zaterdag 1 december 2012

Paradises and beaches

Day 138, el Jeuves 29 de Noviembre 2012 8:44
Busy and awesome life!
I didn’t use my computer the last days with the thought of enjoying life more and stop wasting valuable time with my computer. And that paid off, I had awesome days!
I went normally to school on Tuesday, there were no classes but we practically just chilled in school and the park. I got my math note back, a proud 85%! I spent the afternoon at my grandmother’s house, without any other host family member. I went there to see my uncle, I had to give him some papers about my internship. And yes! I have an internship didn’t wrote about that yet. I will be working in Hotel Marriot Los Sueños next week! I got it because my uncle’s wife works there and it is masked as a school project; I can’t work because of my visa so we just made it into a school project, so school that school just cooperates with that!
Carara was yesterday’s program; I went back to the park where I did my internship. I went with Louisa after showing her around in ‘mi bella Orotina’. It’s funny; I noticed that my patriotism for the Netherlands also counts for Orotina and Costa Rica. We got free entrance to the park because I know the people, and I was very happy because the entrance is 10$ way too expensive for a walk through the park, like the Tico’s say it ‘Hijo Puta tan caro’. The park was as lovely as always, the trees, plants and animals amaze me every time I come there. There was a big part closed when I worked there but now it was opened so I got to see way more of the park as before and it amazing. We also got to a house where some volunteers slept and worked, they are from all kinds of countries and doing volunteering around the world, they impressed me! We saw 1 snake, a dragonfly which is a beautiful libellee, more insects and a washing bear, don’t know if that’s its English name but it was cool to see. Only the frogs lacked because the rivers where dry because of the dry period.
We decided to go to Jaco to lunch after we had seen the entire park. When we arrived it started to rain like crazy, so apparently it wasn’t dry season yet after all, so we searched for shelter in a Subway. And if you are in a Subway and it’s raining like crazy outside, then why note a 30cm long sub? So I enjoyed my lovely sandwich while watching the rain outside. We saw 2 surfers walking outside, and Louisa told me a story about a surfer with a surfboard on a bike, it made her realize that she’s in paradise. Everybody has their own moments of realization of pure happiness. The rain stopped, and we already had to look for the bus stop, our Jaco tour kind of failed but I had nice sub so you don’t see me complaining. I went to this coffeeshop I have seen every time I went to Jaco but I had never entered it. I bought café mocha with mint to go. And that was delicious, and it give me a bit of a feeling of being at home. Drinking café mochas to go is just a ‘me thing’ it remembers me of the waterpolo practice with the national team, the train ride home with some good coffee. It made me very happy. I had a nice bus stop conversation with a woman from Portugal, I would have never done bus stop chats in the Netherlands, but now I love them, just a little chat with an unknown person can be so nice.

Day 139, Thursday 29 November 2012 20:15
Sitting in the sand.
It was a nice day, a day ‘pura vida’ day. I went to Puntarenas with Henry, pretty funny; I went there 2 times in 4 months now I have been there 3 times in 1 week. We went there just to chill, as a last day together.
Henry wanted to buy a Puntarenas soccer shirt; it is an awesome orange shirt with a shark on it. I’m going to buy one someday as well. He didn’t buy it today though, he forgot his credit card. But it was no problem, tranquillo; he’ll buy it another day. We just sat down on the beach, because sitting on the beach simply is so much better as sitting at home. We just talked, mostly about international stuff than we stood in the water, and talked more. Our main conclusion is that the United States are pretty weird, your argument is invalid. We had hamburger lunch and walked a bit more through the centrum. We ended up back at the beach and the conversation went on. We actually planned to go to Jaco but we didn’t it seemed rainy over there, and we were fine sitting at this beach.  It was getting high-tie and we were talking about the Dutch water works, my bag almost got wet so I decided to make a little Dutch water work myself. I love making sandcastles, or just walls against the water. I didn’t care what the other people thought about me, this is just something what I like and because of that I just do that. The water didn’t reach it though, but it was fun making it. It made me think about all my holidays, either with my family or one of my best friends in Southern France, that’s the thing about Costa Rica, it is such a holiday country that all my memories are about holidays, and fortunately those are all happy memories. We also spoke about Singapore, I would love to go there, it’s a cliché but now that I am on this exchange I want to continue traveling and there are a lot of countries on my list.
We went back in the afternoon, we had to say goodbye at his bus stop, it is a goodbye for a long time but I am sure I will see him again, and I’m not just saying that, I really am sure. I had an awesome time here with Henry; he is one of my best friends here. It has been the last days that we are pretty much the same; we have the same thoughts, weaknesses and strengths. I will miss him.  Though, goodbyes aren’t that hard for me, and because of that I don’t always do them right. I didn’t say a good goodbye to my sisters, and sometimes I feel sorry for that. I can’t remember my goodbye with Akke, only that just means that I should have done that better. With Rosa I remember that I was too lazy to walk to the train station, on that while train station goodbyes are so awesome. I have no idea how my goodbye here will be, so far away in June, but also so close; I will be at the airport crying, obviously. I wonder if I will be flying back with other exchange students or not, I hope so, it will be our last adventure together.
I saw my old host family on the bus, I don’t know if the mom and sister ignored me or just didn’t see me, the last is not very possible since I still a very blond and very tall. My ex-host brother sat next to me, yes the one who stole my money, but he was surprisingly nice to me. Well, maybe I just see too much good in people, I mean he just greeted me and asked me how I was doing, which is something everybody always does.
I was about to write something about the Costa Rican president Laura Chinchilla, everybody always says that she is very bad. So I wanted to write that she actually is bad, but my host mom told me not to. She said to me that I do not know her, so that I cannot judge her and that I should not talk bad about her. It was one of the few times I saw the real side of her, I’m not saying she is fake, but Costa Ricans barely talk about serious stuff and tell most things cloaked in jokes or little white lies. But now she spoke to me very serious, and it is very right what she told me; another lesson learned.  

Day 139, el viernes 30 de Noviembre 2012 21:20
Costa Rica, the country of the infinite paradises.
I always had 1 fieldtrip a year in my elementary school in The Netherlands, and maybe 2 per year in my high school. These trips were mostly to museums and old buildings. I always enjoyed these trips, the best trip to the Ardennes 2 years ago, that was so awesome. But here in Costa Rica, here they know about fieldtrips. Teachers organize trips when they feel like it; they just search for a nice place, make a letter and get a good price. So today was one of these trips, destination: paradise. Of course isn’t the name paradise, there actually is a village called that way but that’s boring, I’ve been there, done that. The place where we went is called Si-Chi; the tourist name is Waterfall Gardens.
I got up at 4, I didn’t have that much trouble getting up, I changed into a morning person here. I went to buy bread at a bakery, this morning walk was delicious, just me and my music and the morning glory. Every street smelled like bread, because there are so many bakeries. What surprised me was that the park cleaning guy already was sweeping, good guy park cleaner. The bus picked us up at our house because my host mom organized the trip, of course it was one of these mini-busses, Costa Ricans just love mini-busses, or maybe it’s because of the lack of cars by the most people, I’ll keep it on the love.
We drove to the school the pick up the others, the cool thing about mini-busses is that they are so small, so with 18 people inside it is all so cozy, but with a Costa Rican beauty next to you is that no problem of course. We drove towards Vulcan Poaz and we got pretty high, so it got cold and I actually put on a sweater for one of the first times her, but I love hoodies and sweaters so it was good to wear one again. We drove through all these small mountain coffee farmers villages and one of my classmates told hilarious stories about everything we saw, the Costa Rican humor is pretty bad most of time, the majority are fart and bad sex jokes; pointing at someone and saying he is gay is one of the funniest things they know.
We arrived after driving 2 hours over the bumpy mountain roads. I got stunned by its beauty the moment I entered.  It was a beautiful wooden building, a gift shop; they always have exactly the same gift shop, with all products by café Britt, including stuffed animal sloths! There was a small artificial pond and some insect cases like we made in school, but 10 times better. And outside at the balcony you could see over the park and the cloud forest, a beautiful view. We entered the park, which was pretty much just a zoo, but an epic zoo. It all looked beautiful, everything made of recycled wood and rocks. There was a big bird hall, all kind of tropical birds flying around including Toucans!  There was a butterfly house, frog house, and a snake house. There were 2 beautiful sloths in the butterfly house, they were just sitting there and hugging all time, they looked up one time for a photo, I love sloths so much. The snake house was pretty impressive as well, with huge very deadly snakes. Furthermore, there were wild cats, including a jaguar and there were monkeys as well.
It only bothered me how small the habitations were, snake actually just lied in a small glass box, the sloths barely had space to move, not that they move a lot but still, and there was one cage of birds with over 10 birds in a small cage. I actually expected better from Costa Rica at this aspect, but it didn’t take away the amazement it gave me. Another thing, Costa Ricans are the worst zoo visitors ever, they just keep ticking the glass of the snakes, they drive the animals crazy, that disturbed me a bit. Sometimes I really wonder what is going on in their heads, sometimes they are so grown up in between friends, and sometimes so so childish. A different culture it is.
The waterfalls were the next attraction, and they stunned me even more. A nice trail led us past 3 huge waterfalls, all of them between 35 and 40 meter. They gave some nice pictures, but more important as the pictures was seeing them self, they are breathtaking; pure nature, pure power. Then it was lunch time, we were starving in the mean time since we woke up so early. Our hunger got well satisfied by a eat what you want buffet, it was really nice and my stomach, tongue and mind got very happy.
And if you go on a school trip, then you have to go to a mall afterwards, and so did we. We went to small mall in Alajuela but it was pretty boring so I and 3 friends just hit downtown Alajuela to look and stores and stuff, I felt so much like a normal Costa Rican teenager, or just any normal teenager, something I didn’t feel for a long time. The bus ride home was as much fun as the bus ride in the morning. I really started to like bus rides, public busses because they just give so much time to listen to good music to think and the mini-busses just because they are a part of the trip and everybody is just kidding and being crazy, with Bob Marley on the back ground of course.
I was so tired when we got home that I directly went for a nap. In the night I did my Taekwondo practice like normal, it was the last practice before the tournament. I’m so excited about the tournament, the teacher told me that I have a golden potential so that’s my goal. Nobody trains to be number 2.
Today Costa Rica showed me one of his many paradises, of its infinite beauty. The bus driver told me that he travels around all of Costa Rican and that he keeps discovering new paradises. He also said that this place is the most beautiful of all Costa Rica so I am very happy I went. I almost didn’t go because of the money but I am so so happy I did go, and in the end it was worth so much more as what we paid.
Costa Rica holds so many paradises, and that is what people search for, a paradise. Well they should definitely come to Costa Rica to find their paradise!

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