Acclimating to Life in Costa Rica

Submitted by Erin Lay on the 2023 spring semester program in Costa Rica…

Breakfast, including gallo pinto, a fried egg, ham, shortbread, a fruit bowl, and orange juice

As a picky eater, I normally have a hard time finding foods I like to eat. I have been a picky eater my whole life, whether it’s the flavor or the texture. I was very worried to come to Costa Rica for this reason. I had so much anxiety the night before leaving for Costa Rica about whether or not I was going to eat enough. I decided the best way for me to overcome this was to try everything. Since I’ve been here, I’ve tried almost 100 new foods and drinks. My favorite meal I’ve eaten so far, is the  chicken burrito that we had the very first night. We had a fruit juice, that my group determined was tamarind juice and a pineapple carrot cake for desert. Each morning, the cafeteria serves gallo pinto, also known as, rice and beans. I have never liked beans before, but I fell in love with gallo pinto. So far, I haven’t found too many foods that I didn’t like. I hope to continue to try even more. (Submitted on January 9, 2023)

In all of my education, I never took a Spanish class. I’m realizing now that it would have been more beneficial for me to take Spanish than Latin in high school. Costa Rica has been amazing and luckily most people know English, but there are a few times my friend has had to help translate. I found out after arriving in Costa Rica that my camera doesn’t take SD cards over 2gb. This became a problem when I had only brought 128gb SD cards with me. My friend and I left the research station we were staying at to try and find one at a local store. I was so lucky my friend went with me because I did not understand any Spanish. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find one, but I had one in my camera already. I just had to limit the amount of pictures I took. (Submitted during Week 2)

Every morning since we arrived at Palo Verde Biological Station, I have woken up early to see the sunrise. There is a dock that leads to a large marsh here. There are so many birds that hang around the dock. The sunrise is so beautiful and makes waking up at 5:30am worth it. At night, we can see so many stars. I like to go lay on the dock and look at them. There is less light pollution here than in Delaware so we can even see some planets. The dock here has easily become my favorite place so far. There is always new things to see and enjoy. (Submitted on January 21, 2023)

Enjoying the sunrise