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.

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