Wednesday, June 30, 2004


so, i'm in the tobacco group here. i'm in the group with diana from ucb, joanne from harvard, susie from texas women's institute, and myriam from dunno. we're doing the influence of advertising in rural youth. too bad i don't know much spanish.. anyways, that's pretty cool. i originally wanted to be in the food and nutrition group b/c i'm doing the food and culture class in the fall but whatever. so now i'm taking pics of all the tobacco ads i see. so far i have 2. woo! i'm on a roll!
the class is taught more like a seminar type thing than an academic class which is pretty cool. but they also like to spring assignments on you 15 minutes before the class is over due the next day. i'm like.. ummmm... wanna give me a bit more time? but whatever.
omg. ok, so, this morning i leave from my house in canitas (needs a tilde but don't know how) to walk to a quaker meeting in monteverde. which is about 1.5 hrs away. so i gave myself enough time. i left at 7 for the 9am meeting. on the way i meet 2 others who are also going. ton and blythe. we walk together into santa elena, the next town over. walk through, get on a main road, keep walking, keep walking, keep walking. then we're in los llanos. ummmmmm.. WRONG WAY!! so we turn around. and IMMEDIATELY after, it pours. POURS POURS POURS POURS. then blythe asks a guy in a car how to get to monteverde. he says "oh, i'm going to the cheese factory (which is right next to the institute and has yummy ice cream) so he gave us a ride. then we walked to the meeting. i was drenched. and being the well prepared person for getting caught in the rain, my jacket was unzipped for part of the downpour, my jeans were soaked through, and my socks got wet. dunno how. the quaker meeting was cool though.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

wow, the first week is over.

welp, i guess i should start from the beginning.
i got into san jose, costa rica (which at first confused me b/c i saw an email that said get your own transportation to san jose airport and said, well that's easy.. haha.. i'm a dork) last. i got in at about 830pm. and when i got out, gaudy was there with a sign saying "sandra kim" which kinda made me worried that everything in the program would make me sandra kim instead of sandra oh. but whatever. i get in the van and i meet scott and ashleigh and we start talking. scott's a physical anthro guy like me and ashleigh is something along the lines of biochem. scott goes to usf ( which confused me too b/c i thought that was u. san francisco but it's u. south florida. still a dork.) and ashleigh is at harvard. we get to the hotel and i wake up reeve, my roommate. then ashleigh, scott, and i go to a restaurant for dinner. then we go to bed.
on sunday, we meet for breakfast, go on a tour of rio damas, the bad water supply, and a watershed. the woman also showed us a swimming pool that women meet up to swim in together. then we got a lecture on the history of the costa rican health care system. pretty interesting. now i kinda want to know more about the american health system. then we had dinner. good food. americanized though. but still good. YUMMY vanilla ice cream. better than
monday, we went to ucr (which i thought was uc riverside at first but it's u. costa rica. such a dork.) and got a lecture about the current health care system here. there is a 3 tiered hosptial system here. so we saw the top tier hospital in san jose. then had lunch. more fruit drinks and vanilla ice cream! i heart fruit drinks. pinapple, mango, starfruit, blackberry, etc. mmmmmmmmmmm fruit drinks. then i went to the jade museum with a couple ppl in the pouring rain in the skirt i was wearing to impress ppl i was getting lectures from and visiting the hospital. i was very soaked. thank god for north face's gortex knock off! after the museum we had lectures about individual topics that we're doing research on. i'm doing tobacco. afterwards, we went to dinner and the tobacco guy went with us. diana from ucb speaks spanish fluently so she chatted it up with him. our topic is going to be the effectivness of anti-tobacco campaigns in rural areas since they already have a study in urban areas. then a bunch of us went to the pueblo. which is a whole bunch of buildings really close together that are all bars or restaurants for us to dance in. good times. one was ladies night and had 3 guys dancing. very nsync. haha. oh, the night before, there were a a bunch of ppl who went out to a bar and met some cool transgendered ppl (male to female) who told them about the pueblo. after the pueblo, i went back to the hotel and pooed. but i was so paranoid that i would clogg the toilet that i think i over flushed. i flushed 4 times! i probably could have gotten aways with 2 but i had anxiety.
tuesday we left san jose for monteverde. on the way, we went to a fruit stand and truck stop type thing. the fruit stand had ants crawling in the candies. and flies all around the things that didn't really have peels. so i didn't get anything. but patty got a coconut and was just chillin with her huge coconut still in its husk drinking the milk. i hope someone got a picture of it. then we went to the second tiered hospital in puntarenas. it's kinda like a state hospital. the hospital is RIGHT on the beach and was really cool. the top floor is for the 5th year med students and the director was joking and saying that sometimes you see guys in the girls section and vice versa. haha. from the roof we were able to see out into the ocean (pacific) and turn around and see monteverde. the director said that it takes about 20 minutes to see a doctor from the emergency room. cool huh? as opposed to our 5 hr waits. after the hospital, we had lunch at the caballo blanco and had yummy food, fruit drinks, and the choice of 4 desserts. so my table got together and we each got one dessert. i had the tres leches. mmmm so good. joanne had coconut flan, patty had a squash type thing, and susie had rice pudding. all of them were really rich and sweet. except the rice pudding. then we got to our hotel at monteverde and explored the downtown area. "downtown". it's 3 buildings. there's a cafe and i went there with a couple other ppl and we had fruit drinks. haha. i heart fruit drinks. HEART!!
on wednesday, we went to the monteverder institute which is right next door to the monteverde cheese factory. OMG! yummmmmmmmmmmmmmy ice cream!! i'm sure the cheese is good too. i haven't really tasted any yet. but i will. then we went to the monteverde clinic. it's like the county hospital. the third tier. and had a tour then walked back to town, which probably took us about half and hour. then we had dinner, more fruit drinks, then back to the cafe. it's called moon shiva. the guy remembered us and said welcome back. haha. they were showing my big fat greek wedding with subtitles in spanish. pretty cool. i had a chocolate frio this time. just to taste it. bleh. i'm sticking to my fruit drinks. it tasted like chocolate syrup and milk. with crushed ice. i like my fruit drinks better.
thursday i went to the institue again, had more ice cream, took a spanish test to see what level we're in (i chose to be in beginning b/c i don't really know my past tense but i probably could have gone to intermediate b/c of my vocab). then we went to a sobado, a traditional healer. that was really cool. she said that she doesn't do it as much now b/c her shoulders and arms hurt b/c of it. but she did it to one of the ppl in the group. she only helps ppl who have digestive problems. she rubs the inner elbows, inner knees, and back of the neck. but while she was massaging, she turned the volume up on the tv when her telenovela came on. haha. then we found out that oriana, who's a med student in spain, found out that she passed her boards and that she's now officially a doctor! cool stuff so chris organized a surprise party at moon shiva. this time beers all around and some bailey's and hummos/pita breads. yummy.
then friday, we went to our homestays. my family is really nice. very polite and everything. luis is the father, monica is the mother, habraham is the 4yr old, and adrian is the 6mo old. cute but shy. adrian doesn't stay wake very long.
on saturday i took a shower in cold water b/c i couldn't get the hot water comming. i later found out that the switch was turned off. ah well. then i hung out with the family until we went on errands. we went to the supermarket where they asked me what foods i like and everything. coolio boolio. but i kinda felt like they were only buying food for me, which didn't make me feel all that cool but yeah. we also went to a carpenter so he can build them a cabinet. and the boys got a hair cut. then more hanging out with the family.
sunday (today) i went on a tour of the monteverde reserve. COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLIO! i saw monkeys (howler), birds(quetzals, turkey, mountain robins), and lotsa other stuff. it's so pretty here the pictures don't do it justice. now i'm in the next town over where there are internet cafes and supermarkets and very tourist friendly. the downtown even has paved roads! i get so happy when i see paved roads. it means that my food isn't wishing there was a seat belt feature in my stomach. anyways, this is a long entry and if you got this far, it mean you need to come to costa rica and visit monteverde. so pretty.