Los frijoles are a lot better than the eggs scrambled with slices of hotdog, and liberal amounts of ketchup mixed in, which I was served for dinner last night. Ugh!
I was warned that everyday food in homes in Costa Rica can be pretty bland, and not super interesting. Some of the students tell me their host mama is a great cook, but I remember my daughter telling me that it was never too great at the house where she lived when she studied here. Plus, this household is clearly on a strict budget. Keeping a student is probably at least half their income, and I am paying less than $500 a month for room and 3 meals a day. Plain rice and plain beans are served with every meal, occasionally mixed together and spiced up, but usually just plain. There is usually a decent salad with a lime for dressing. My hostess has figured out I can't eat the portion size she was serving me and has cut it down quite a bit, thankfully. I truly didn't know what to do with all that food. She often gives me papaya or pineapple on the side for breakfast, along with rice, beans and scrambled eggs. The last couple of mornings the fruit was an orange instead.
We went to Isla Tortuga on a boat a couple of days ago, went snorkeling, jumped off a rock into the water, etc. Had a blast! I'll post the photos up later on. Right now, I am just about to get ready for my second week of school. I go 5 days a week, and my profs speak only Spanish in class. In fact, my main profesora for composition and conversation classes does not speak English at all, but the profesor for the Latin American cultures class is bilingual. Well, he's trilingual, actually. He also studied Polish, of all things. I can't wait to go to that cultures class on Wed. It's a blast! My daughter had the same prof, and said that one time he called to have Chinese food delivered to the classroom!
We were handed a photocopy of Gabriel Garcia Marquez' book, Chronicle of a Death Foretold. In Spanish. If you have ever read Garcia Marquez you will remember that his works are difficult to read, even in English. And I have to read it in Spanish! Ay que pena!
Oh, well, that's what I came here for, to be challenged in Spanish, and to have an experience of a different culture, and to be a bit outside of my comfort zone.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.