size mattress. Hahaha! It was great watching people win all this stuff! From frying pans, to tables, to bikes, to bar stools and umbrellas. At one point one of the employees even began throwing free pillows to the crowd from the second floor of the store.
Despite the fact that I left without winning any new possessions, I won something even better: a simple, yet delightful experience of playing BINGO the tico way.