Costa Rica 1999: An idyllic five weeks

My new friend Christine on the ferry to Montezuma Beach, the single-most pleasant hour of a 10-hour trip.

I spent the majority of my time in Costa Rica in the classroom. I had class Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to noon, but frequently remained after class for extracurricular activities that the school offered such as watching "Como Agua Para Chocolate" (Like Water for Chocolate) and taking short excursions by bus to various places of note around Costa Rica.

In addition to offering these types of activities, the school also touted their "Hora de Feliz" every Tuesday evening. Signs promoting it were posted just about anywhere you could imagine. And of course, there was money to be made by the school, but the "Hora de Feliz" gave the students a chance to "mingle" and "talk amongst ourselves" under the security blanket of alcohol. And each student was given a coupon good for the approximately the amount of three cervezas. An effective warm-up I must say.

My host family consisted of (left to right) Celia, Ricardo, me and their daughter, Silvia, a special education major at a private university in Costa Rica. If Ricardo appears a little sauced to you, it's because he is. He and Johnnie Walker were more than mere acquaintances.

A friend told me I look like I could really be their daughter. I don't buy it, but I was strangely flattered. What do you think?

If you would like to find out more information about an immersion program, such as the one I participated in, just click away. Also, there are programs that focus specifically on foreign language usage in the business world.

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