Day 98,el Sabado 21 de octubre 2012 22:55
today there were so many good things! In the morning I joined my hostmoms walking group, we walked about 5KM to a river and rested there, watching some presentation about clean water, and then we walked back. The walking was really nice and I got to know more of my living area, but way more important is the following. The leader of this walking group works at the University of Costa Rica, and he told me that they have a WATERPOLO TEAM!!!!!! They train every Saturday morning and he is going to arrange for me that I can train with them; as well he would talk to the national selection. This make me so indescribable happy! Finally I can do my beloved sport again! I didn’t do waterpolo since the first of july so that makes almost 4 months. It drives me crazy but now I’m back! I hope next Saturday will be my first training!
In the afternoon I went to the restaurant to Skype with my family, my internet at home is broken, which actually just means that my neighbor’s internet is broken. I skyped 1,5 hour with my parents, my brother and my sisters. It made me feel really good since I didn’t Skype for so long!
Later I went to my grandmother’s house because I forgot my key, and they told me I could always go there, and my hostmom was there anyways. The main event of the day was at 5, my first step to fame. Last week I got asked to be in this really cool Dutch radio program called ‘the world of Filemon’ here Filemon, (the coolest Dutch presentator there is asks Dutch people all around the world some questions. I got called by a lady who put me on hold so I just listened to the radio. Then it was my turn to talk, I managed to introduce myself with a heartbeat close to 200. Then they hang up on my and 10 minutes later it was my turn again, I was a bit more relaxed but still nervous. I talked about Tattoos and Piercings in Costa Rica, and later I talked about the Costa Rican toilets. I enjoyed it a lot, I love to tell about Costa Rica and it is even better because BNN is a really cool media thingy and all of The Netherlands could have heard me! I think I can listen to it again but I have to search for that.
Day 99, el Domingo 21 de octubre 2012 22:02
My inspiration for titles is running out.
I had a nice and long sleep until 9:30 or something that became pretty late for me! If I would have woken up at 9 on a Sunday in The Netherlands I would have turned around a few more times. I went to my favorite internet restaurant after a nice rice and beans breakfast. Being in the restaurant again so much made me feel like the first weeks here. I was very happy to see some nice messages through facebook about my radio performance yesterday. Too bad it wasn’t uploaded on the internet yet. Furthermore I skyped with my sister in Canada, she might be coming to visit me here! I would really like that and I’d love the plan trips for her and show how much I know about Costa Rica. Also I cannot wait to show my Spanish skills to my friends and family when I come back in The Netherlands but to do that I have to wait 6,5 month more, sounds so short though.
Furthermore I lunched at my grandmothers with uncles and aunts, and we searched for a house. My hostmom wants to move out of the city, she wants to live closer to the nature. And…. She also wants a pool in the new house, when I asked if those are just dreams she said that they are not dreams and that it is possible. So I hope if we move we will move as soon as possible!
In the night I watched the Avengers with my hostmom and lil bro, they like movie nights J some day we are going to watch all Harry Potter movies! Just like in The Netherlands!
Day 100, el Lunes 22 de octubre 2012 21:19
One hundred days in Costa Rica
One hundred days, what does that say? 100 days can be interpreted in many ways, in my life it is 1,5% and for my time in Costa Rica it is a shocking 30%. I’m really bad in interpreting the time of an amount of days, also because the days just pass so quickly now. I can remember my 50 days report, and thinking: ‘what should I be writing within 50 days?’ But I think we can all agree that a lot of time has passed here in Costa Rica. But way more important, that there are more as 200 days waiting with a lot of memories and adventures ahead!
Of these 100 days I spent the first 7 in a camp in San José, one of the best weeks of my life. There I met a lot of inspiring people, and a lot of my new best friends. I enjoyed this week so much, it is indescribable. The next 47 days I spent in my first family. And the last 46 days I spent in my current family.
In my first family an experienced a huge culture shock, I noticed all of the culture differences and they just hit me like a rock, a huge cultural rock. To describe the first week I have to quote JD from the television series: ‘scrubs’; it was an emotional rollercoaster. The family was not totally what I expected. But meanwhile I was having a time of my life! I finally arrived in the beautiful Costa Rica, the adventure where I waited more as 9 months for! I have always tried to keep good relationships with this family and I have always tried to solve all my problems. But after 40 days it came to an end. I was and still am sure that they have stolen my money, and I put it to a stop, it sounds a bit egoistic but that is not what I, or any other exchange students deserves as a host family. I found a new family and left this, sadly enough I did not leave this old family in peace, but neither had I left them with a lot of sorrow. And now, looking back on this first period I realize that the culture shock and the lack of my Spanish also made this first part a lot harder.
So I moved in with a teacher of my school, I didn’t know her before but she is a friend of my tourism teacher Erika, she arranged everything for me, something where I will always be thankful for. I moved in to this new family, thinking it is just temporary until I find another family. Without the culture shock and better Spanish it was way easier in the new family, things I didn’t like in my old family are being done here now as well, but now I do understand them and that makes it a lot easier. After a few weeks it became clear that I could stay in this family for the whole year. So now here I am, in a house that I can call home, but it still is a second home, Gouda will always be my hometown.
These are mainly the events which occurred with my family here. But besides family I also have school life. It just since the last 2 weeks that I finally feel adapted in my school. I know all the customs and I know how it works, this really helps me adapt into the Costa Rican culture. I did got used to the culture, I changed to understand and live in this culture, but I am not fully adapted into this culture, I want to but that will take some more time.
Furthermore about school: I got a few good friends and the classes itself are nice as well. The school is in almost no way equal to my school in the Netherlands. The students are crazier, and unfortunately a bit more immature. The school also goes by the code ‘pura vida’, like everything in Costa Rica. This means that in school we don’t work that hard, and that we are happy. The teachers are closer to the students, and are like friends, they are equal but they do have authority. The thing that is the same as in the Netherlands are the exams, they are important and the people take them serious. Another change is that I go with the school bus every day, this takes a bit of your freedom to go to or to leave school, I miss my bike.
Another big part of a cultural exchange is of course learning another language. I can proudly say that I learned Spanish. It feels so weird, another language I use it every day but still it doesn’t feel like my language. But that will come. I learned Spanish, but I learned the Costa Rican Spanish. I use words like: ‘mae’, ‘pura vida’ and ‘wéon’ I make almost every word smaller: ‘pancito’ or ‘cafecito’ like the Ticos do as well, but I do not call myself a Tico. I still am an ‘extrañero’. But I hope that someday I can call myself a Tico.
But the most important that changed, is changing and will change more, is myself. I think different, I think more open, I think different about a lot of things, and I simply just think more. My interest in music changed a bit, my interest in sports has changed, I opened myself up to a new sport and new I found it, Taekwondo now is a of my Costa Rican life and it will be a part of my life in The Netherlands as well. And I have changed my view on a lot of things. I experienced to famous saying: ‘you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.’ This goes for everything, from family members, to my favorite places, friends and a lot of little things, material and non-material. And I cannot wait to show the ´new Bram´ to all my friends and family in The Netherlands.
In these 100 days I have seen different ways of life, better ways of life, and worse ways of life. The good and bad of Costa Rica. I have seen animals, plants and places which are breathtaking. I met inspiring people, I met bad people. I made new friends. I helped people, and people helped me, helping is a thing which I started to like a lot in my life, something I did not do that much in The Netherlands. I learned how to see life in I different way, from now on I will be optimizing this way of seeing the world. I will have more adventures and I will keep going with living my biggest dream. The American dream? Bitch please, I prefer the Costan Rican dream!
I tried to describe my first 100 days, but something’s are just impossible to describe, not with words, nor pictures. And some other things, I don’t even understand them myself. But you don’t have to understand everything, you can enjoy it anyways. And that is what I have to keep telling myself, enjoy it! Enjoy everything and keep learning from every experience you have here. Every minute, every hour, every day I spent here cannot be lived again, and I should not waste this valuable time!
Day 101,el Martes 23 de octubre 2012 20:59
Woohoo today was a free day! I’m getting used to those 4 school day weeks! I spent some time in the restaurant, I listened to my radio broadcast and I read an e-mail about the next broadcast, maybe I can speak again!
In the evening I went to Taekwondo practice, I’m still not that good, and I’m still enjoying it a lot, also I made friends through Taekwondo. On the second of the December I have a tournament in Heredia that will be awesome.
Also there was another earthquake today, a 6.6 magnitude. I didn’t feel it that much because I was in Taekwondo practice, jumping and kicking like a madman!
Yesterday I noticed something about the Costa Ricans, they are very racist. I already noticed that Chinese people are called ‘Chinos’ and black people ‘Negro’s’ but that is no problem, they introduce themselves that way. What is a problem is that they are really negative about black people. When I asked if the Caribbean side is nice they said: ‘no there are too many black people there’ and I was like wooooow are you serious? Another example, when I told them that a have been in Berlin they asked me: ‘But Germany is really dangerous’ when is asked ‘why’ somebody responded: ‘because of the Nazi’s’ this shocked me pretty much, I don’t know if they really are racist or just never had good education about this. I’m glad that they are not racist against me, I do not get called ‘blancho’ or something, they do call me ‘Holandese’ or ‘extrañero’ but not in a negative way.
Day 102, Wednesday 23th of October 2012
Keep doing stuff is important!
In school we learned about the native Costa Ricans, but of the 9 hours spent in school I think we actually spent time on this subject for at most 3 hours. We mostly have ´recreo´ the Spanish word for break, these breaks last from 5 minutes to more as an hour.
After school I went with Fabio to Orotina centro, I accompanied him with buying meat, and I went to my favorite panadaria. These panadarias are dangerous, I´m getting fat. Ofcourse will I never get really fat, you know it still is me. But it´s just that I´m not that skinny anymore, but that probably is good anyway.
When I got home I drank coffee, as always I really like this we always talk about stuff and it is better as doing nothing. With the coffee there were Tamales. This is a typical meal, they are a sort of maisgelatine with meat and vegetables in it, I don’t like them that much but everybody here goes crazy about it!
After the drinking coffee I did nothing, and that is exactly what I have to prevent, because when you do nothing, you get homesick. I made it even worse by reading old text messages. I realized how much I actually liked my time at my Dutch school and I missed my friends for the first time. Luckily I have a good resistance against homesickness, so I didn’t feel like bad or something. But the point is, keep doing something!
Today I read in my e-mail about a trip to Limon, the Caribbean coast, I am dying to go there, but December is an expensive month so I have to think about that, and I might have other plans.