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Living the Pura Vida

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. ” ~Mark Twain.

Hola!! Welcome to the Pura Vida (pure life). I have just spent my first week here in the lovely Costa Rica and have loved every minute thus far. With this being my first time outside the country, everything is new and different and so very exciting! While abroad I’ll be staying with my host family of Lucrecia, Victor, Adri, Mariana and the most important member, Tommy the pupper. They are all so kind and thankfully know English as my Spanish in the very early stages currently. I am studying at Universidad Veritas, which has the most amazing architecture- trees and a garden in the middle of campus with open ventilation and sun shining through every window. It’s a small school so no getting lost here! My professors are all amazing and so passionate about what they’re teaching. I get to start every morning with a “basic” Spanish class where we are only allowed to speak Spanish and every word in the textbook is Spanish so that’s been interesting. I hope to catch on quickly as it’s almost necessary to survive here. Everyone said “you’ll be fine, most people speak English” but I’m finding that isn’t exactly the case.. It’s so cool though to be immersed in a whole new environment, everything here is vibrant and unique and the sun shines all day every day which is my favorite part. After spending the week in orientation and classes, my program took us out to the nearest beach, Punta Leona for the weekend. It was amazing, that sums it up right there. Everyone talks about how there’s so many different micro climates in Costa Rica and they’re not wrong! San Jose is sunny and 75 but the beach, which was only two hours away was upper 80’s and so so humid. At least the weather does my hair for me with so much humidity haha. We made it there in time to see the sunset the first night and it was beautiful to watch the sky change colors while hearing the sounds of the ocean. I tried calamari for the first time and yeah, not my favorite. Friday was karaoke night, aka all us international students trying to sing songs in Spanish and having the locals laugh at us and cheer us on. On Saturday we visited Carara National Park where we saw many giant trees and lots of tiny critters and birds. The forest is such a unique environment and contains much diversity to discover. After that we hung out at the beach all afternoon, the water was the perfect temperature but oh so salty! Getting “wave slapped” as they call it is no good but worth it to be swimming in the ocean. The “Chikas”, a local band, were performing that evening so we spent the night being taught how to “correctly dance” while enjoying the music. All this hopefully sounds amazing, because it is, but being at the ocean and seeing firsthand all the bleached coral washing up in the waves reminds me of all the issues happening right now. It’s hard to see bone white, broken coral knowing it should be alive and full of color. It also reminds me why I chose my field of study, and I’m so thankful to be expanding upon that in one of the most bio diverse and progressive places. Costa Rica holds vast opportunities and I’m excited to be discovering them. Stay tuned for another update next week and many more pictures! Hasta luego!!

My new home!
Views from above.
Nature’s own temporary tattoo.

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