What a week it has been, full of excursions and new sights and experiences. I have been especially grateful this last week for my host family. I just feel so lucky to have been paired with an awesome family! I got to know them a lot better this last week I think. For Stephanie’s birthday on the 8th (also the birthday of my brother James, how cool is that?), we spent the night at a building used to feed and teach biology students. My host dad works here, and he knew that the group was gone, so we had the place to ourselves. Universal fun for the evening: Chocolate cake and an Uno tournament. The laughter filled the empty building, and I couldn’t resist the feeling of home away from home.
Later in the week I got home from a long day of classes. My family welcomed me with smiles. The whole evening was just plain fun. I helped Yolanda and Stephanie prepare a dinner of beet salad, something like fried rice and beans, and a little fried chicken. We couldn’t help but notice the cheese puffs (a specialty down here) on top of the fridge, and Stephanie looked longingly at the perfectly plump plastic bag. We finished off every last crumb before the men of the house even knew what happened.
The rest of the evening I played soccer with Jefferson with a little ball, the doorpost as the goal. If you missed the whole Soccer World cup thing, Costa Rica’s team barely missed the final four; one penalty shot in triple overtime against Netherlands was all it took. Jefferson is certain he is going to be the next Keylor Navas, Costa Rica’s portero or “goalie”. 16 years from now, I’ll be watching the next World Cup and be the proud older sister of Costa Rica’s champion goalie.
On a more serious note, it has been a rough time for the family because their grandpa, Yolanda’s dad, has been in and out of the hospital. He has been sick for a while and probably will pass away soon. It has been hard to be in the thick of it all, but at the same time death is one of those things that nobody can avoid, and even your host family in Costa Rica experiences it. People have strong family ties here, and you can tell that they genuinely care and love each other.
When my family arrived last night after another trip from the hospital, I gave them all hugs. They brought home the world’s best comfort food, cheeseburgers and French fries. I really am learning so much more by living with a host family. Now, I can’t imagine being in a school or a hotel during my time here. To say the least, I really am blessed by my host family.
Stephanie and Jefferson enjoying some ice cream! No worries, I will have a full family picture before the end of the trip.