I completed my first week of classes. I am taking four biology classes, cuisine, and dance. My biology classes are going to be really interesting and fun and the teachers seem great so far! On the other hand, they will be a lot of work with plenty of projects and assignments. My cuisine class has 5 students in it. We go to a lady's house and use her kitchen for that and she helps us. And lucky for me, she lives right next door! We made empanadas and they were delicious. I learned a little bit of merengue and salsa in my dance class. It was quite a work out. And difficult since I am a terrible dancer.
My friend Julia and I checked out the reserve on campus Friday. It's a small forest with a really nice path through it. We saw beautiful butterflies and leaf cutter ants. There are supposedly monkeys and snakes too but we didn't see any. I will be going back there often this semester. It was a really cool place and its nice to get away from the city for a little bit. Every year in Palmares, Costa Rica there is a festival with concerts and food and stuff. Last night was carnival themed so there was a parade and rides. It was a lot like a fair without corn dogs, elephant ears, and all the other good fair food. Although they did have Pizza Hut. I took my first public bus and hailed my first taxi ever. It was kind of terrifying since not many people speak English. It was really fun trying to tell my address to the taxi driver since there aren't really addresses in Costa Rica. But I managed and made it home!
This morning, the USAC group took an hour bus ride to Puntarenas and then an hour long boat ride to Tortuga Island. I saw dolphins on the way there! Dolphins are the best. The island was beautiful. There was a sandy beach and it was great for swimming. They gave us fresh watermelon and pineapple and made us lunch on the beach. Rice, beans, cheese, and salad (for the vegetarians). And then our dessert was marshmallows drizzled with condensed milk. I have never heard of such a dessert but it wasn't bad. It tasted like marshmallows with condensed milk! haha Who would have thought?! I also went snorkeling in the ocean and saw some beautiful fish, starfish, and even a sea cucumber! I also went on a banana boat. I don't have pictures but if you google pictures of "banana boat", you will find what I'm talking about. It's basically tubing except the tube is a long inflated "banana" shaped thing that fits 6 to 7 people. That was a blast! I got a lot of sun today. I look a little like a lobster but it doesn't burn too badly yet! I was planning on going to Palmares tomorrow to see Sean Paul in concert (you might know his song "Temperature". It was very popular a while back.), but I decided to pass. I need a day to rest! Julia and I are going to make chocolate chip cookies though :)
So as of today, I have been in Costa Rica for a week. It's been a great week! I look forward to many more adventures!