Exploring the Neighborhood

Today I got to sleep in.  Yes!  That makes me so happy.  Anyone who knows me can tell you I am about the furthest you could get from a morning person (unless you count 2am as morning, then I’m wide awake).  Thankfully there was no class this morning so the bus did not leave until 11:45.  The only things scheduled for today was an optional guest speaker and the Public Health Communications class after lunch so I didn’t go.  I didn’t want to be bored and stuck at the University again (I would bring my readings but I can’t do that ALL day, and then I would have to lug my huge, clunky laptop around the whole time).  Also, I wanted a chance to explore the area around the hotel a little bit more so I decided to stay behind.

Big tree in Parque la Sabana

After everyone left, I decided to go wander the neighborhood.  Camera in tow (I know, its amazing! I’m actually remembering to use it and bring it with me!), I set out for the park down the street.  Locals greeted me with a friendly “Buenas” as I passed by and I soon found myself crossing the street via a walkway-overpass-thingy overlooking the park.  Parque la Sabana, as its called, is huge.  I wandered the paths, listened to a group of musicians that had set up with some drums as one lady danced to their music, and watched different kids and adults playing soccer as if it were their own mini World Cup (Costa Rica is not playing in the World Cup this year, but everyone enthusiastically follows it and every TV I see is on a channel that displays it).  The big trees provided enough shade to counteract the heat and many people were reading, sleeping, or just hanging out with friends and family under them.  I wandered around the big lake near the back of the park before circling around to the front on the street where the Museum of Art is.  The park used to be the old SJO airport.  One of the main buildings was turned into the museum when they turned the area into a park and moved the airport from San Jose to Alajuela.  Outside of the museum is also a big statue in honor of a Costa Rican president.

Museum at the edge of the park used to be part of the airport

While wandering the park, I met a friendly Tico whose name I think was Emanuel (but I barely caught it so I’m not entirely sure).  He asked where I was from and told me about how he visited San Fransisco once.  After speaking with him for a while, I went on my way to get some lunch at la Soda across the street.  The place looks reminiscent of an old 50s diner, with everything red and white.  I sat outside, watching the game between Ghana and Germany on the TV along with the rest of the customers, and ordered a steak sandwich and a bottle of water.  The sandwich was more like a panini but had lettuce, tomato, and salsa in it.  I was starving and it was absolutely delicious.

Though it was only about 2:15 at this point, the weather decided to start drizzling, so I decided to continue my wandering in the direction of the hotel so I wouldn’t be too far away when it inevitably started pouring.  By the time I got back to where I entered the park, however (about 3-4 blocks away from the hotel), the rain  had decided to fall in earnest so I just made my way back.

Part of the hotel

After getting back around 3:00pm, I spent the rest of the afternoon on the computer.  I managed to finish two of my six reading assignments by the time the rest of the group got back.  Turns out I was the only person who didn’t go to school today (that explains why no one responded to my post on FB about getting together here) but that was fine, I enjoyed wandering alone.  I hung out with my roommate and finished another reading assignment before going out to dinner with her and her dad.  He came down with her early to make sure she would be alright here.  He was very surprised when I told him I had not yet called my parents (though I have sent an email or two so they at least know I’m alive).  I’ll probably try to use skype to do that sometime tomorrow (hopefully I’ll remember) since that seems to be the cheapest and easiest way to go and we leave on Friday to go to the Arenal Volcano.

No one really wants to do anything else tonight, they’re all really tired so I’ll probably spend the rest of the night working on homework.  Alex and I went and paid Fernando for the optional trip the third weekend (I managed to get rid of all my extra $1s and ₡100s) so we won’t have to worry about doing that later.  Tomorrow I have my next Ecosystem Health class so I’m looking forward to it.

Categories: Costa Rica 2010, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Exploring the Neighborhood

  1. Diana K.

    Yes It’s about that phone call. Skype does work. You could also buy a phone card at a quick store and call us…… I think your photographs are perfect for the piece. I seem to remember something from your welcome packet about venturing out alone. Take a Friend next time my little gypsy.
    Love Mom

    • Yeah, we can’t go alone at night, and we shouldn’t go far, but Fernando said the area was safe enough in the day time. Besides, I’ll end up travelling alone eventually, why not get a small taste of it now?

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