zondag 30 september 2012

Canopy, Rafting & free hugs!

Day 71, Domingo 22 septiembre 2012 22:52
Yaaay finally I did one of my favourite hobbies again! Making or baking something with chocolate! My hostmom bought a kilo chocolate chips the other day at the Primark so now we could finally make cookies! We went to the grandmothers house after I skyped with my family a little bit. There my hostmom and I made around 100 chocolate chip cookies and the family members who were there were very thankful for that! On Sundays there are always family members overthere. We ate half and the other half we took home to take to school or something. Wow, looking at the last 3 sentences I see that it has family in it 3 times, yes Costa Rica it is! Anyways it was very fun and good bonding to make cookies with my hostmom!
In the evening I went with my hostbrother to a friends house again and there we just talked, again one million questions about the Netherlands but I love to share things about my country, family and ways of living, and that’s way it’s called an exchange, because I exchange cultures.
One thing what is kind of annoying is that everybody thinks I have a lot of money, which is not that way. People always ask me to borrow or give them money or things or see me in a different way just because they think I have a lot of money, they either so me more positive or negative depending on the person. But do note my hostfamily doesn’t see me this way!
Day 72, Lunes 23 septiembre 2012 22:25
Dia libreee
waking up because of a tekst saying:’hoy no hay clases’ is the best thing to wake up to. It came on a perfeft day since I went to sleep late yesterday. I slept untill 10 ate my breakfast, posted some letters, watched television, chatted with friends helped my little brother with homework and some more stuff, an easy day!
Today at taekwondo they told me I could get the yellow belt within 6 weeks so that’s a new goal set! Furthermore I had good talks about stuff with my family and with some other exchange students.
I.Am. Happy.

day 74, miercoles 26 septiembre 2012 23:05
whoops let a day slip
yesterday I just crashed in my bed and fell asleep so I didn’t write. Its unbelieveable how much you forgot within 1 day! I didn’t do anything very special though yesterday. At Taekwondo I talked a little bit more with the guys I’m training with and they seem very nice! I guess they will be friends as well. Also there will be a Taekwon-do tournament in Orotina anytime soon, that will be cool and maybe I can participate!
About today, again I’m going to sleep way to late, tomorrow sleep early for sure! At school we made trashcans out of plastic bottles and not very much more but it was cool to actually do real recycling for the first time of my life! At home I made copies of the keys, which I guess pretty much means that I can stay here! I made iced coffee for the family and we drank that with delicious chocolates my uncle brought! Furthermore I helped my little brother with english homework, and my other brother with maths.
Also the next trip is announced, 3 days to Panamian islands! I want to go so bad, and I probably will. Just need the permission of my parents and I’m good to go! And within 2 days is the canopy trip, it will be soooooo good to see everybody again!

Day 77, sabado 29 septiembre 2012 21:32
These days were sooooo gooood!
This were just so amazing good days for so many reasons! I feel so intens happiness right now, there are hardly words for. To give you the best view of the last 2 days I will just start at the beginning and at the end, like logical.
On Wednesday I got on the idea to go this Friday to San Jose in a early bus and just discover the city with some people. I gathered some people, arranged time and places, and we were all set for the coming days!
So yesterday I took the bus at 10:20 to San José with Ruth, Yukari and Rinka. We arrived at 11:30 and with the help of an epic map I drew that morning we went to an other busstation to pick up Frida, Bea, Anna and Jess. It was so amazing good to see and hug them ago, again a moment of realisation how fast 10 weeks passed. Then again with the amazing map and my feeling for orientation we found the park where we were going the meet Valentina. So  after 20 minutes Valentina arrived and 1 more was added to the group. We went to a little shop street and went to Quiznos Sub to have lunch, do not expect it’s the same as Subway, Subway is so much better, larger and cheaper! While were eating we were just talking about everything, after 10 weeks there are just soo many stories! When we were finished we walked to an other busstation, this time in a really creepy neighbourhood to pick up Tosca, Ellie and Sarah. Then we were all back together and we went to walk a little more, we passed a construction store and there Frida and Valentina made ‘free hug’ signs. Then first we went to the hostel to put our bags away and then we went to some bigger streets and we started giving free hugs, they forced me to do it! But I actually really liked it as well, it is such a good feeling hugging everybody and giving them a good day! But after 1 hour of doing that it started raining a bit and we kept losing each other so we went into a café to have a coffee. Then at the café we got called that we should be at the hostel at 5. So we kinda had to rush while giving free hugs though. Arrived at the hostel there turned out to be nobody there and that we had still 2 hours left to do stuff, that was kinda annoying. But yeah we just stayed at the hostel and chilled and talked and more people came. In the night we ate dinner at an Italina restaurant and it was so nice to go out of dinner with just friends and no adults or daddy and mommy, so grown up! In the hostel we just took a evening walk and stayed up late just talking about everything. This day was really cool because we were in the big city all be ourselves being grown up and adult! We can be proud! Also I now know San José centrum pretty well so that I always good!
And today was also amazingly awesome! We got up around 7, I had a pancake with maple syrup breakfast and I delicous hot shower, the first real hot shower since I got here! Then we went a bus to the national park for the rafting, in the bus there was this amazing tourguide, it’s just undescribeable I laughed so much, I cried tears of lauching for the first time in Costa Rica. It was at the part he told us that Costa Ricans never eat the same, for breakfast there is Gallo Pinto, Rice, Beans and eggs mixed up. For lunch Rice, Beans and picadilly, but seperated and for dinner, Black Bean soup with rice in it, so never the same but always Rice and Beans! It was so funny because that’s exactly the way it goes in my family! Sooo funny! Then we got at the amazingly cool part of rafting! I was in a boat with Frida, Valentina, Louisa and Melina and ofcourse a crazy raftguide, is it just me or are raftguides always crazy? Anyways the rafting was really really amazing cool! There was 1 guy taking pictures and we will get those later!  The rafting it self was ju likest fast streamed water,  half waterfalls and big waves! I sat in the front so got all the big hits and a lotn of water but I loved it so bad! Just happiness deep into the heart and mind! Somewhere in the river we stopped and we could jump of a cliff. Normally I would like doubt about doing it, but now there was no doubt at all, I was going to jump of this cliff for sure! I jumped together with Louisa and it was like 5 meters and it was ofcourse delicious and amazing and awesome, I just can’t find the perfect words for it, but maybe the perfect word is perfect?
After the rafting we went all wet into the bus and drove to a place where we could change clothes and stuff. After that we went to the canopy place, I actually already was there before so that was cool, just because I could say like, I know this part of C.R.! At the canopy we were just walking to the restaurant for lunch and BAM out of nothing there was a SLOTH in a tree, o my god so clooose! It was adorable moving so slow and relaxed and just looking at us, I took a lot of photo’s and it was sooo coool to see him or her from so close, just like 2 meters away! After the sloth photoshoot session we had a nice lunch and then it was time for the canopy! We got into our fancy canopy pants and helmets and got ready! The first line was a bit small but good to start with and then they got bigger and bigger and we had to walk some pieces and we were taking photo’s and filming while canopying and stuff! The last 3 were really big like 300 meters and 45 meters above the ground! It was such a good feeling, flying through the Costa Rican jungle! It ended way to quickly anyways ofcourse! So then we sat in the bus back all being really tired and just more talking and talking!
Then we arrived at the hostel again and we had to say goodbye all ready! But it was not that bad because within 10 days we are going to PANAMA!!!! Yes 3 days at amazing islands at the carribean! I walked alone to the busstations, there I had trouble with buying a ticket and I managed to get on a bus to Jaco which passes through Orotina so I was happy and save in the bus!
I tried my best to describe these 2 days but it is so hard, I can describe the activities but not the fact that after 10 weeks we were finally reunited, best friends back together just like camp! It is so good to see everybody again, talk about all your problems and then finding out everybody has time, being able to have a good english conversation again and just the vib, the delicious internatioanl friendships. Also it was so good to talk Dutch and about Dutch things again with Tosca, just words like ‘gezelligheid’, ‘koelie joelie’ and that kind of stuff!

The most important things of thes days are that I just had a lot of fun and enjoyed it to the max, it really gives a boost to my year and how I am feeling here! I now know that these people really care and I love them! Like really feel love, not just saying 3 words without a meaning.
Peace and love, keeping your head up and enjoying life!
Pura vida!

zondag 23 september 2012

My 10th week already!

Day 64, 16 Septiembre 2012 23:16
Cultural differences.
Because of that compliments I got on my blog will I continue to write, not only about the stuff I do but also about the differences I experience. Also note that my grammar check does not work, so the English is not perfect.
Back to my Costa Rican life, today I Skyped again with my parents and satisfied my internet addiction in the morning. Yes I figured out that I have an internet and food addiction, and also the fear of getting fat. I just can´t resist the delicious panaderia´s, the bakkeries here. But there are a lot of fat people here and I definitly do no want to be like them, so I sport a lot as well, yes an other addicition.
Sunday is family day, first we went from lunch to grandmothers there were some uncles and aunts and after it we went to an other uncle who lives in the mountains. He built an amazing house with an incredible view. Here came the same aunts and uncles who were for lunch at grandma’s as well. The uncle who owe’s the house cooked delicous soup on a traditional Costa Rican way, just a pan on a fire ‘A la Leña’. Also we danced, they learned me the salsa! Everybody was so happy, just dancing and eating and having a good time and appreciating the family!
After 9 weeks I experienced a lot of culture difference, I’ll try to describe most of time. Culture exsist of a few things: language, religion, food, music and stuff, value’s and the way of thinking and doing.
First of all, language. In Costa Rica we speak Spanish, but it is different from Spain Spanish. In Costa Rica we say a lot of ‘Pura Vida’ and ‘Mae’ also the way of prenouning and some more words are different. But more important, the differnce between Dutch and Spanish. The learn the culture, I must learn the language. I’m doing pretty well on learning the language. But right now I just have to let my Dutch go. When I translate the Spanish it isn’t logical but it is correct Spanish, that is sometimes difficult. Also Spanish has words which don’t exsist in Dutch and they sometimes have more words for stuff we have 1 word for, like the word ‘to be’ has 2 forms in Spanish.
Religion, Costa Rica is very religious with most people being Catholic. I do not believe in god, and are far from Catholic. The Costa Ricans doesn’t always understand this. To learn all of the culture I should learn about this religion, but this is just something I cannot do, for me it is just impossible. I will join my family to church, to be part of the family and to see the culture. I do respect that they are religious, and I hope they will respect it that I am not.
Food, food is in important part of the Costa Rican life. Most famous are the Rice and Beans, and if it’s more advanced it’s ‘Gallo Pinto’ that means egg, and some more species are added. The next level is ‘Casado’ this is a big dish with rice, beans, meat, egg, potatoes, picadilly and salad and some more things. They sell this everywhere. But there is way more tipical food, I don’t know the names and I can describe it neither. But we always eat tipical at my house since my hostmom is a tipical food teacher. In my house we eat ‘Gallo Pinto’ and bread with marmelade for breakfast. For lunch I eat rice, beans, and something for lunch, this something various from meat, to salad to potatoes. At 4 o’clock when I come home from school we drink coffee and eat bread. Then between at 8 P.M. we eat Gallo Pinto with meat. Food also comes with hygiene, Costa Rica is pretty different when it comes to this. We brush our teeth 3 times a day and wash the dishes after and before we are going to eat. Further more there is cleaning everyday. Also we change clothing every day. But on the other side, it is not important if the dog shits in the garden and garbage splitting isn’t done either. Oh, and we eat with just a spoon, and hands.
Music and stuff, Costa Ricans love Reggea, mostly Bob Marley but also other good ones. Besides that they like salsa, and when there is salsa they will dance. This is a very good part of the culture, they are always happy! It doesn’t matter how much money they have or how other stuff is, they are happy and nice, ooh man they are nice. I didn’t knew there were such nice people in the world. People help each other, and make each other happy without knowing each other. In The Netherlands this is not very common. Also they care about the nature, there are a lot of commercial on the televison about containing the nature and stuff. Also nobody keeps the lights on when it’s not needed. People help keep the streets and parks clean and respect the nature. On the other hand, they do like to take the care, going on the bike if it’s a 5 kilometer ride is not done, neither is walking more as 500 meters.
The values and way of thinking, this is pretty hard since they go pretty deep that´s sometimes hard to see. 1 value is pretty clear, family. Family goes before anything. I noticed this in my current family. In the 11 days I live here I think I have seen an family member everyday. Every Sunday is family day, that means eating at a house and dancing and enjoying life. Also they are pretty patriotic I think, they love there country but also respect others. And nature, nature is a big part of the culture. They respect nature and contain it.  
  There propably are a lot more cultural differnce but I can´t come up with it now or didn´t expierence it yet.

Day 65, Lunes 17 Septiembre 2012 21:32
Yes, homesickness as well is a part of exchange. It came out of nowhere, I just hit me when I woke up. I don’t know why I felt homesick, maybe because I dreamt about home, or because I wrote grandmother a letter. Some friends Skyped me, and that didn’t make it better. As well I was sitting alone in the garden and it always makes me feel bad when I’m alone. It was a free day and I had nothing to do. Three friends I asked to do something couldn’t go. It was all just not perfect. But still, I live a delicous life now. I don’t know were this homesickniss come from, but it is normal and it’s good to think about home. Writing about it right now makes it better already. Tomorrow I will go to school again and every thing will be normal again. I guess it maybe was because I was bored. Maybe this all sounds really vague but it is really hard to write down what you feel sometime.
I did went to Taekwondo again today, I learned some pretty cool kicks and the teacher said I have a good potential for Taekwondo!

Day 67, Miercoles 19 Septiembre 2012 21:39
Blog in danger?
I think my blog is in danger now, days are getting normal again and nothing special is actually happening. I’ll go ask more people do more stuff so I leave the house more, and do more and because of that my blog will survive as well.
On Wednesdays we don’t do that much in school, I have tourism all day but the last 3 times we watched a movie about the second world war, this time it was Anna Frank. I think it is pretty good that this teacher, who teaches religion shows us this movies. The kids here don’t know a lot about the second world war here. Some of them were even surprised I said Germany is totally save and that they don’t hate the jews, except for this small group of neo-nazi’s. Also the school system here doesn’t have different levels like in The Netherlands, and that is noticed in class. Some people get high notes, some people low and there is not much to do about it. In school there can be a lot better, but I like it, we don’t work hard, and we take our time to do stuff. It isn’t even that bad to sit in school from 7 to 4:15. Also getting up at 5:30 and going to sleep around 22:00 is totally normal for me.
After school I went home and there was a teacher from my school helping my little host brother with his english. Since she was an english teacher I could finally have a good face to face conversation again. She and my hostbrother were literally shocked I ate bread with butter and sugar, like they really said:’eres loco?’. As well she told me she knows somebody who knows me, it turned out to be an other exchange student. But that actually is one of the things I like of this town, people know me. People hump their horns and wave to me, even if they met me once and I already forgot about them. Yes, now I am the different one, and everybody wants to talk to me!
Okey, if I just start typing my blog will be okey I think, since I didn’t expect to be able to write anything..
Anyways, time to sleep!

Day 68, Jeuves  21 septiembre 2012 23:51
What a long day! Like everyday I woke up at 5:30, waking up at 5:30 instead of 6:00 makes it a lot harder actually. Somethings that didn’t change in this new family is making your own breakfast, that is just really something the moms do. I tried to fight it in my old family, but now I realised I just have to let go of my Dutch standerds and thoughts.
 At school I only had Spanish in the morning, and at 9 we were finished with school. Around 9:30 we went to the sythatic soccer field and played soccer for 2 hours. It turns it to be that goalie really is just more my thing, not important whether in or out the water. After soccer I Had lunch with some other boys who were else playing soccer, I didn’t really knew them before but they are nice, so I think I made some more friends J!
I spent the afternoon in Orotina with Ruth, just buying some stuff we need, drink a smoothie, eat a banana, drink a cappucinno and stuff like t thern hat.
Then at 18:30 I went to the soccer ‘stadium’ but it was more like a big hall with some tribunes, I’ll post the photo’s soon! It was in 1 word amazing. There were a lot of people, drums, flags, supportes, face paint and everything! We were singing SI SE PEUDO and VAMOS OROTINA! Si se peude, means yes it is possible, which indicates the 5 goal differnce we needed, vamos orotina just means go Orotina. The match it self was pretty cool aswell. We had to win with at least 5 goals of difference, I pretty hard task. After 10 minutes playing time, (they play bruto time, just like waterpolo) the score was 3-2 for the opponents. It is very similar to waterpolo, the public is close to the game, the game is fast, the arbiters are bad and they fight a lot. Anyways, after 10 minutes the lights went off and it was completely dark, this darkness held on for 30 mintes, and after 10 more minutes of warming up again the lights went off for an other 15 minutes, so there was a 1 hour delay. After this lights out Orotina went wat better and we got a lot a head of ‘Borussia’, the opponents. In the end we won with an incredible 11-6 which means we also won the national throphee! The release of tention was really big and it was a great feeling! Most people ran into the field hugging everyone and stuff, but then I noticed one thing which worries me. While everybody was running to the field 1 player of the opponents got overrun but the Orotina people, after that some people were kicking home while he was lying helpless on the ground in the crowd, that was horrible, I might have a picture of it.
After there was like a small party but we just stayed untill they got the cup and after that we left since we do have school tomorrow…

Day 69, viernes 21 septiembre 2012 20:54
A good but tiring day!
I am and was tired all day, I got up at 5:30 that means I had only 5 hours of sleep. I got a cold and school was just writing down what the teacher was saying, also very tiring. Luckily we had only class in the morning, we even stopped a little bit earlier, I just asked if I could go a bit earlier so I won’t miss the bus and then everybody could go.
When I got home I ate my lunch, rice and beans. And then my hostmom arrived as well. Apparently having a cold is not very normal in Costa Rica. She give me a pill, I took it eventhough I hate medicine. Then she started talking about vaccinations and I was like what the fack it’s just a cold, I of course didn’t say it that way, I just said that I only have slimy nose and nothing more. I took a siesta because I was so tired and it was delicious! Waking up really early makes your day a lot longer so that is a positive thing about waking up early.
 I went to a farm of an uncle with my hostdad, he bought 13 cows yesterday and they stay on this farm. He bought these cows as an investment, in a few months when they are fatter he will sell them again. On this farm are as well a lot of mango trees, but now there were no mango’s but in a few months there will be incredebily much, there was 1 tree with tiny mango’s and there were just so many in 1 tree! Also there was 1 lemon tree, which do has lemons, we picked around 100 lemons and took them home to make lemonade of them. On our way back we stopped at every house where a family member lives, family is top priority in Costa Rica!
In the evening I had Taekwondo practice again, and now I want to sleep early!

day 71, Sunday 22 September 2012 10:54
walking to the river
yesterday I forgot to write so I write yesterdays story now while I’m waiting on my parents to get online on skype.
Yesterday I went to a friends house somewhere in the mountains together with Ruth. From there we walked downhill to the nearby river. It really felt like a holiday, walking on a mountain passing by cows and looking for the best path to walk. When we were half way it started raining a little but luckily the guy who owns the farm downhill picked is up with a pick up, how cliché getting picked up by a pick up. We sat at the back of the pickup and drove the last bit to the river. We couldn’t swim in this river because it was to strong and there are a lot of crocodilles, I didn’t see any though. On the way back, again in the car we picked up some watermelons and took them up to the house. We were pretty dirty so we washed a little, ate some ricemilk which is extremely good in Costa Rica! And then we went home, me and Ruth walking over an dark road where snakes love to sleep pretty cool.

zondag 16 september 2012

A new family, A new life

Day 57, Domingo 9 Septiembre 2012 21:47
A traditional Costa Rican birthday.
I woke up around 9, had an delicious breakfast and went to the garden to skype home, in the garden there is WiFi of an other house. It was so good the Skype again, there was a lot to tell. My family was going to have a bbq but I was not homesick or anything, just because I am so happy right now.
Around 12 we first went to the grandmothers house to introduce me, this grandmother (mother of 14 childeren) is really nice and treated me like one of her grandsons. Then we drove 15 minutes to a very rural area where a birthparty was. At the party was a lot of family, my hostdad has 11 brothers and sisters and my hostmom 13, so it’s a big family. But not all of them were there but I got introduced to a lot of people. Then we sat down at a table with our family and some uncles and aunts joined. The rest of the party was just waiting on food and eating it, very Costa Rican they said. Everybody was just so nice to me, asking me about The Netherlands, telling me about Costa Rica and stuff. Also everybody tells me I speak really good spanish and they don’t believe I only learned it here in 1 and a half month. Also my hostfamily likes to tell people this J! This new host family is so nice, my hostmom already calls me her son! Also the hostdad is really nice and funny, like all dads are if I quote my biological dad. Also I talked a lot with my host brother and he is really nice, invitng me to do a lot of things, and he is a lot like me. Skinny, lazy and always dropping things and bumping into stuff. It is incredible how I found this new family which fits me so good, without having to search for ages, or without making and comparing all those profiles!
I love my crazy beautiful Costa Rican life!

                                    Day 58, Lunes 10 septiembre 2012 22:15
Feliz dia del niño!
Actually it was yesterday dia del niño (kids day) but we celebreted it on Monday with school. First there were some speeches, one really good one about tolerance, this speech also included a part where the teacher spoke about me as an exchange student.  As well we were singing the national anthem and the schoolband played something. This was as well because it was the beginning of the events the following week because it is the week of pattriotism. Everywhere you come you see the Costa Rican flag and the tri colour, the 3 colours of CR blue, red and white. Also I helped decorating the school with these colours and flags. In the afternoon there where all kind of games and also a mechanic bull and piñata’s. It’s a bummer I didn’t bring my camera.
When I came home I helped my little brother with his english homework, bought some things I needed and talked with my family. After dinner I went with my old host brother to some of his friends, we just sat on a corner of a street and talked, but it’s very nice he invites me to meet his friends. Also I already met both grandmothers a lot of aunts and uncles and everyday I get introduced to more family.
This family is a traditional Costa Rican family, which means you eat rice and beans a lot, don’t do more as necceseray and being extremely nice. Also there are a few Costa Rican words which most people use a lot:
·         Pura vida, ‘puur life’ means a lot, from cool to goodbye.
·         Tranquillo, ‘relax, relaxed’ means that there is no hurry/
·         Ahorita, means like a little bit later.
·         Manaña, means tomorrow.
·         No importante, not important
·         Heuvon, no translation for this word
·         Mi corazon, mi amor and amorcito,  which all means my dear or sweety.

Day 59, martes 11 septiembre 2012 23:11
Religion talks
A new family means as well new friends, and getting introduced to a lot of people. In the evening I went to watch CR-Mexico at a friends house of my bro. All of them were very nice, like all Tico’s are actually. And like always they were firing questions at me, this time it were like 20 teenagers. What do you eat? Do you smoke marihuane, are The Netherlands beautiful? Is everybody rich? Is everything really expensive and all these sort of things. Anyways with other teenagers I like it to tell them about my country and culture. But after the match I went to the house of my bro’s girlfriend, a very religious family. Then the question about religion came up, I said I don’t have a religion nor believe in god. They were pretty shocked, the kids understood but the mom not. She said: ‘but god excists, he created everything.’ I told here that in my culture not a lot of people are religious and that it’s not common to believe in god. I didn’t make any statements about religion, I just changed to subject. I don’t like these talks about religon, but sometimes I have to have them, and when I do it’s better to just say it’s a cultural difference. I would love to make a statement about the big bang and the evolution theory but I think I would insult them so I do not. Also I have more opinions about religion but I think in this culture it’s better to keep them for myself. Also I do respect it that they are religious and as well the people respect other religions but no religion is just very uncommon here.
In school there were again some speeches, this time about recycling and we practiced the national anthem. Saturday is independence day but I have no idea what is going to happen, I do know that I have to come to school to do something. As well I found out that here I do have HBO on the television and my hostmom watches ‘Dexter’ as well, that means I will be watching the new season first of all my friends!

                             Day 60, Miercoles 12 Septiembre 2012 21:58
Tae kwon-do!
I found a sport to practice here, Taekwondo. I had one training, my friend Fabio introduced me. It was pretty cool, but hard as well. But I will go on with it at least for the next couple of days. If I don’t like it, I quit but I think I’ll go on with it.
But way more important: today I got a letter from my grandmother, I took 15 days to get here. It was pretty hard to read the letter but I like it a lot. I will keep writing hand-written letters with my grandmother. As well a waterpolo magazine came from my parents. With this I can finally show a little bit more of waterpolo!

                        Day 61, Jeuves 13 Septiembre 2012 22:07
Taekwondo part 2
My feet hurt pretty much now, and that feels good! Finally sporting again! yesterday I didn’t wrote that much about taekwondo because I was really tired. But today I went again and I liked it better as yesterday!
Taekwando is a material art, which practically means that it’s an Asian fighting sport I think, I will google it. The teacher is an old man who looks a bit Korean and who became 4th on the olympic games of 1978. Our training area is on a outside small soccer field with a concrote floor and it is done barefeeted.  Furthermore it is a fighting sport and you mostly use your feet. At the beginning of the training the teacher spoke for about half an hour, he spoke about discipline, training, taekwondo and more stuff. It was all in Spanish but I think I understood like 90% of what he said. This talk was pretty inspiring, and I kind of felt like church, but the church of sports. After that there was a little warming up, running, kicking, jumping and everything. After that we practiced to names of the positions, some kicks and like a lot of moves quickly after each other but I don’t know them. Everything is pretty hard but I get better in my bad things like my balance, how stretchable my muscles are, my condition and the muscles it self get stronger, so that usefull! The teachers are really friendly and one of them gave me a lot of help, they said if I practice a lot I can participate in mtournaments later this year! That would be very cool!
When I got home I watched the final of futsal, where I wrote about last Saturday. It was Orotina playing again barrusia and Orotina lost with 6-2. Next week is the return, and I’m going to watch for sure!

Day 62, Viernes 14 Septiembre 2012 21:32
Independence run.
It was an amazing day! I carried a fire which was lighted in Guatamala, passed through Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaraqua and now finished in Costa Rica.
The day started normal, going to school with the bus, at school I bought sport clothers, changed and got into the bus. I had no idea exactly what was going to happen, but I did knew we were going to run. After 20 minutes in the bus we stopped and everybody got out. 5 minutes the school from Esparza arrived, with torch and flag. They they lighted our torch, and we started running, around 30 students from our school and some kids from the primary school, which stopped earlier. We passed by a lot of primary schools, and everytime we enlighted their torches and then they ran for a few 100 meters with us. I carried the flag most of the time and the torch 1 time as well! When we arrived near San Mateo  where the ending point was everybody who stopped during the run got out of the bus and joind us we were running all the time again. So all of us arrived at the parked, the 2 sixth graders with the torch, us 5th graders with the flag. The whole village came to the park and were clapping and stuff, we ran around the park and then entered the park. At the park there was an other torch enlighted and there was a speech, the national anthem and the flame was passed to other schools. And again one of the speeches said something about, me as an exchange student, it made me feel pretty special and honoured! I thought we were finished but we had to take the flame to some more primary schools, so we ran more. This time it was all up hill so after 4 more kilometres I stopped, I just couldn’t move my feet anymore. I ran most of all students, so when I entered the bus everybody was clapping and stuff. I was so tired after running 16 kilometers, through the mountains without any propiate running shoes. I couldn’t move my legs well anymore, it was amazing!  
At home I just rested a few hours and around 3 we went to the barbershop to cut my hair. This was really Costa Rican, my hostmom told me to hurry up, and when we arrived there were 14 waiting before me, and there was 1 guy cutting hair. But I thought, it might go quick and just sat back. After 1 hour my and my hostbro went to walk in Orotina and drink a frozen cappuchino, which was extremly good. When we came back there were still a lot waiting. It was almost my turn at 6, when I already waited 3 hours. But at 6 there was a fiesta in Orotina because it is the night before the independence day. I decided to go there and cut my hair a different time. At the park were a lot of lampions, I don’t know if that’s the correct english word but it is with beautiful lights and stuff. We walked with a lot of people through the streets and ended in the park again.  In the park played the Orotina music band and there were more speeches. In one speech I was mentioned again, it was the father of my friend Fabio, he is pretty important and famous in Orotina. He said that he was glad that I joined their community and he asked if everybody in The Netherlands is tall, and he welcomed me to Costa Rica. It was very nice from me the introduce me to the whole village. The rest of the night I walked through Orotina and sat in the park with my hostbro & friends.
Know I am really tired of everything, especially the running and tomorrow is the independence day, so it’s sleepy sleepy time!

Day 63, 15 Septiembre 2012 21:16
Independence day!
191 years ago, on this day Costa Rica got it’s independence from Spain. And that is what we celebrated today!
I got up at 5:30, because I thought I had to go with a bus at 6:30. But I went with a taxi at 8:15 so I wasted some precious sleep. At school I was asked by the school president, -who is one of my best friends here- to carry to flag of San Mateo. We gathered at the soccer field with all the schools from the ‘canton’ San Mateo. There were speeches, singing the national Anthem, and the independence day song. After all this we walked a parade, school by school with band, dancing girls, traditional clothing flag carriers and everything. I walked with the San Mateo flag together with Braulio, the school president who is better known as Jackie Chang. We walked around 800 meters in 2,5 hour. And was incredebily hot and pretty hard to keep the flag up all the time. But it was a really cool parade, but I didn’t see so much of it since I was walking it myself. I was pretty honoured by walking in the parade and a lot of people were watching it. After the parade I got picked up by my hostdad and we went to grandmothers house to have lunch with some family members. I talked with more uncle’s and this one invited me to go sea fishing sometime! It is pretty hard to keep all those uncle’s and aunts apart since there are around 40 of them.
Then it started raining and there were no more parties, I expected that there would be some parties but Orotina doesn’t have such a good party scene, or I didn’t discover it yet. My hostbrother did show me to local discotheque which I didn’t see before.
I liked the indepencdence day, the spirit and the people. But I actually did expect more of it, but maybe that’s just because I celabreted in San Mateo, which is way smaller as Orotina. As well it was pretty weird that not everybody participated, since it is a pretty important day. Some boys were just skating all day and not paying attention to any of this.  

zondag 9 september 2012

Earthquake, changing host family and Working in a national park!

Day 49, 1 septiembre 2012 22:50
Today I finally went to Puntarenas, one of the coolest cities in Costa Rica! After hours of looking at it on Google Earth I finally saw in in real life. Puntarenas is totally in sea, with water on both sides of the city. And it’s 5 blocks small and very long. First we walked to the far end of the city the see the view. You could see Guanacaste pretty clear and some islands aswell, here we swam a little bit but the sea was really strong so within 5 minutes we were away from our bags and we walked back. While walking over the rocks we saw I pretty big lizard crawling over the rocks, it’s so cool to see these ‘zoo’ animals just in a normal city. We walked a little bit through the city and it was really different as I thought it would be. The ´touristzone’ is pretty small and the city is not ‘American orientated’ with like Mac Donalds and stuff, but instead typical restaurants. That is really good! We walked on the peer for the cruiseships and again you had a good view, of the ocean, Guanacaste and the city. After lunch at a panaderia and a small restaurant we swam a little more, this time the waves were better and you could ‘surf’ on the waves, without a surfboard with just your body. Then it was already time to go back home so with a quick stop at a panaderia we went to the bus for the 2 hours busride home.

Day 50, domingo 2 septiembre 2012 21:38
50 days in Costa Rica!!
Wow! 50 days in Costa Rica! If I say it like that it seems so much, but it also seems like so less time passed and I’m already on like 15% of my time here! 50 days ago I arrived at an unknown airport, in a unknown country which held and still holds unknown adventures. I remember getting out of the airport, it was hot and chaotic. I got some chocolate out of my bag and shared it with people, some people I did not talk with anymore, other grew out to be my best friends.
In these 50 days here I saw spiders, snakes, monkeys, bugs, sloths weird frogs, lizards and way more creepy crawlers, high tree’s and freaky plants. But also I made inspiring people, nice people, angry people, poor people, rich people, people with no food, people with 3 pools in their backgarden. Also within 50 days my brains don’t know what language to think, dutch doesn’t pop up in my brains a lot, more does english and more often spanish as well. Within 50 days I learned to speak the basics and a little bit more of a new language, something which highschool didn’t learn me in 3 years german and french. In 50 days I learned that the luxury things are not for granded, its not just knowing not everybody has it, its realizing that not everybody has it. I learned how school works in Costa Rica. I visited rainforest and beaches, cities and villages.
Most important is that in these 50 days I changed already, I notice is in the way I pretend things people say and do, and what I say, do and think. There are things I would have done better if I could do them again, but there are more things I could have done worse. After 50 days I most say I don’t miss The Netherlands that much, when I think about I miss it, when I think about the smallest things I can miss my family, its like noticing that all the picknick benches here are different, and then thinking about all the highway lunches I had with my family on these picknick benches eating sandwhiches with cold eggs, or a barbeque on a hot summer night. But most of the time my head is filled with thoughts about what is going here, what I’m going to do next and stuff like that.  So that’s what happened in 50 days, I’ll see what I write down 50 days from now, when I’m here for 100 days, will it be more positive? Or maybe negative? Will the next 50 days pass as quick as these? I don’t know, but I will find out, 50 days from now!
About today, of the 50 days today was pretty important because I decided to change family, this time for sure with no going back! I have my reasons for this and I wont post time on my blog, if you would really like to know them you can always contact me. I didn’t tell me family yet, but I’m really scared to tell them, but I will do it together with my IEC.

                                    Day 52, martes 4 Septiembre 2012 17:15
I did what had to be done.
First some really cool things. This week in work in the Carara National Park. Yesterday Hernan Fabio and me started this internship. I took the bus at 6, woke up at 5(!) to Jaco. When we passed the park I pushed to button so 300 meters further the bus stopped and I got out and walked a little back. The busses here work very different, there are only the times that the busses leave, and you have to know these, so when you want to join the bus halfway you need to know what time it left and how much time it takes to get to you, pretty difficult some times. Also you don’t have to be at a busstop, just wave at the busdriver when you’re walking on the road and he will stop, same with leaving when you push the button you can leave. Anyways,  when I arrived to the park I only saw the visitors centre so I went there to check it out, it was really creepy because it was abandonend and only a few jars of dead snakes. I figured out I had to go somewhere else so I walked a little bit and found the offices, there I met the other ‘rangers’.  They took us to a track 2 kilometres back which we had to walk, don’t know why probably just because it is cool. And yes it was cool, 3 guys without a guide through a Jungle with barely tracks. I saw a lot of creepy insects, cool birds and a turtle it was swimming in a little pool, no idea how it got there. Also I found the arms of a blue crab very beautiful! We didn’t fint the river which we had to find so we went back to the beginning, when we got back 2 Dutch tourists and a tourguide arrived. We decided to go again with them because there was a guide who might knew where to river was and also because those tourists were Dutch as well! The tourguide walked this track 1 year ago, so we knew more about it as him which was really cool. Again we had to walk back without finding anything. Then we walked back 2 kilometres to the park, had lunch and went home because it was going to rain.
Today, the second day was a little bit harder. I took the bus at 7 this time since we begin at 8. Today we cleaned the area around the offices, which means digging out the canals for water, sweeping leaves taking out weeds and stuff like that. After 2 hours we were finished and we could walk an other track with some park people. It was cool the walk with the park people because we could go on tracks where other people can’t go. In this park I saw the black/green frog, the most poisonous in the world I think. After this walk we had lunch, during the lunch around 5 Leguanas come out the lay in the sun, one was really big and we took a lot of photo’s. After lunch we had to do hard work, we had to dig canals for the rain water on the hillroad. This was really hard because there were a lot of rocks and stuffed and now I have blasters on my hands L. Then it started to rain really hard again and we were kind of finished. After the rain we were finsihed and we could go home, when we walked back we saw our canals worked pretty well!
During this day I searched for a house live coming days because I don’t want to live in this house while they know I want to change and sleep in one room with my brother while he knows I know he stole my money, its all just to much. So I asked my favourite teacher if I could sleep at her house for a while, but she didn’t had any space. But she went to search for a house for me together with the school counceler, that is really really nice of them and they were really caring. Eventually the schoolcook wanted to give me shelter the coming days, that’s very nice of her since she doesn’t even really know me! Tomorrow I will move the this house, which is also in Orotina. But the next hours will be very hard, but I hope they understand me and my choice to change.
Right know I’m just sitting in the living room, they don’t know anything I think since they didn’t say anything about it and act normal to me. My IEC told me he would talk with my mom today. I hope I still play soccer with my big brother today, and through it my year here, since I really like him and he didn’t do anything wrong to me.
Evertything is just really hard, I didn’t think stuff like this would happen to me. I knew that there would be problems in this year but I didn’t know what kind of problems, how and when they would happen. I think I will write tomorrow from a new house, that weird to think of.

                                       Day 53, Miercoles 5 agosto 2012 20:50
The third day of my internship was really special. Again we digged canals for the water, this time with a pickaxe, that was cool. After 40 minutes of work the ground started moving up and down, left to right and everything, it was clear that this was my first earthquake! After 30-40 seconds it stopped. It was a pretty cool experience! They told me that it was pretty strong, but we just continued to work. 15 minutes later I went to the office to refill the water and there everybody was watching the news, so I joined them. It turned out to be that the Earthquake hit pretty hard, 7,6 on the richter scale. The Epicentre was in Samara, I little town at the pacific coast of Guanacaste an other province in Costa Rica. I was pretty worried about my friends living there but I quickly received a message that everything was ok. It turned out to be that it was a very strong earthquake, the strongest in the last 20 years and the second strongest ever in Costa Rica.  Like 50 house are broken down, some big buildings damaged, 1 bridge collapsed and there are people with water and light. Also there was a tsunami alert but that got withdrawn a few hours later.
This earthquake is as well an unique experience during my exchange year here, it’s something we don’t have in The Netherlands, and the first time I experience it and it is this hard, that’s really special. First I told everybody how cool it was, but later I realised that it actually is a nature disaster and that people died today, and that people lost their houses and are right now living and bad situations.
Furthermore we digged for a few more house, hard work for volunteering, But it’s good to the something for the comunity. Also we took a walk on some trails again, this time I saw more black/green frogs and I took some photo’s of them.
Also I was pretty afraid to go home because I expected some difficult conversations and because I thought I would change today. So while I walked home I called my IEC and it turned out that he didn’t talk to my hostmom and yet and that I will change tomorrow. He still didn’t talk to my hostmom, so they still don’t know. I have no idea how I will do this tomorrow but I want as less awkward hours as possible some I’m fine with it.

                                   Day 54, Jeuves 6 Septiembre 2012 21:43
New family, new start
This was the big day, changing to the better, moving to an other house and an other family!
When I woke up my old family still didn’t knew anything about it, so I did everything normal and went to my work in Carara, where we took 1 walk with the teacher through the rainforest but nothing more. When we were photographing an other green and black frog suddenly one of my friends said that there was a ‘Terciopelo’ and there was, right next to the shoe of my other friend. We have been really lucky, when a terciopelo bites you you are dead within 1,5 hours when you don’t cut of any limbs. But I got some pictures of it! Also a friend asked me to go to Taekwondo with him sometime, and I don’t say know to that! I try everything here, so I might learn I new sport!
Anways, the most important event of the day, the family change. When I arrived at my house I just said normal ‘Hola’ and my hostdad replied normal. I went to sit down at the table with my ex-hostmom and dad and asked if we could talk. My hostmom just said ‘Creo que no’ which means, I don’t think so. And she said that it was my decision to change and didn’t want to know anything about it, she didn’t want to talk about anything and she didn’t even want to know why. She did thanked me for me being here, and I thanked her for having me here, I also said that I did enjoy my time here. Then I packed my bags, and spoke with my ex-hostdad who was really cool about it. I didn’t speak but my ex-host sister, and my little ex-host brother wasn’t even know but I don’t bother about him, nasty thief. And then I called my IEC and he came with the taxi to pick me up. I gave everybody a quick hug but it wasn’t such a special goodbye, it was really really weird. I expected some more from them, I lived witht hem for 47 days in 1 house. They didn’t show anything, madness, sadness or guilt. I mean that I do leave their family, that must make them think about themselves right? But also I don’t want to talk just bad about them, they are good people, but it’s just for the best for me to change. I feel the most bad for my big –ex host brother since he and I had a good relationship and he has never been unnice to me and always supported me. I hope he and I are still cool.
I arrived in my new house 5 minutes later, it is in the center of Orotina really close to everything! Also the house is really beautiful and I have a own room, airconditiong, a car and internet in some places. But that is not what makes me a happy person, but it does stimulate good feelings. What makes me a happy person is that they are nice to me, the hostmom cooks delicious and would love to teach me how to cook if I teach her how to swim. I have a little brother of 7 years old which is an new experience as well. Also I have a ‘big’ brother who is 1 month older as me. He seemed nice as well, and I can play soccer with him. The hostdad is a pretty serious guy, but as well very nice. I can have some good conversations with him I think. So we just sat at the table, had dinner and talked about everything, varieting from how old I am to the economy of Europe.
But now I´m really tired and tomorrow me last day at Carara so have a goodnight, my first night in this house!

Day 55, Viernes 7 Septiembre 2012 22:56
Vamooos! Vamooos los Ticos!
Today was the last day of my work at the national park, and just lik yesterday we didn’t have to work! We went to walk in the jungle with 2 American tourists and 1 tourguide. Again we saw cool animals and even a pretty big snake! Today my new host brother invited me to go mountainbiking with him tomorrow or next week, I’, looking forward to that!
Also there was a match for the world cup qualifications, Costa Rica-Mexico but Costa Rica lost with 2-0. Now I’m, tired and I’m going to sleep. Next time I’ll right mre about the new family! P.s. my blog already has 15.000 words! I hope you don’t mind reading a lot!

Day 56, Sabado 8 Septiembre 2012 23:21
amazing new family!
Yesterday I didn’t write that much because I felt kind of sick, and I was actually. I ate 5 plates of Gallo Pinto that day, (rice & beans) and that didn’t fit in my stomach. But in the morning I felt way better. The internship at the park was really cool, but that most important thing is that I made my first 2 good friends!
About today, I really like this new family, it’a  lot better in many different ways. I went to Orotina do some shopping with my new hostmom and little brother. In the afternoon we went with a brand new car -which we borrowed from an uncle- to Alajuela. There we bought a smoking for my other host brother for his graduation which is soon. Also we went to a mall to buy some other things and eat.
When we got back like around 8 me and my old host bro went to a game of futsal in Orotina. Futsal is soccer but on a small field with 5 against 5 and on a stone floor. It was really really cool, just the tension of the game and with a lot of people being packed in a little stadium, just like watching waterpolo in de tobbe. As well the soccer was pretty good with a lot of tricks and stuff. Orotina won, so now we are the finals, and I think is the national finals!
This day showed me how other hostfamilies can be, I am so happy right now! I finally have a family who wants to do stuff with me. But also they show so much more in my culture and The Netherlands. As well they are very nice, understanding and helpful.