May 19, 2017
As I boarded the plane, I thought to myself, “this is happening, I’m going to Costa Rica! How did I manage to end up here?” Looking back, it all started with my marketing professor asking me questions about my goals and aspirations. Before I knew it, I had this great opportunity in hand. I appreciate it, and I’m glad my professor picked me to be one of the two marketing students on the trip.
However, having gone to bed at 1am and waking up at 3am to make my flight at 4am made it difficult to be excited. I’m not going to lie; I was very nervous. This was my first time out of the country in 8 years. I was going without family and accompanied by three other girls I barely knew. I was worried about getting along with the girls, worried about the magazine work and a few other things, but for time’s sake, I’m not going into details. My first bump in the road, Dean Smith sent me to the wrong terminal. Yeah, the airport attendant had a good laugh.
I sat in row 27, seat D for four hours until we landed in San Jose, Costa Rica. Luckily, the trip wasn’t that boring. I sat next to a young mother and her autistic child. She shared with me the struggle she goes to find daycares for her daughter when she travels and other issues relating to autism. She was a very sweet and kind person. We landed and parted ways at customs. When people say going through customs takes forever, they mean it. About 30 minutes waiting we finally made it to the front of the line. There, we had the opportunity to take a picture. It was our welcome to the Pais de pura vida. After getting our luggage we went to look for our driver. I felt like a celebrity walking outside the airport. There were people holding signs with names left and right, people yelling taxi and airport attendants directing traffic. After a few workers helped us, Marissa and Michaela found our shuttle driver, Johnny, and his son Paul. Once on the road, Paul offered us chips and refreshments to make the four-hour long drive more comfortable.
Along the way, we stopped for fruit and to visit the bridge that overlooked crocodiles. To sum things up, the crocodiles were scary and the fruit was tasty. My new favorite fruit is guanábana. Four hours later, we made it to my professor’s house. He greeted us with a nice meal and after introductions we talked about our travels. By that time, it was past 10pm and we were all tired, so we decided to call it a night.
At least, that was the plan. Michaela and Marty stayed in one room while Marissa and I stayed in another. Everything was great. Marissa and I enjoy watching T.V to help us sleep so we started watching House Hunters International when suddenly we heard a toad next to us. Keep in mind, we were sleeping pretty much on the floor. A toad could easily jump on us so we both did the most logical thing any person would do. We screamed and jumped up. Marissa went for the lights and I went looking for the toad. We soon spotted the culprit near the window, hopping toward my luggage. Marissa and I decided to lead him to the door but we needed something to push it with. I went in search of a broom while she kept tabs on it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything, but when I went back to the room Marissa had led the toad outside. We both inspected the room before we turned off the lights again, but we were both very paranoid and I didn’t see which house the buyers bought.
May 20, 2017
The next morning, we got up bright and early, and had a delicious breakfast at Beeman’s café. We set off to meet our dorm mother, Maria, and future boss, Nikki. When we met Maria, she was still fixing our rooms. She was nice, we all helped make the beds and talked in our soon to be room. After a while, Nikki arrived. She spoke about herself, her job and some of the things we would be doing. Mikaela and Marissa were tired and slept after lunch, but Marty and I went to explore the famous yoga platform that everyone kept talking about. I didn’t see why but the climb to get there was long. We had to pass through a creek to get to it. The yoga platform was large and well-kept despite being secluded from the house. Marty and I relaxed a little and sat in the creek before we decided to head back to the room. The girls were up and we decided to get things from the store before it rained. It would have been great, if only it hadn’t rained on us. We ended up just going to the closest store and waiting the rain out because it started pouring. When the rain subsided, we went back home and stayed for the rest of the night.
May 21, 2017
SUNDAY morning, we all slept in. We woke up around 10am and had breakfast. Maria gave us a little speech about how she feared how we were going to be but she’s glad we’re nice and well mannered. She made me tear up a bit. After, we tried going to the store again. This time it wasn’t raining on us. We went to the BM and bought a 10$ towel and shoes. Yes, those are essentials! We went back and Julio took us to Playa Hermosa.
We walked along the beach and took pictures. The kids were with us so Julio was watching them and our belonging. The lifeguard recommended not getting in past our knees cause the water was rough. Logically we decided to have a mini photo session. It looked like we were stranded on an island. It was great. Michaela and I decided to walk and take pictures. We were so captivated by the scenery that we walked a little too out into the ocean and a wave almost took us. Michaela almost lost her camera in the process. Yes, that was enough adventure for one day.
May 22, 2017
Monday was our first day of work. We woke up around 7:30 and had breakfast. We left around 8:45 to get to work on time. This is where our daily routine came from taking photos. Maria had to lead the way because none of us knew what a mango tree looked like. Yeah, Costa Rica doesn’t believe in street names. At Nikki’s all the girls started writing articles. My article will be published in this upcoming edition! The day went by quickly and by the time I noticed it was 5pm marking the end of our first day.
May 23, 2017
Tuesday, we were more rested and ready to do work. Michaela and Marty started working on advertisements while Marissa and I were writing articles. After work we decided to go to the waterfall, but as usual we got lost. We asked a car driving by where the waterfall was and 15 minutes later we found it. It was uphill, but the struggle was worth it. The waterfall was beautiful. Everything was going great we were all taking a few pictures and videos when suddenly Marissa fell. It was funny, but what was hilarious was watching her fall from the waterfall. Best part of that, Marty getting photos of it! At the end of the day we were all relieved she didn’t hurt herself and had some time to go for a swim.
May 24, 2017
Wednesday was probably one of the hotter day and walking to work was terrible. We all decided that we could go for some ice cream. After work we walked to a place called Lick it. Michaela and Marty order ice cream while Marissa and I shared fried Oreos served with ice cream. It tasted so good. I felt like I was back in my room enjoying Oreos with my roommate. Licked had board games on every table and the building had AC. We all knew we would be coming back. That night we had our farewell party for a couple who stayed with Maria a few days. The couple was from Ecuador and were bicycling to Mexico City. Despite only staying a week or so we all became close. It was bittersweet to say goodbye, but we all enjoyed the music, homemade pizza and each other’s company.
May 25, 2017
After working hard writing articles and online content, we all though it would be a good day to go to the beach. Julio, Maria’s husband wanted to take us to all the local beaches. So we took a taxi to Porto Nuevo. It was very different compared to Playa Hermosa. It was mainly rock, but nonetheless it was beautiful.
May 26, 2017
As part of our internship, we are each given an individual assignment. The assignment consists of visiting a place or taking a tour and writing content about it. For this, Nikki set aside every Friday for us. Since it was our first Friday and we really didn’t know much of the surrounding area she took us for a little road trip. Our first stop was at Playa Piñulea. It’s a beautiful beach like the others. The next stop was at Playa Ventanas. This beach has a blue flag because it’s well kept. Part of the reason it’s nice is because of the beautiful caves that surround it. We had the chance to go exploring in the cave and it felt relaxing. After we helped Nikki drop off some magazines and talk to clients. She really wanted us to get the feel of living in Costa Rica, so for our last stop we went to Cascada Pavon. Cascada Pavon has been hands down one of my favorite waterfalls so far. It took us a while to get to it. We’re lucky Nikki’s car has 4 wheel drive. The scenery driving to it was beautiful.
That night, Nikki had invited us to a Gemini party at the Flutterby House. She wanted us to meet some of the locals and network while getting to experience the nightlife. We were accompanied by Felipe, Maria’s son. We all had a great time meeting new people. I cannot think of a better way to end a busy week than with good music and a few drinks.