Thursday, August 7, 2008

First Weeks in CR

So much has happened in the last few weeks. I probably should have started this earlier, but "better late than never" I guess. I'll do my best to recap what I've been doing since I arrived July 12th. Here is goes...

My first few days in San Jose were overwhelming. I guess you could say I arrived in San Jose with few expectations, which could good or bad depending on how you spin it. I knew that San Jose wasn't the safest of cities; however, I never anticipated so many people telling me how careful I need to be here. Luckily, I'm living in San Pedro, which is a fairly safe area by the University of Costa Rica. I've always been aware of my surroundings, but I've definitely stepped that up a bit since arriving here. For the first week or so I despised going anywhere alone, but now I'm more comfortable with the idea. I know where I can go and where I shouldn't go and I know how to get around using public transportation. So, for all those who are concerned about my safety rest assured that I'm being cautious!

On to other things, I started working the Monday after I arrived in San Jose. I didn't necessarily need to be in the office, but I wanted to stay busy and learn as much as I could before Jane left. GlaxoSmithKline is like any office, nothing special but I like it here. The people have been really welcoming and helpful. I've started teaching; however, I don't know if the students realize that yet. haha! I have a few really dedicated students, but generally english classes come after everything else. Fair enough I guess. I'm working on accepting the fact that classes will inevitably be cancelled at least a few times a week. So, I have to keep a somewhat flexible schedule. Right now, I have four group classes that meet once a week for two hours each and 10 individual students who have one or two hours of class per week.

As some of you might already know, I'm probably going to be moving in with my friend Tania. She is from Guanacaste (northwest region in CR), but she's studying in San Jose. A week or so after I settled in living with other foreigners I realized that I wasn't speaking enough spanish, well by my standards/expectations at least. So, I panicked at first but then Tania offered me her extra room. It's nothing special. Ok, so it's really really small, but I'm still really excited about it. I know it will help my fluency a lot.

Well, for some more exciting news I've already been to a few amazing beaches here. I went to Puerto Viejo the first weekend that I was here, which is on the Carribean side. Last weekend, I went to Manuel Antonio on the Pacific coast. I definitely want to go back to Manuel Antonio. There is a big national park there full of wildlife and a few of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen, almost Puerto Vallarta quality. I know I'm biased! Hopefully I can get some photos up soon. This weekend I'm going to Jaco for my friend Lici's going away party. She leaves to go back to Germany next friday. Apparently Jaco is a more tourist type of destination and a lot of the other interns don't like it for that reason, but it's the closest to San Jose. It's still a beach so I won't be complaining about it!

I don't want to bore anyone so I'll leave it at that for now. I'll try to start posting on a regular basis. Miss you all!!!

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