maandag 29 april 2013

A nice week and my second TKD tournament.

Day 289, el Lunes 29 de abril 2013 9:40

A nice school week  and another TKD tournament.

 I owe you guys a nice post, because I honestly were just too lazy to write these days. Now I found some time, lying in my bed after I good night of sleep. My big toe hurts, and both upper arms, but about that later in the post.

The school week was normal and nice, I had a lot of fun in classes and the breaks and I never felt more part of the life here. Everyday something or someone gets added to my Costa Rican life, and every day my Costa Rican life gets shorter. You could say that it isn’t fair, working so hard building up your life and having to let everything behind. Could you say that an exchange is a ‘beautiful lie with an ugly truth’? In some way yes.

Friday was celebrated with pizza by 2 classmates and me in my house. I don’t do that much with my classmates so it was very nice, and I like pizza.
During the week I went almost every day to the park, something which I’ve been doing the last weeks actually, just drinking smoothies in the park. Mostly with Sarah but also with other friends, and maybe on an occasional date.
Saturday was cleaning the house day and today as well actually, my parents are coming tomorrow (!!) so the house must be 110% clean! Clean houses is a big thing in the latin culture, something which can drive the ‘cochino extranjeros’ crazy.
So yesterday was another cool day, not because of an cool trip or a nice day on the beach, no it was because of a cool fight. I woke up early and 5 friends, the TKD teacher and I went in the car to San José to the biggest gym of Costa Rica for a national championship of taekwondo. It was very nice to see all the fights and some people were so good. I had to wait 8 hours before my fight started so by that time I was pretty tired of doing nothing (so weird getting tired of doing nothing), but a good warming up woke me up. I was in the pool of 74-78 kilo, yellow belt and year 1993. Because there was nobody of my age and weight I got tossed in with the twenty year olds; more challenge, more fun. My first fight was with a pretty big guy, I was taller but way skinnier but I feared nothing and went in the fight with full power. Within 20 seconds I was facing a 4-0 loss; the guy used simple kicks to score fast points and didn’t give me the space I needed to kick. I wanted to knock him out so I didn’t use to simple kicks or the spinning kicks, I didn’t have enough confidence in those. I kicked him in the face 2 times and made him fall multiple times but he didn’t want to give up. He kept doing the same kicks and we defense was failing. In the end I lost with 15 to 8. I didn’t feel bad about it, I gave all I had and the other guy was better; it was a nice fight. I did hurt to guy a lot while he didn’t hurt me at all so that says something as well. And secretly I am very happy that I didn’t get hurt badly, because that would destroy my trip with my parents.
So tomorrow my parents are coming and that is going to be A to the W E S O M E. I will pick them up from the airport and show them around in Orotina. I am so happy to see them again; it is 290 days since I have seen them for the last time! And I can show them my life and my country; Costa Rica.

zondag 21 april 2013

Easy Time

Day 281, el domingo 21 de abril 2013 11:13
Just school, surfing and an tranquillo weekend.

A relaxed weekend makes this easy and normal school week complete. The only ‘special’ thing I did was going to the beach with Sarah to go surfing on Friday, gotta love Costa Rican school if you know what I mean. On our way to Jaco there was an accident right on front of us, so it took very long to get to the beach, I think it is around the 10th traffic accident I saw her in Costa Rica, way more as in my whole Dutch life. Surfing was fun but the sea was very strong and irregular which made it very hard. Later while eating ice cream I made a list with Sarah about things we dislike about Costa Rica / Ticos, don’t get us wrong, we love Costa Rica, making this list was more ‘vasilando’ but I let you know that we reached 106 and still counting.

The school week was relaxed a spent almost every afternoon drinking smoothies with Sarah and sometimes other people, smoothie = life. I will miss those smoothie stores some much in The Netherlands, especially because here there opens a new one every 2 weeks; so much fun. On Wednesday we went to the university of Puntarenas to an open day. First it was fun listening to the sometimes horrible presentations but after 2 hours in the heat of ‘el puerto’ it got a bit too much, luckily we went to the boulevard in the afternoon. At the boulevard we ate ice cream, a granizado and chilled on the peer.

This weekend is just ‘tranquillo a la casa’, yesterday we cleaned the house and I helped my little brother with English; something I do about 10 hours a week these days. Today I skyped with my parents, they are coming in 10 days and it is going to be so damn epic! We are going on a super cool tour I planned and well yeah, I’m going to see my parents after 291 days!

It’s very nice to have some easy time again, I have been at of the house a lot and that is tiring, for the first time in weeks I feel like a slept enough. And it is also good to be more with my family now, something I maybe have forgotten the last weeks.   

maandag 15 april 2013

Big cities

Dia 271 el Jueves 11 de abril 2013
Batalla de Rivas

Today is another national holiday in Costa Rica. Unfortunately I spent the whole day being bored at home. We are going back to winter so yesterday it rained pretty hard so it was impossible to go to the river. The beach wasn´t possible either because most people have to study for the exams, and other people simply don´t have money to go out. So I´m lying on my bed for the last hours listening to the 100 best songs of the 00´s.

Last Monday we had a photo shoot at school for the graduation that was funny and the other school days were normal. There is a taekwondo tournament coming up so I went running and I´ll be training more the coming days.

I´m hoping to go to Cartago this weekend to visit Henry and chill with some friends we made during the holidays.

Day 275 el lunes 15 de abril 2013 21:05
Cartago &  Heredia

Saturday I got into the bus to San José not really knowing where I was going or what was going to happen, but that is Tico-style, and so totally normal for me. I had a nice cookie, donut and muffin breakfast with Sarah in Musmanni in San José and later we walked through San José center to the Cartago bus station.

The plan was to go with Henry and some friends we made to a creepy psycho hospital near volcano Irazu, but there appeared a problem so there was a slight change of plans. I went to the famous Basilica with Sarah and we waited for Henry to come. Wit Henry we walked around Cartago city. Cartago is the nicest city in Costa Rica; it has the most culture of all ‘big’ cities in Costa Rica and a nice climate. We went to a cool park in the middle of the city within some ruins and chilled there for a while. After a smoothie in of the thousands of smoothie stores there are all over Costa Rica, I will miss those so much. Drinking smoothies became part of my daily life, I life on smoothies some days, they are so damn good! Since we were in the big city we had the possibility to go to Taco Bell and that opportunity should not be left untaken.

In the afternoon we took a taxi (paid be EF, aw yeah) to Heredia to Valentina her crib. Here we were invited to stay the night in the mansion and we spend the rest of the afternoon and the evening chilling in the pool and Jacuzzi. For dinner we were pleased with nice European food (macaroni in Swiss cheese sauce :3) and in the night we watched Harry Potter and we ate Swiss chocolate, so good to have all this European things again! Breakfast was even better with real European bread and something like Nutella but with crunch and shit, so epic. Also there were fresh fruits, jam and orange cake; I was in breakfast heaven.

The day spent in the pool and the lunch was a delicious coconut / mango curry. Then we took a taxi (EF paid again, so that’s probably where all our money goes) to Orotina. In Orotina I had coffee and a tortilla at an aunt’s house. We watched ‘el Classico’ between L.D.A. and Saprissa, the best two clubs of Costa Rica. A very very far away cousin plays with the L.D.A. and wanted to fight with the arbitry after the match, that was kinda funny watching with the whole family especially when he said ‘carapicha’ (Dickface) on national television.

Today was a long and tiring day and it was extremely hot, when it is so hot you get so sleepy and tired; hard to stay awake.

zaterdag 6 april 2013


Day 266, El Sabado 6 de abril 2013 19:25

My school helps me so much making my exchange year the best year of my life. It is a nice school where I can be myself, I have a lot of friends, I can be lazy as shit and of course the school trips. This time it was time to go to Uvita, Bahía Ballena; the Whale bay.

First on Wednesday, I got the disappointing news that I had to go to immigration in San José on the day we were leaving for the trip. After some googling and some calling I fixed myself a ride there with a public bus later on the day. Getting the visa was just some signatures a photo and done, I got some kind of ID-card which is pretty cool.

I got to the busstation around 4:30 so I had to wait 2 hours which isn’t that much or bad, I just waited, waiting more as 30 minutes for a train or bus in The Netherlands is NOT done. On the way with the bus there was a pretty bad accident with a car and a tourist rental car, the bus passed before the police and everybody arrived so it was all very fresh. Some people got out to see if they can help or just to see the accident. I’ve never heard some screaming like that, so helpless, hopeless so, hollow. Seeing the smashed cars wasn’t that bad but hearing the screams of the people who are trapped in sight in probably in pain; that took away the color from my face. The bus went on and I realized that this is probably a tourist, who was going to have a nice holiday, and now her life is marked forever. Some people in the bus kept so cold under situation they were like: ‘hey I gotta go to work’, maybe they are already used to the accidents.

Now the adventure starts. The bus stopped at a highway restaurant near Uvita to stop for dinner, this was about 10 in the evening. I got off here since it was a direct bus and it wouldn’t stop any closer to Uvita. I walked about 1 kilometer to Uvita, while is walking I called 2 teachers who were supposed to pick me up, but they didn’t answer the phone; neither any of my classmates, I figured out that there must be no signal at the camping. So I had to look for the camping myself. After asking some people I took a half dark dirt road which leads to Uvita center and from there on I should ‘get there easily’. This half dark road was about 2,5 kilometers long and took my past a school bus which made me think I already arrived but it turned out not to be ours. In Uvita center I took another dirt road which I saw as my only option. While walking there I heard a bus stopping back in the center so I ran back to ask about the camping. They told me that there are various camping’s so I figured out my school is probably camping at the national park itself; so I asked where the national park is. They told me 2 kilometers that so I walked 2 kilometers more. By this time my classmate Hernan finally picked up the phone and described an entrance of the camping exactly the as I was looking at, I thought I arrived; wrong, very wrong. It turned out that there are 2 gentrances; I was at the wrong one. The fastest and safest way was to walk 4 kilometers over the beach to arrive at the camping. I had 8% battery left so using the flashlight had only little time so I walked very fast to arrive quicker. I passed a sign saying: ‘Watch out for crocodiles.’ A dog followed me all the way to keep me company; this is a big and easy noticeable change of me: I like animals better as before. I pretty much hated dogs I didn’t know, and now I am one of these persons petting unknown dogs.  A few classmates went to meet me on the way and when I finally met them I was pretty relieved. I put all my stuff in the tent one tried to sleep, but how I tired I was after walking around 8 kilometers I couldn’t sleep of the heat. After I drank some water I finally fell asleep; around 1.

The next day I woke up at 6:15, I showered etc. and we prepared our cereal breakfast. When everybody was ready we did some volunteering cleaning up the forest which borders the beach. After that we played soccer and latter we made lunch. It was nice to be on a trip like this with just Ticos again, it all felt so natural. Cooking lunch went ‘Tico-style’ we cooked rice and ate it with tuna. When the people don’t feel like cooking they always eat rice with tuna, which is pretty nice but food of the lazy; apparently.

In the afternoon we walked to the main thingy, to tail of the whale. It is a weird form of the beach coming together and that way forming a beach in the shape of a whale’s tail. The cool effect is that you walk over the beach and there is water coming from 2 sides. We found a dead turtle there, the turtle was pretty big, but too bad also pretty dead. It chocked on a plastic string, real proof of direct consequences of pollution. Later we got to some a bit and I as always went deep into the sea with the big waves. Since to Ticos are scared of pretty much everything I was pretty lonely so I went back to the group the play with them in the tiny baby-waves, no just kidding but yeah nobody went with me so I stuck more in the back with the group.

In the evening we walked to the supermarket which was like half an hour away over another dark dirt-road but we had to buy our food. On the way back I told some nice ghost-stories about demon monkeys. Something which was pretty scary was seeing a sign: ‘beware of thieves’, the road light going off and a car coming out of nowhere. This was all a coincidence, but the guys in the car did ask if we could sell them weed, but we couldn’t so we quickly walked on. Later in the evening we told more ghost stories on the beach and we moved to a big tent later when to sea was coming up. We stayed up until around 3, chilling and talking and we woke up at 5.

Today, we had a tour with a small boat into the sea to see some island and to spot whales and dolphins. We got to see a lot of dolphins which is always cool, but it wasn’t whale season. We also did some snorkeling, I thought about the fact that a turists do tours like this
And that this is already my 4-5th time on a boat like this, life is beautiful.

Now I am very very sleepy, I probably won’t post photo’s but check my facebook, there they are!

woensdag 3 april 2013

got some rest :)

Day 263, El Miercoles 3 de abril 2013 20:27
Some easier days

After this epic holiday I got some days to relax and get back to the normal life. Monday was a normal school da but extremely tiring, spend all classes talking about the semana santa, and when I arrived at home I helped my lil’ bro a bit with his English homework.  I slept at 8 because of this extreme tiredness.

Tuesday I needed some more rest so I chilled all day with Julio in the library sending some e-mails, checking facebook and 9gag and I also spoke with my mom about our trip. My parents are coming in 25 days now, it is so so little! I will be seeing them for the first time in 9 months by time. I am extremely excited for our trip; we are going to Southern Costa Rica where the pearl of Costa Rica lies: Penisula de Osa. I the evening I brought up the energy to go to Taekwondo and as well to stay up to late talking to people.

Because I stayed up late I had to pay a price to next morning which was getting up early. I imagined no having classes while eating my gallo pinto and turns out what when I arrive at school: no classes. I had to wait 2 hours until to next bus though and in Orotina I did some shopping for the trip coming up tomorrow.

I am very excited the trip tomorrow, we are going to Bahía Ballena, whale bay. The name has a double meaning, first: there are a lot of whales in the right season, second: it has a one-of-a-kind beach in the form of a whale tail. But some complications showed up and it turns out that I have to go to San José tomorrow for some visa stuff. But I did some googling and I’ll hop on a bus to the border with Panama but jump off in Uvita.

Next time will be about the trip!

dinsdag 2 april 2013

Semana Santa

Day 260, March 31, 2013 19:40
Semana Santa

Semana Santa; the holy week. This week wasn’t that holy, but it was epic, let’s say that again: EPIC. Even though I’ve had loads of epic moments, days and weeks but this week is without doubt the best of all, and that’s a lot to say if you know what I’ve done here.

I could describe all of it, every day a nice and detailed report. I could write about the beautiful beaches I went to, camping with my Japanese brawh Henry in a tiny tent, about the parties, the concerts, surfing, smoothies, ice cream, reggae, hitchhiking and tons of more stuff. But I don’t it’s just too much to tell, and words won’t be able to describe how it was.

If I would write everything I won’t have any stories to tell when I’ll be home, and to be honest I am too tired to write now. I stood up 7 hours in a bus, waited 2 hours more for another one and then sat 1 hour. I had a delicious dinner when I got home but I will miss the Mexican food at Don Brasilitos as well.

I did miss out at a big cultural thing of Costa Rica, but my host family said that it wasn’t that special and that I should enjoy weeks like this by travelling. And the next two weeks will bring more travels as well. Oh, by the way I suck in uploading photos on my blog, so just check facebook, I spend my time better these days.

I also was disconnected to the world for one week, no internet and I lost my phone; it was great. No worries, no needs. On the way back in the bus I had plenty of time to think and I have to face it: This is the beginning of the end. My exchange year is ending, it is almost over. Before I know it I’ll be in The Netherlands. Worse: I got my flight information. For all the interested people: 7th of June 10:00 at Schiphol Airport. I’ll have a few hours stop in Miami: beach, beach, party, party.

That’s it for today, I’ll be back with a normal report soon!