By: Krisandra Provencher
- I have been fortunate enough to have one of the greatest host families in existence for my Costa Rican experience. Some of my fondest memories of my trip are going to be about the time I got to spend with them. Nearly every night my host-mom and I would cook dinner together. I would sit down at the kitchen counter and chop vegetables while she quizzed me on their names and whipped up a delicious masterpiece. While we worked we would talk about our day and what we planned to do the next. She would tell me about Costa Rica and the places I would go over the weekend and I, in turn, would tell her about Vermont. About halfway through making dinner, Aulmen, my host-mom’s brother, would arrive home and ask me about my day. Even though our conversations were often about the weather and whether or not I was enjoying my time here, he always made a point to talk to me and say hello. This past Sunday night, he walked into my room while I was writing my final essay and asked me about my weekend at Manuel Antonio. We talked about my trip home and how close it was. Before he left and returned to his room, he grabbed my hand and told me how grateful he was for me being here and that he and the rest of the family would really miss me. Then he turned around and left. He was so genuine in that moment that I began to tear up and it really sunk in how lucky I was to be a part of such a wonderful family and how much I was going to miss them.
- On one of our first Sunday’s in Costa Rica my host-dad, host-sister, and I took our two German shepherds to the park in my host dad’s very old jeep. My host dad, Luis, used to be a driving instructor and through it gained a strong love for cars. Because of this his jeep is one of his most prized possessions and he drives it proudfully around San Jose. After running around the park with the dogs and sweating our breakfast off in the sun, we decided to head home at around noon. As we started walking towards where we had parked the car it started to get really dark and then began to rain. We rushed the dogs in the back and hopped in. Luis started the car, backed into the street and drove about 5 feet before the car stalled and then died. Monica, my host-sister and I ran with the dogs to a nearby awning while Luis tried to figure out what was wrong. Nearly two hours and two soaked and exhausted dogs later, Luis’s sister showed up and brought us home. Luis had been unable to fix the jeep and sorrowfully had to have it towed to a shop nearby. However, through it all he was cracking jokes and laughing at how ironic the situation was. It was a one-of-a-kind bonding experience and definitely added to my Costa Rica trip.
- I am fortunate enough to of had one of my life long dreams met during my time here in Costa Rica. Ever since I can remember monkeys have been one of my favorite animals, only bested by ever-amazing elephant. For one of our weekend trips our group traveled to La Paz Waterfall Gardens where we were able to hike to and around multiple gorgeous waterfalls and see a wide variety of exotic animals local to Costa Rica, one being the monkey. When I walked up to its cage and spoke lovingly at it, the park guide came up to me and told me to stick my fingers through the holes in the cage’s netting. Skeptically I put two of my fingers in and almost immediately the monkey I had been speaking to reached his entire hand through the hole and wrapped is soft, furry hand in mine. I HELD A MONKEY’S HAND!!!! While we held hands and made endearing noises at one another, I began to cry. He was truly one of the cutest and sweetest monkeys. It was easily one of the best moments of my life.