Dani and I arrived in Nicoya safely on October 31st to 82 degree weather. I was a beautiful day but very hot, too hot for the pants that I had wore from Charlotte’s airport. But we collected our bags and found Karla’s smiling face waiting for us outside. The ride to Karla’s house from Liberia took a little over an hour but was absolutely beautiful.
The first thing I noticed to be different from the United States, is the way Costa Ricans’ drive. It made me a little nervous because they drive fast and move in and out of traffic, passing whenever they want. But we made to Karla’s just in time for the rain to start pouring. We took our first visit into town with Karla Saturday afternoon, after the rain. It was very different to see so many people walking and riding bikes. Town was very crowded that day and Karla knew almost everyone that we passed. We went to her favorite café, Cafeteria D’ Melon for some refreshing drinks. Dani and I also ventured around the town visiting the park and some stores while Karla decorated a Christmas tree in a business owned by one of her close friends. Sunday we went to my first Catholic church service, it was interesting even though it was all in Spanish and I was not sure what they were saying. But the service was very different from the Baptist church service that I am used to.
Monday was our first day at San Ambrosio. I have been teaching English there all week and things are going well so far. The way things are done at San Ambrosio is very different from the schools in the United States and will be a big challenge. There is not really any classroom management or procedures practiced, which is making instruction difficult. I am working on creating ways in which students can participate in hands-on activities rather than just listening to lecture and copying notes. I am trying to learn the language and attempt to practice it when I can. At school though I am teaching in English and the students are trying to work with me but the language barrier is also complicating things. It is very hard to get the students to participate in class, I think because they are afraid that they will say something wrong. I am going to continue to work with these students and I am excited to see the changes that may occur in them during my stay here.