Thursday, August 13, 2009

It's Nothing But New

With only one week down, my head is already tangled in cultural differences, new experiences and sights, food I'm trying for the first time, hot weather and a fast new language (yeah they speak too fast here for the spanish i learned in school). I don't know what to order when i go out to eat, or what half the little treats are in the gas station. All the small information you grow up with and you take for granted, is gone. Its a new world, but don't get me wrong, the differences are fun and the new experiences are great.

After my 22 hour long day of flying, unpacking and not understanding anything that was said to me, I got some sleep and started the next day just like I do at home;relax then breakfast and shower (only they eat way more for breakfast, they thought it was funny that i thought a bowl of cereal and fruit was enough). My first morning continued with relaxing in front of the TV with my younger brother, soon enough it was lunch. I had some home-made tacos, and again we ate quite a bit :) (like dinner in the US lunch is their main meal here). As i continued to communicate with my limited spanish, I ended my first full day with brother, as we tried to play soccer, but couldn't due to field availability. After my first full day I finally realized that they relax in other countries too and that I'm not going to be traveling and seeing the beaches and beautiful sights every minute of my exchange.

Time started to pass faster as i grew slightly more comfortable with my new home. I started meeting new friends and family and tried even more typical foods. I quickly learned the daily pattern; of relaxing in the morning/afternoon and going out at night. After a day or two I started fitting in and started to do a bit more. Even if my spanish wasn't any better, I felt more comfortable embarrassing myself.

On day number 3 or so I wanted to do something with my family, so I told them i wanted to make a smoothie, they didn't really know much about smoothies. So that day I enjoyed making my family a smoothie. My brother, mom and I made a run to the super market, we got the typical groceries as well as smoothie ingredients. they had never really tried a smoothie before, and i love them, so i had to make them one. Sure enough they loved it and wanted to make more the following days.

Another day or two passed and i was headed to San Carlos with my family. After about 2o minutes of driving we grabbed some ice cream, and then headed further into the city. As i stared at the ocean, they pointed out various sights to me, such as a mountain by the name of Tetakawi (breasts of the cobra). this mountain is the most famous peak in the city of San Carlos. As we drove to our destination i gazed at my surroundings with a great big smile. in about 10 minutes we wound up on top of this small mountain, over looking the ocean and rocky coast. i took pictures and checked out the small shops that were up there and then we were on our way. we drove back down and made a stop or two for some photos and then headed to a friends house. These family friends were also hosting a student from brazil. I got the chance to meet him and walk around on the beach with Andre (the student from Brazil) and my younger brother. It was quite the view! Time flew past and it was time to head back. but my night didn't end there, shortly after we got back around 9:30 my brother and i headed out for his friends going away party. there i met lots of new people and got to see a bit more of a popular neighborhood (miramar). Finally after a several hours there we ended our night just to take wake up tomorrow for some more. It took me until this day to realize how fast you can become busy in this culture. One minute you are relaxing in front of the TV, with nothing planned and the next your in the car only to return after 6 hours of adventures.

next day, after relaxing for the morning, i headed to our ranch (about 15 minutes fro our main house) with my brother, mom and dad. there we had lunch with our grandma and a cousin. thats when i fell in love with ceviche (we had it on a tostada, but ceviche reminds me of a sea food pico de gallo with more ingredients). we hung out there for a while, kicking the soccer ball around and swimming in the pool. We headed back around 9:30 and then finished the night with a standard "driving around, listening to music and getting food".

During the ride back from the ranch that night i heard a little but more about my school from my mom. i start school this coming monday and the school is called cet del mar. my mom claims it is the best school for guys and that ill love it. as i began to as more about it I started to realize my mom wasnt lying. i found out ill have the chance to take classes such as scuba diving, kayaking and other sea related classes. The school is on the ocean, and supposedly is like a little island connected with a small walk way. It's suppose to be easy in terms of homework and i've heard its like a year of vacation, because the work is your traditional boring school work. All of this i have just heard from others (in spanish). So when school starts and i see it for my self, ill post some more about it :)

Recently i have continued to do small things from day to day. i have begun to attend rotary meetings, and have met the other two exchange students in this area. I've hung out with past made friends and made new ones. I've played soccer and eaten out 10 times or more in a week. I've done a lot and i just can't remember it all, its hard to sit down and process it all into one blog post at once. As i remember more stuff i want to share, ill have to update you. for now i hope this gives you a good idea of what i've been doing and what has been going on here.

I'll be in touch,

p.s. asking me questions or making suggestions would help me with the whole remembering what else to post.


  1. I loved reading about what you have been doing. From the perspective of a Grandpa it sounds like a vacation. Now you have to go to work and apply yourself at school. Love you Nick, get all you can out of this experience.

  2. Hi Nick, Lovin' everything you're writing and sharing w/all of us. So exciting!!!! Good luck with school etc. Say hello to your new family for us. We're on to the West on Sunday the 16th.. Will post pictures now and then during the trip.

    Love, Grandma Lucy

  3. please post lots f photos, i'd love to here about your trip. i love hearing about your trips out west, the little bit ive had to the chance to see out there, i love (at least what i can remember)

    and yeah ill have to apply my self a little bit more for school, but it sounds like the school im going to isnt your typical school. supposedly im going to learn all sorts of activities and skills related with the ocean :) which i think is really cool. because i wont be able to learn all that in madison. i think itll be important to learn as much as i can at this school.


  4. Hey Nick - great to hear about all you're doing and seeing. Good luck at school - we're eager to hear about your classes there. They sure sound interesting. Lots of love, Aunt Patty