I've learned a lot in the past 8 months, but I think it would bore you to read about my better understanding of English grammar or how my perspective on life has changed. So, here's a short list of some random (and hopefully entertaining) things I've learned in Costa Rica...
1. Rice and beans make great breakfast, lunch or dinner, or all three if your lucky.
2. In German roosters don't "say" cock-a-doodle-doo, but rather kikeriki.
3. In Japan, it's offensive to show "public display of affection", which is definitely not the case in Costa Rica.
4. San Jose was once featured on South Park for it's abundance of prostitution, garbage and drugs. The Costa Rican government was less than thrilled and even publicly denounced the show.
5. In Australia, the word "jumper" is used to describe what gringos might know as a sweatshirt, hoodie, zip-up, cardigan or basically any article of clothing used to keep warm that isn't as heavy as a coat.
6. It's possible to get a good night's sleep in a hammock.
7. If you act like you deserve respect, you often get it.
8. "Ahora" (now) could mean 15 minutes from now, 4 hours from now, tomorrow or never.
9. Aloe vera has a wide variety of uses, making it essential for traveling. (por ejemplo...sunburn relief, hair gel, moisturizer, shaving cream, make-up remover)
10. Intentions are often as important as the actions that follow.
11. Germans have trouble understanding Swiss German dialects.
12. It's possible to safely cross a busy round-a-bout, highway or street without the use of a cross-walk.
13. It's hard to kill a cockroach on carpet...need I say more?
14. There are far worse things than a cold shower.
15. Working for the US Embassy is not a bad set-up; it's actually quite the opposite.
16. Traveling alone doesn't have to be "scary" or dangerous; it's more likely to be challenging, exciting, and rewarding.
17. Patience is essential for living, working or traveling in Central America. Try sitting on a bus stuck in traffic for 4 hours without knowing what the hell is going on or coming into work at 7 am to find out the students aren't coming. ha
18. Some Costa Ricans take offense when people say "I'm American" because so are they. (I try to stick to: "I'm from The United States"...so PC ha)
19. It's possible to find your way around a city where street names/signs don't exist.
20. There's more than one way to get where you're going....