Although it’s been more than six months since my last post, I wanted to take some time to myself and write. In the craziness of everyday life I have neglected to devote some of my time to relaxation through writing. These last six months have been pretty eventful and I figured it would be nice to recap some of the most memorable moments.
Since my last post, Mauricio and I settled into our new place and had a memorable Thanksgiving dinner with friends from around the world. Mauricio made a kick ass turkey, we ate pumpkin pie and nobody left hungry. No Thanksgiving would be complete without some drama, but that’s another story. As quick as Thanksgiving was over, so was Christmas. Mauricio and I spent our second consecutive Christmas together in Costa Rica, and without a doubt the best part of the holiday was Mauricio’s present – a golden retriever puppy! This hands down is the best gift I have ever given. This was the second year in a row that I spent away from my family in the United States, and it makes you reflect on the importance of holidays.
One of the biggest highlights from these past months was having my dear friend Christin visit all the way from Germany. Once an exchange buddy, always an exchange buddy! Although it had been more than two years since we saw each other last, it felt like we hadn’t been apart for more than a few weeks. It was so much fun showing her around Costa Rica, introducing her to my way of life and getting to reconnect with her. We drove all over the country, went zip lining, toured the city and took a killer weekend trip to Bocas del Toro, Panama. Our weekend in Panama was filled with plenty of beach time, crazy boat rides, our own golf cart (cause you know, we are hostel royalty) and plenty of bug spray to keep the dengue fever away. Next stop – Germany!
I have been transitioning well and learning a lot at work also. I successfully coordinated my first Walking Tree Travel programs in Costa Rica, and am getting super excited for this upcoming summer. Working from home has been an adjustment, but I am really enjoy it. Being disciplined, keeping a routine and staying organized have helped tremendously. The most rewarding part of the job so far is being able to build relationships with several small communities around the country and organize service projects for American high schoolers. Thanks Craigslist, I owe you one for helping me find this job.
After more than a year and a half of endless paperwork, bureaucratic madness, countless trips to immigration, waiting in line for hours and more bureaucratic madness, I am finally a resident in Costa Rica! The amount of satisfaction and achievement associated with getting residency is related to graduating again. Seriously, until you actually do it you have no idea how much work it takes to get a simple resolution. Being in immigration limbo for such a long time is a mess, and knowing that you are completely “legal” is super important, especially if you are trying to make a life in a new country.
Most of May was spent back in the United States with Mauricio. Mau and I were both really excited about traveling together since we hadn’t done so in such a long time. We both started off our trip in Denver for the annual Walking Tree training session. Every time I go to Colorado, I fall more in love with it. We were able to stay with some of our friends, explore Boulder and Denver and spend some time in the mountains during a freak May blizzard, which was completely unexpected. Being together with the entire team only happens once a year, and it’s a lot of fun to hang out and catch up with everyone (and drink plenty of microbrew IPA’s).
After Colorado, we headed to Chicago to spend some time with my niece and nephew. We quickly realized that playing with a two and four year old is super fun and extremely exhausting. Being “dindo” (godfather) is always awesome, and I wish I could spend more time with the kids. We took a few days to escape the suburbs and spend time in Chicago, one of our favorite cities. With our CTA pass in hand, we took to the city exploring China Town, Wicker Park, the lakeshore and downtown. We ate authentic Chinese food, Greek gyros, Brazilian feijoada, Vietnamese pho, and had a pickle back shots – a shot of whiskey followed by a shot of pickle juice (accompanied by a hot dog of course). The gastronomical site seeing was just as fun as the actual site seeing. While in the city we stayed with our good friend Hollie, and had plenty of time to reminisce of our crazy days as irresponsible exchange students in Costa Rica. We better see you soon in Costa Rica, puta!
It’s been exactly a month since we moved in to a new apartment, and Mauricio and I love it. We learned some good lessons about renting from the last place we lived, mainly the importance of a good location. We are within walking distance of a supermarket, convenience stores, bus stops, cafes and Downtown Heredia. Our new place is the perfect location, perfect layout and just really cool. Mau does a great job of decorating and his “updated vintage” style is really awesome. Most of the furniture and decorations in the house are second hand, recycled or made by Mauricio himself.
Until next time…