Today was a very eventful day. I could probably write a whole lot of things we did today and most probably will. So, here we go!
I woke up early to take a shower and get ready. Then, Katie (my roommate) and I ate breakfast with our mama tica and, meanwhile, watched a telenovela. For breakfast, we had “gallo pinto”, or rice mixed with beans, eggs, and a mixed fruit. The mixed fruit contained the usual bananas, pineapples, and papayas. I honestly don’t know how an actual papaya looks like, but it’s red in color and tastes bitter to me. I’m not accustomed to the taste, but it’s okay. Anyways, as we were eating our mama tica showed us the biggest insect in the world. It was huge! She said it was a rhino beetle.
However, in Costa Rica, it is common to have insects of any size (yes, even the size of your hand) to crawl around the house. It’s crazy, but here it’s kind of like having a house pet. We were told not to harm them because they are not harming us. Ticans are very open to animal and insects. This has shown me to broaden my perspective and realize that it’s okay to not harm insects if they’re not invading your privacy. After some time, our mama tica took the insect and fed it some bananas.
We arrived at the meeting point at eight o’clock. We boarded the bus and headed to the Café de Monteverde where we toured large coffee plantations and learned a lot of information about coffee. For example, coffee originated in Africa. Also, when coffee is a baby plant it is green in color. Then it sheds its coating and turns red. Later, we traversed the peaceful forest de Monteverde and tried to look for sloths, but, unfortunately, could not find one.
Afterwards, we visited fields of corn, wheat, tomato, and bananas, and plantains.
We also got to see baby pigs that were born that night! They were absolutely adorable!
We also learned the various reasons for having a pig or goat. A pig can supply a family of five for a month with electricity and gas for cooking, using the pig’s feces.
After the tour, we had an emplenada, or cheese tortilla, and coffee cultivated from the farm. The coffee was excellent! Gosh, so good.
After that, we went to CPI and attended cooking class to prepare our lunch for that day. It was really fun, although I just shredded carrots for thirty minutes. But, it was fun.
After eating rice with multiple vegetables and salad, we attended class for the remainder of the day. After class, the entire SPI grouped wanted to meet up in Santa Elena and explore the city. It was somewhat difficult to ask our host family to let us go to Santa Elena. She seemed somewhat ambivalent to let us go after staying with her for only a day and a half. Katie and I didn’t want her to wait for us as far as eating dinner. We didn’t know how to say it español and tried to avoid miscommunication as much as possible. After telling her we were going in a group, she felt a bit relieved. We found our friends along the way. We all met up at the heladería, or ice cream shop, to taste the local Monteverde dairy products.
I had a great time eating ice cream and exploring the ciudad like real adults. It was pretty exciting. Then all of us went to Woods, the souvenir shop across the street. I tried to look for small things I could gift my parents and little sister and friends in the United States. I found my sister a “Pura Vida” keychain. Pura vida is a common phrase that wishes you well, and people of Costa Rica exchange “Pura vida!” quite often.
I got a matching shirt with my SPI peer but couldn’t find anything for my parents. Well, that’s my next mission: find a gift para mis padres.
On our way home, Katie and I realized that there really wasn’t much point in washing your hair in Monteverde because every afternoon it rains. And I repeat, EVERY day. But, the weather was very cooling and I really liked it.
Well, that’s a wrap for today. Oh, and I forgot, today we saw a rainbow – a double rainbows from one end to the other. It was so cool and I guess you could say that was the highlight of my day. Buenas noches.
About the Author: Deeksha Mishra attended SPI’s Costa Rica program in Monteverde during summer 2015. To read more about her time abroad, check out her personal blog here.