In honor of my first month here, I thought I would make a list of the vast things that I have learned. The good, the bad, and all of the in-between.
1. "Ticos" are a super friendly people. I walked past one of my students' houses last weekend and when her family saw me, they invited me in for coffee. It's an awesome community.
2. Walking as a main mode of transportation is surprisingly enjoyable. It's great exercise and it is refreshing to be walking in such a beautiful place. I have also found that I prioritize my trips much more than when I had a car available. The downside is when I do want to go places other than during the day, I have to make sure I'm not alone or have a vehicle to take me home.
3. Starbucks ain't got nothing on Costa Rican coffee. It is 10X better, easily. It is richer, stronger, and the flavor is simply better. From someone who only drinks Starbucks coffee with lots of honey and skim milk, when I say that I can drink this coffee black, that's really saying something.
4. Traveling to a foreign country on your own with limited access to any form of electronic communication is scary, but I'm living, learning, and doing my best to experience everything that I can.
5. I'm really going to be sad when I have to return to below- freezing temperatures in the states. Even though it's pretty rainy here, it never dips below the upper 50's, and that is a very, very cold day here in Monteverde.
6. There are so many dishes you can make with rice and beans. I never thought such a basic food staple could be so versatile.
7. I am so grateful for all the things I have been given in my life.
8. Paved roads are a blessing and we should be grateful for them. The resulting headaches from two hours of driving on a dirt/gravel road made me realize this.
9. I have learned many new ESL techniques for future use with students.
10. If fruit were the same prices here as in the United States, I would make smoothies everyday. I bought a lemon the other day, guess how much it cost? Six cents, seriously. Plus you can pick fruit from trees lining the roads here as well.
And, there are many more things, but I won't bore you with the rest :] One more month left, and I hope to gain as many new experiences as I have during the first!