7 Things I Learned This Week

By: Elizabeth McDonald

  1. Costa Rica has seven provinces. San José, Cartago, Alajuela and Heredia are in the valley while Guanacaste, Limón and Puntarenas are on the coast
  1. The Costa Rican catch phrase “Pura Vida”, directly translated to “pure life”, can be used in pretty much any circumstance. In fact, it’s a part of the Costa Rican dictionary with seven different uses: greeting, goodbye, appreciation, to show thankfulness of situation, object or person
  2. You can’t bring coins into a fútbol game. This one we learned the hard way. I suppose it’s for safety however it would have been nice to know and saved us the scrambling to find all our coins and impulsively buy ice cream for everyone.
  3. Tico time exists. Whether it be the extra-long break we got during our society and culture class (30 minutes during a two hour class) or the relaxed start of yoga class, it’s obvious the people here are much more tranquila.
  4. Costa Rica has no army. Okay, this one I knew before but I didn’t know about all the history that surrounded it. To keep things simple, Costa Rica had a civil war in 1948 and the following year, they disbanded any form of army due to the general feeling that men will defend the country if necessary but there was and is no current threat.
  5. Spanish has many “cognados falsos” (false cognates). Two new ones this week were “actualamente” which means currently and “en realidad” which means actually.
  6. Movies here are cheap. I went to a movie for $5. As a college student, enough said.

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