Shopping, SIM cards, Waterfalls, and More

25 July 2015

Greetings! Yet again, I am writing this post on the couch in my new apartment here in Moravia. I definitely think this will be my favorite spot to sit and play online and get work done. The couch isn’t very comfy to sit on the normal way, but when you turn sideways like I am now, it’s not bad at all! Here’s my view!

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view from the couch

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view from the front door (notice how we are walled in for security and privacy)

You may notice that the door is open. Most of us in “the compound,” as we have been calling it, leave our doors open when we are home. There’s a locked gate surrounding us, so no one can get in. It’s really windy here, so it’s nice to leave the door open and have a nice breeze. The reason I’m just bumming around on the couch today is that the cable company is supposed to be delivering wifi today! I don’t think I’ll believe it till I see it, but I am keeping hope. It seems that we are on “tico time.” A tico (or tica, if you are a girl) is a native Costa Rican. And people aren’t really ever in a rush here. So, tico time is basically everyone always being late to everything, like the cable guy who was supposed to be here three hours ago. Aside from being super eager for wifi, I don’t mind so much because I have pretty much lived my whole life on tico time! I am finally living in a place where it is culturally acceptable (even expected!) to be late. And the good news is that now I have time to catch up on my blog.

**Just got word that they aren’t coming to install wifi today. Looks like we’re waiting until Tuesday! Bummer, but hey I guess there are worse things in life. Maybe tonight I’ll take another trip to Starbucks and post this blog.**

This week has been filled with lots of errands. On Wednesday, we spent most of the day shopping. We started with a trip to Pequeño Mundo, which is kind of like a Christmas Tree Shops but cheaper. They have a little of everything, so I was able to get things like glasses, baskets and bins, a drying rack for my laundry, pajamas (since those are in the bag that didn’t make it here), and more. It felt good to stock up on things and start to make my apartment feel more mine. I wish I had been able to fit more decorative items in my luggage, but I’ll get creative and find ways to spruce up the place in the next few weeks!

After Pequeño Mundo, we had lunch at an Italian restaurant and then did more shopping, this time at WalMart. Between the two shopping excursions, I got most of the basics. There are still a few things I’d like to have (a little bookshelf, a side table by my couch, some more storage bins, etc.), but I’m in no rush for those. The rest of Wednesday was pretty much just unpacking and getting used to the area. I walked up to the mall with some folks from the compound, and we had dinner up that way. It’s maybe a 15-minute walk to the mall, which is cool because it feels very much like a mall at home. If I’m ever feeling homesick, I can go up there and sit at Starbucks and zone out.

Thursday was relatively uneventful, other than more errands and a few tears. We started the day by going to school in the morning to complete some paperwork. I brought my laptop with me so I could complete the phone unlocking process (I knew from an email I received from AT&T that I needed my laptop, iTunes, and an internet connection to finish unlocking it). While we did the paperwork, I had my laptop and phone doing their thing. I thought I had it done, but when I went to activate my Costa Rica SIM card, it wouldn’t work. That’s when I just burst into tears in the middle of the conference room. I think I was just upset because I wanted one thing to be easy. Luckily, everyone is super supportive, and they calmed me down. My friend George sat with me and tried to walk through the process with me, but we still couldn’t get it to work. He asked the IT guy, and we learned that they were having network problems at the school, so I decided I’d try from Starbucks later. We went for lunch at Chile’s (very Costa Rican, huh? Haha), and while everyone else went back to Pequeño Mundo, I stayed at the mall and got myself some coffee at Starbucks. They gave me a wifi code with my receipt, so I was able to sit for a while and use their Internet. Much to my delight, my phone worked after the first try! I was extremely excited about that! Not gonna lie; I came pretty close to crying tears of joy!

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the road home from the mall

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at least they used 2 Ls!

I walked home from the mall after spending some time on wifi and stopping at the store for workout clothes. On the way, I stopped at Auto Mercado (the grocery store) and got copies of my key made. I was quite proud that I spoke in Spanish to get that accomplished. That evening, the bus picked us up once again, and we headed to a bar called the Beer Factory for some down time. Don’t worry, I didn’t get crazy or anything. It was just nice to be out chatting with and unwinding after a stressful day.

Friday was much different from the rest of the week because we went on a field trip! The bus came and picked us up at stupid o’clock (7:05am, which I guess is actually later than I’ll need to get up once school starts), and we headed off to La Paz Waterfall Garden. It was basically an animal sanctuary and nature walk, which culminated in seeing a beautiful waterfall in the cloud forest. We saw toucans (you can see a picture of me holding one below), monkeys, macaws, butterflies, frogs, snakes, and more. I got carsick for both legs of the journey, but now I know to take Dramamine before going on any long, mountainous rides!

Here are some photos from the trip!

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We got back from La Paz around 4, and I took an hour-long nap, which made me feel much better after being carsick. I walked to Auto Mercado, used their wifi, and bought supplies to make pesto. We then headed to a party at our friends’ George and Penny’s house. We had a great time eating dinner around their ginormous dining room table. Again, it was great to unwind, hang out, and get to know everyone.

Well, as you know, I have been hanging around the apartment waiting for wifi today, but that won’t be happening. This morning we went to the feria (farmer’s market) and got some great produce. The prices are insanely cheap (except the garlic, which I accidentally bought for more than I would have liked to have spent). For instance, I got a giant bunch of cilantro for under a dollar, and three red onions for about the same. I also drank coconut milk right out of a coconut! Actually those were called pipas (I’m not sure what the exact translation is, but there’s a pic of one below). I also got a great batch of flowers for free, which was pretty cool. After the market, Tracey and I walked back to the apartment, we unnecessarily waited for wifi, and now here I am.

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pipas!

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So, that pretty much means I’m all caught up on blogging, and I will end my post here. Tomorrow we are heading to the beach for some fun and sun, so I’m sure I’ll have plenty to write about after that. I’m not sure when this will actually get posted, so I’m sure that it’s way out of date by the time you read it. I doubt I’ll keep posting as frequently as I am now once school starts. Plus, pretty soon going to the grocery store or mall won’t be such an adventure anymore! But in the meantime, pura vida, and thanks for reading! ¡Hasta luego!

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5 thoughts on “Shopping, SIM cards, Waterfalls, and More

  1. Love your blogs!!! Please don’t stop writing them. I am re living Costa Rica through your activities! Love the toucan!!!

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