La Pura Vida: Dia 5

July 10, 2008 at 4:12 pm (Uncategorized)

Hola todos!

How is everyone? Un minuto…my brian is still thinking in Spanish after, no joke, 7 and a half hours of class today. I thought I’d do an entry about la vida aqui, because we have a field trip starting tomorrow and ending late Sunday night, I don’t plan on bringing my laptop.

So I’m living in La Residencia, basically a dorm that looks like the real world house. Maria y Maru clean the house and cook us breakfast during the week. (The empanadas I had for breakfast today were tuanis – slang for too good.) We have wireless (obviously), a hammock and a patio, 2 sitting rooms, 4 bathrooms, a kitchen, and a dining room. The only downside is that it is nearly impossible to get a hot shower. Also, the electricity is sketchy sometimes because it is run on hydropower.

The food here is amazing. Tons of fruit, mangoes, limes, oranges, pineapples, bananas, avocados, all fresh. And great coffee too. Everything is fresh, it’s all local, and nothing is processed. There’s this great little place that we’ve been eating at, D’Mary, and it’s just this lady, Mary, in basically a kitchen with a countertop and a bunch of tables. She makes Costa Rican homemade dinner as well as like hamburguesas y sandwiches. The food here is similar to Mexican, but much better. There’s a lot of rice and beans, they mix black beans with rice and spices, or they have white rice with spices and veggies and red beans in sauce on the side. Then you have the meat, fresh chicken or pork or steak asado, like grilled. And to drink, it’s always always juice. Pineapple, orange, melon, blackberry, watermelon, maracuyo, mora…delicious. And dessert is platanos, like bananas that are fried with cinnamon I think. I’m trying to learn all the recipes and befriend Mary with my wicked Spanish skills so she’ll teach me. I’ve heard that when people go back to the states from CR, their stomachs can’t handle American food any more because they are so used to pure food without all the additives.

Today I went to a plantation, una finca, of coffee, as it is one of the biggest exports of Costa Rica (Starbucks buys their beans from the finca I was at today). They grow a bunch of other fruit crops there, but they don’t harvest any of it. They let it fall on the ground and become fertilizer for the coffee. Apparently, it takes four years to go from a seed to a legitimate coffee plant. They have white flowers, but only for a few days. When the beans are red, they harvest them. The workers are immigrants from Nicaragua and surrounding countries, because the Costa Ricans don’t want to do such hard labor. They get about $1.50 US per basket of beans picked. It takes about an hour to fill a 25 lb basket. We got to see a whole tour of each step in the process, and try the coffee, which was deliciousa.

So this weekend is our excursion to Puerto Viejo. We are going to do some snorkeling and traveling by boat. I have been told that there is a strong Rasta influence, and Puerto Viejo is basically as close as you can get to Jamaica without actually going to Jamaica.

Tonight Veritas, the University, is hosting a dance in the courtyard. Seeing as it is monsoon-esque rain right now, I’m not sure that will happen. However, I do need to take a cold shower and get ready, because I’m sure we’ll end up doing something.

Hope everyone is happy and doing well!

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