by Luzmaria Guzman, Greenheart Travel Costa Rica Scholarship Winner
I really think I was meant to be a Costa Rican. Today was very enlightening and really fun. Waking up in Costa Rica was an experience I won’t forget. At the bed and breakfast, Vida Tropical, travelers wake up early to get ahead on their day. Because I heard shuffling outside my room, I lay awake on my bed. I swear with the gradual rising of the sun, I heard many bird calls. Some short and sweet, like “piv-piv-pivv.” But some carried a tone that I cannot match.
I woke up before my alarm rang. At breakfast, I learned that most people here are culturally diverse. Like our hostess, she is Columbian, is married to a New Yorker and has a Costa Rican son. How cool is that?
I loved the coffee tour. I did not know that so much planning goes into getting that ‘cup of joe’ in the morning at Starbucks. The process, the cultivation and collection of the coffee bean could make or break a coffee plantation.
Getting here was quite an adventure. We were stopped by the police! Well, they were just checking passports. Alvaro said they do that to tourists. Our one hour drive to San Pedro, near Javillos, was a roller coaster ride. I have never experienced anything like that. The twists and turns of the road, cliffs just inches away, or in the middle of mountains with lush vegetation for miles.
Rain came at any moment, yet the car sped forward. The beauty of Costa Rican landscape entranced me. It hit home that living in the city can be so depriving. I don’t have this amount of nature around me in Chicago. Yes, that car ride told me many things about myself and what my world lacks.
I love my host mother Danixa! Never have I so easily conversed with someone new (and in Spanish too!) My host family consists of Danixa, her son, her parents and her brothers and sister! All of whom are just as nice. They say I talk in Spanish well. They hear my Mexican accents, which I think is funny. Their home is so beautiful; I’m jealous. They have livestock, and a lagoon with fresh water; one can swim in it! There are fresh bananas in their back yard.
The grandparents live so close. A little stream runs through here. Danixa took me to the lagoon and it rained but it was refreshing. The cows are uber-friendly and giant! Seriously, I think I would not mind being a Costa Rican.