It has been interesting to observe the differences between here and the U.S., some obvious and some not so much.
Houses here are small. I am staying with a family of six. Our house is maybe half the size of mine, if not smaller. There are not a lot of creature comforts, but everything is efficient. The kitchen is small, and I haven’t seen a pantry yet, though there is an outside room where bananas and plantains hang to ripen. My bedroom here is smaller than my master bathroom at home. There is no closet, only shelves. Mama tica and papa tico share a room with the youngest daughter. I wonder if my room is not hers typically. The twins, Victor y Victoria, share a room with bunk beds. The older son has a room at the back of the house that might be an add-on. There is one bathroom with a shower.
Now, as for hot water—it is not hot. There is a switch on the showerhead that you slide, then turn the water pressure down low, and you might get lukewarm water. Parents, I know how you can limit your children’s shower time. I am glad my parents did not know this trick. I like my showers long and steamy. J Needless to say, I take quick showers here.
I am here to learn Spanish, but it is a work in progress. For example, this morning, everyone had left except for me y mama tica. We were at the table while I was eating breakfast and studying. I successfully communicated that I would be home after 8, as we had a movie night at CPI (Spanish school). She asked me if I wanted her to save me a place for when I arrived home. At least that’s what I thought she asked me. Imagine my surprise when I arrived home at 8:20, and no one had eaten. They had all waited for me. Papa tica was in bed, but hadn’t yet had dinner, so of course he got up and joined us. Now I think she may have asked me if I wanted the family to wait for me, or maybe she asked me if I wanted to eat dinner here. No matter. I felt so badly, and other than, “Gracias,” I did not have the words to thank them for waiting. I also want learn how to tell them not to wait for me next time. As soon as dinner was over, Genesis comes to me to say, “Bueno noches,” as it was past her bedtime. Mi familia es muy simpatico. Oh, and dinner was muy rico (very good). Tonight was pasta with tomato sauce, spices, and a small amount of meat plus a yummy salad. I am so glad we did not have arroz con frijoles. Again.
The bright green is mi Mama Tica's clothing store. The roof you see to the lower right is mi casa de Monteverde.
Some of the houses on the hill near mine. This was taken when walking down the biggest hill ever (after walking up it this a.m.).