Monday, October 26, 2009

Fall Break

26 octubre 2009

Well, I am now officially halfway done with the semester! We finished up Core Seminar on Thursday with our group presentations, and then this weekend was our fall break. We had Friday and today (Monday) free, and then tomorrow, I start the “Latin American Studies Concentration” part of my semester.

As I mentioned in my last post, I traveled to La Fortuna, the town that is the home to the Arenal Volcano, this weekend. I went with 5 other girls from the program, and we had a blast! It was good to just relax and spend some time together before we all split up into our different concentrations for the next month.

Almost all trips here begin with a not-so-fun bus ride, and this one was no exception: four hours of curvy mountain roads with, of course, no AC. But, considering that it costs about $3 to travel this way, we endure! We arrived in time for a late lunch in a little typical “soda,” which was delicious. (In fact, we liked it so much we went back for dinner the next day!) It’s going to be a rude awakening to return to the States where a delicious meal (of seafood no less) for under $4 is not so easy to come by!

One of the biggest attractions of La Fortuna is the famous hot springs. Now, when I was envisioning “hot springs,” I had in mind like a little hole in the side of the volcano filled with hot water; however, I was mistaken. They are really man-made pools, but the water is heated by the volcano and some how transported to resorts and such to form a paradise of hot tubs – basically. It was incredible. And the best part is, if you are cheap college students like us, you can stay in a cheap hostel, and then just pay a little bit to go enjoy the hot springs at the expensive resort for an evening. What a deal! :) And we even got a buffet dinner complete with a chocolate fondue fountain. Needless to say, the evening was a success.

Saturday morning, three of us set off to go white water rafting down the Balsa River. Rafting is something I have wanted to do all my life, so I decided that…why not make that happen in Costa Rica? We had a blast. We were accompanied by three Tico guides, and a Russian-American family of three. It was definitely a fun mix (especially since, for all except my two friends and me, English was a second language). Rafting was every bit as fun as I had made it out to be in my head, and I think I may have a new obsession. :)

The rest of Saturday afternoon and evening were spent relaxing and having “girl time” – aka, playing games, eating cookies, drinking coffee, and reliving our junior high slumber party years. All in all, it was a great weekend, and I am so grateful for the sweet girls I got to spend it with. (In the picture, from left to right: Rachel, Alyssa, Kacie, Liz, and Sarah). I returned home yesterday, and am spending the day today just relaxing and spending time with my family on my second to last weekend here with them. This morning I did “crafts” with my little sister Sofia – you can see my handiwork in the “muñeca” (doll) she is holding in the picture. And I am about to make blueberry muffins for my family this afternoon (apparently those are hard to come by here).

Anyway, I hope this post finds you all doing well. Thanks as always for your support! God bless.

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