Pura Vida! Today marks 4 weeks that we have been in Costa Rica! We have learned so much since our arrival, not only in our classes but through our daily adventures and time with our host families. We have adjusted to our class schedule, which most days consists of a two-hour class in the morning and a two-hour class in the afternoon. Our classes are all in Spanish and although it was challenging at first, we have adjusted to our lectures and our professors are great about speaking slowly enough and they are always very willing to repeat or clarify information if we have questions.
This past weekend we had a “designated weekend” which means we did not have class on Friday, and therefore we had three days to travel. We decided to take advantage of this time to travel south and visit Manuel Antonio National Park. This park is the most popular national park in Costa Rica and is located in the Central Pacific Coast Region. During our hike through the park we saw various animals including monkeys, land crabs, colorful insects, large butterflies, geckos, iguanas, and raccoons. We also spent some time at one of the beaches within the park that was situated in a nice little cove, and it was there on the beach that we saw the iguanas and raccoons. The park was beautiful and filled with many different species of animals.
During our trip we stayed at a hostel (a less formal and smaller version of a hotel) in Quepos, which was about a 20-minute bus ride north of Manuel Antonio. During our time at the hostel, and through our travels, we met many other people traveling around Costa Rica. We met a woman from Holland, two women who had recently graduated from Syracuse University, five men from Belgium, and two men who recently graduated from the University of Oregon! We continue to be amazed by what a “small world” it really is! Through our conversations with other travelers we learned a lot about Costa Rica and the different travel opportunities that this amazing country offers us.
We are all so thankful for the wonderful Linfield group that we are a part of this year! We have enjoyed all our adventures thus far, and we are excited for all the ones left to come!