Sunday, January 30, 2011

La Comida de Costa Rica

All the while I love COSTA RICAN FOOD!!!!.. I mean I love all types of food but Costa Rican food is amazing, so simple and yet muy rico. It might have to do with the fact that everything has cilantro in it but I am definitely a big fan. Our guide told us about how what all Costa Ricans ate was rice and beans for breakfast, beans and rice for lunch and rice and beans for dinner. But of course it was a bit more interesting than that, sometimes the beans mixed with the rice;) And Plantains are amazing… I don’t know why they aren’t so popular they are soo good.
Caribbean style Casado
Regular Casado


For the next few days we would be staying at CATIE, which to my embarrassment was not a lady that we were going to visit but an actual institute for masters and post doctoral studies for solutions for sustainable rural development. Coming here and learning about what the institute does really opened my eyes and made me obtain a great understanding of what sustainable development was about. The mission of the institute is: to contribute to rural poverty by promoting competitive and sustainable agriculture and natural resources management through higher education, research and technical cooperation. 
During our stay there we visited commercial scale and sustainable low scale sugar cane plantations. The difference is quite simple, one priorities quantity whilst the other prioritizes quality. When we were at the sustainable plantation the farmer offered us fresh sugar cane juice that he made right there in the terrepiche it was exactly what u would expect sugarcane juice to taste like... SWEET!!!!!…I think I got a little too excited with the idea of drinking sugar cane, as I experienced a little sugar rush afterwards… I don’t know why but the farmer also had vinegar made from banana and I don’t know why again I tried itand it was exactly as gross as it sounds! On the brighter side we had delicious pineapple at the pineapple plantation the next day. In the meantime we learnt a lot about agriculture, agro-buiness, and agro-tourism within those few days we were at CATIE, it was a bit too much information to absorb in. But I was starting to get really excited about what that classes were going to be like when we were finally about to start.  We were all ready to go to Montverde and settle down and finally unpack. 

El grupo en la fábrica de la caña
Jugo de la caña.... ¡que rico!

Museo Nacional

The following day we went to the National Museum of Costa Rica in San Jose and learnt a lot about the history of the country. I was amazed by the perfectly spherical stone archeological monuments that were made by the pre-Columbian in habitants of the country. It was also very interesting to learn about the ethnical diversity within Costa Rica and the historical events that created them. Such as the afro-Caribbean population in the Limón province that came to work on the plantations there and the Chinese that also came to Costa Rica to make railroads. For that reason I was not surprised when we ended up going to a Chinese restaurant for lunch and when I saw like a million Chinese families all speaking Spanish.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Coming to Costa Rica

I accepted that I was gonna be studying abroad in Costa Rica not when I paid the $500 deposit for the trip nor when I purchased my air ticket but when I landed in San Jose International Airport. The magnificent green mountains greeted me from my airplane window seat as I arrived. I went outside and met the rest of the group that I would be spending the next 4 months of my life here in Costa Rica with. I guess I was slightly disappointed that this was the first all girl group the program ever had… I guess I should be use to it by now… The program description for this study abroad was very vague and none of us really knew what to expect, but we all went with flow. We were gonna stay at the Hotel El Sesteo for the weekend. The view from the veranda right in front of our room was soo gorgeous.
That night we went to this fancy traditional Costa Rica Restaurant called “Las Nuestras” .There were traditional dancers,lively music and very creative interior decorations. The restaurant was mainly oriented for tourists, most of the people there were foreigners… all the while there was great food, great music and great performances…It was a fiesta!!!!

We order way too much for just the two of us, but it was good to taste a variety of the  cuisines de los carnes,tortialls and platantes(finally!). I can’t get over all the fresh fruits here, and all the fruit juices one can imagine, watermellon, pineapple, etc. I couldn't pick and so i just went for the fruit mix. And then what a great way to end the night, with some traditionally prepared Costa Rican Coffee, with a camarero not so bad looking ;)