The sound of thundering rain against my metal roof resounds throughout the house. It’s roughly 5:45am and light outside. My family is up bustling around the house; my little sister, Stephanie (14 y.o.), is about to leave to catch the 6am bus to Santa Elena where she goes to high school. My mom and little brother, Jefferson (8 y.o.), are grabbing a bite to eat. After a large breakfast of rice, beans, fried plantains, a whole avocado, and coffee (of course), they pile into the van with my dad and drive off to school. My mom is a cook at the local grade school so she and Jefferson get off a couple of miles or so down the road while my dad continues on to work.
Now the house is mine. I get ready for the day and relax a little, often finding bugs in new places every morning (examples: in my toothbrush bag, in my shoes, and even on my hair brush!)… it keeps me on my toes, literally. It is really nice to have time to write and read my Bible in the mornings when all is quiet in the house.
I walk up the road a ways, up a very steep hill (there is only uphill and downhill here) to the Centro Comunitario where I have class every day. We have gotten in the habit of doing morning yoga at 8am, which feels great on a traveler’s body. Class begins at 9am, and in Tican time that is 9:10 or so. Mornings we have grammar with Isaura, taking a coffee break at 10:30. Lunch is served at noon, and boy is it delicious. Our cooks are a godsend; they make delicious meals and even teach us how to make it sometimes too! Their names are Mari and Mell, mother and daughter.
We reconvene at 1pm for culture class in the afternoon, often times watching a movie and interpreting short stories in Spanish. This class is taught by Eva. Both instructors are from Santa Elena and don’t speak a lick of English, which is perfect! We often have another coffee break in the afternoons (I’m afraid you might have to hook me up to a central line of caffeine when I get back) and finish class at 3pm.
I work on homework and write e-mails for a while after class until 4:30 or so. By now it is a bit calmer outside and I don’t need my rain jacket to walk home. Jefferson and Yolanda are at home with the TV on and greet me as I come in. It is a relaxed evening of TV watching and eating fried chicken, gallo pinto (a mix of rice and beans), chopped tomatoes and mango juice for dinner. Jefferson wages a card game against me that lasts about an hour and after that we play “portero” or goalie. We are all pretty tired and the kids go to bed at 8pm. I take my time and write about the day and finish up on any homework. I am the last one with the light on at 8:30pm, so I turn it off and crawl into bed. I fall asleep to the sounds of the jungle: crickets chirping, lizards barking, dogs fighting, and insects buzzing overhead.
-This is my little Costa Rican home!