Things have really started to come together here for me. I'm starting to feel really comfortable at home, and even though I still don't have much to say the silences don't feel quite as threatening as before. My family is really young (my only host brother is 4), so the dynamic is very different than what I had in France, but I'm finding that (once again) different isn't neccesarily a bad thing. I just have to appreciate it for what it is, not make judegments based on what it's not.
Work is also better. I've realized (with the help from some very wise people who put up with my stressed venting) that I really am helping the school. I've been doing alot of secretary-type things (all of this week I've been filing contracts), and I get the feeling that they're the sort of things that keep getting put off even though they're actually necessary to keep everything running smoothly. And I love every one at the school. With out realzing it, they've kind of become like a second family to me. Drinking a cup of coffee together at 3 (like everyone in Costa Rica does every day) has made it feel a lot less like "Oh, these are people older than me that I work with" and more "These are the crazy people that spend all day here, like me". (They're all completely loco. Everyone in Costa Rica is. I love it.)
And what have I been upto lately? Let's see... This weekend I went to La Fortuna, home of Volcan Arenal, with some of the AFSers from San Ramón to spend the day at Termales Los Laureles, AKA volcaninc hot springs! There were all sorts of pools filled with water ranging from normal pool temperature to 44°C. We spent the day going from hot to cold to hot to warm to cold to freezing and back to scalding again. It was a blast, but I found out that all that will melt away sunscreen in an instant (which is bad, because I burn in like 2 seconds). When we got back we went to one of the host sister's 24th birthday party, which was a blast. Next weekend I'm off to spend the weekend in Guanacaste with Anna, Allie, Kayla, and people from Kayla's AFS chapter in Grecia, so that should be fun.
I've been in the sort of mood lately where everything seems beautiful. I'll be walking to work and notice how pretty the blue sky looks against the colored houses, or how the light during a rain storm makes all the tropical-ish plants extra dramatic looking. I really like Costa Rica. It's so different from Towson and Lyon and Millery and Paris. Everything is smaller and seems a bit faded, but it's so full of life, full of nice people, full of danceable music and last minute plans. It's really lovely. And for all the moments when I feel totally out of my element, homesick, lost, what have you, it some how has a way of bringing up my spirits in spite of my best efforts to wallow in self pity. I guess there's just something about the sun, the ticos, the pura vida.
All in all, life's pretty nice right now! Once I go through my pictures I'll try to put some up =)
PS, Since I posted my college essay I probably should tell you about my decision! Say aloha (or hola or bonjour or hello) to the newest member of the University of Hawai'i Class of 2016 =)