Saturday, August 31, 2013

First day of action in Costa Rica!

My post is so late today because we used my laptop to stream some Husky Football! We had to support our Dawgs, and what a great game it was!

Fiery throated hummingbird
(not my picture-it moved too fast!)
Today we traveled to Volcan Poaz National Park and the Souvenir Museum. Like I posted yesterday, I was a little worried about the hike up the volcano, but for the most part it was a piece of cake. Even though I'm somewhat in shape, there was one little section where I was struggling to catch my breath and my bad knees were definitely hurting, but the overall experience was fun, and good practice for our 10x longer hikes to come. (oh boy) We were on the trail for a few hours, stopping every few minutes to look at plants, birds, and any other thing we might find. My very favorite thing that we came across during our time there was the fiery throated hummingbird. It was very beautiful, and it flew right out in front of us!

Just as soon as we all piled into our van after the hike, it started pouring, and I mean POURING down rain. Even living in Seattle, this was rain like I had never seen before. There was thunder and lightening too, so it was pretty cool. We ate lunch during the storm which was casado with chicken. Casado in Spanish means married. Casado is the main dish in Costa Rica and it basically means rice and beans (and then you get your choice of meat). It's called casado because even though rice and beans are separate things, they are always together. I thought that was kind of cute. So far, I'm enjoying it and it hasn't upset my stomach. Yay!

The Souvenir Museum was great, but too much to explain. Tomorrow we wake up, eat, leave our hotel and travel to a new place three hours away. We'll get to take a tour of the Dota Coffee Plantation which should be interesting. We'll get to learn all about the production of coffee and how it helps this country. Of course, we'll get to have some too which I am excited for. I can't remember what else we are doing tomorrow. It's so weird to me because in Ghana we were provided with a NICE schedule that had all the times, places and things we were going to do and we almost always stuck to it. I loved it. Here all we have is a calendar that doesn't make sense to me-its not specific at all-and I'm a person who needs structure! But that's another thing, I need to learn to just go with the flow. I'm a little uptight I guess so I need to loosen up and enjoy this time!

Well, it's about midnight over here and we have to be up early. I don't know when I'll be able to post again since we are leaving our hotel and beloved wifi behind. But hopefully soon! Here are some pictures from today. More to come! : ) 
Rainy Season

The amazing bebida de la Pina! (Pineapple drink)

Casado con pollo, platanos y patata.
(Rice and beans with chicken, plantains and potatoes) YUM
Lagoon at Volcan Poaz. 

"Birding" on the trail. That phrase is still so funny to me. hahahaha
A pretty plant

Sunny flowers

Butterfly looking flower.

Friday, August 30, 2013

First day in Costa Rica

We landed in Costa Rica today around noon! So far it has been great. Within the first couple of hours we got the privilege of seeing the President. He was just walking around on the street-it was pretty cool. Imagine if President Obama could do that! We took a small tour of the cathedral which was beautiful and we walked around the streets of Alajuea. We also ate at a cute restaurant called Jalapeno and it was delicioso. I'm happy because my Spanish is not as bad as I thought. I can understand a lot, I just have to keep practicing speaking it. Anyway, I'm mostly going to just post pictures today because I am e x h a u s t e d and am having a lot of trouble focusing. I am going to go to bed soon! 

Tomorrow we are waking up at the crack of dawn to hike up a volcano. So please pray for me ya'll. I don't know if I'm that well prepared. But I am excited and definitely happy to be here :-) 

Here are some pictures from today.
The Cathedral

My favorite picture in the Cathedral

The table at the restaurant (My mom would appreciate this) 

The President of Costa Rica

We were warned not to touch any animals, regardless of how cute they are. I struggled when it came to this little guy today. He was adorable!

The smallest tortillas I've ever seen

Some bomb juice I got from the supermercado

City Sign. It reminds me of the LOVE sign in NY.

My dinner! I hadn't eaten all day so this was extra delicious. I ate every bite! 
Our hotel! Los Volcanes. Its so cute!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Leaving tomorrow!

Well, I leave tomorrow for Costa of course I am up late tonight getting everything together. I am nervous and excited! Just for a little background, I am going to Costa Rica for a study abroad through UW. We are going to be studying the environment, getting to know the people, and learning Spanish along the way. We'll be there for 3 weeks and then right when we get back-school starts! I wanted to write a blog for my family and friends who like to hear about my adventures and enjoyed my Ghana blog (even though I don't plan on making this one as in depth). I have been anticipating this trip for a while and am praying that I am able to put all my worries behind, live "in the moment", and enjoy it to the fullest! I have my hiking boots ready, my binoculars in a safe spot, and of course-tons of bug spray packed. I have a feeling that this will be one of my biggest adventures yet. :-)