Well, I went on a home stay. I’m struggling as I think of how to explain it, I hope the pictures help. The part I’ll remember most fondly was at the end of the weekend when the mom gave me a really long and squeezy hug and said “you’ll always have a home in Costa Rica”. And the worst part was when their friend came over and they were talking (or gossiping) so fast—I couldn’t understand anything and I felt kind of embarrassed and left out. And a weird part was when this wild crazy man came over and read my palm. He said that I would have a long life, two lovers, and that I need to be careful because maybe my appendix was going to rupture. Oh also something about being careful of fruits with seeds (this was all in Spanish though so, my comprehension is…loose at best). And parts were also just totally hilarious and confusing and ridiculous—like when the dad tried to explain to me that their dog, Susie, was a Ms, not a Mrs. 
Who knew!

My host mom, Teresita, was this big, theatrical woman full of sass. The tattooed black rim of lip liner that ran around her mouth threw me off when I first met her, but we soon warmed up to each other. The dad’s name was Delfin, and they had 3 kids—Maria (19), Maresella (17) and Juan (12). Maria was the only one who knew a tiny bit of English, and with our combined skills were able to chit chat quite completely. Both Maria and Maresella have babies. I was totally and completely enamored with them and I spent most of the weekend just playing (as baby-talk is a universal language, you know). Whenever they asked me a question that I didn’t understand, we would both just shrug and make faces and laaaaugh with the babies.

At first, I was confused about who everyone’s parents were. The 17-year-old girl (Maresella) who had baby Celeste, seemed kind of withdrawn and aloof. She didn’t try talking to me at all. Her face was so young but her body was so clearly a moms—Celeste fit perfectly in the crook of her hip. Her room décor hadn’t been changed since she was little, totally pink with mini mouse curtains…but everything in it had been shifted around to accommodate a crib and baby toys. And Maria, who was 19 had Luis. At one point Luis (who’s brand new at walking) tried to reach for something in the grass but instead just fell right down on his rump. At first we laughed at his cumbersome motor skills, but then we realized that his legs were completely covered in fire ants. Maria instinctively grabbed him and sprinted to the pool and dunked him right in. The ants washed away before they could bite him even once. She was always aware but not overly hovering and she just spent hours and hours making him laugh. I loved watching them. They kept asking me if I was married or had kids. I didn’t know how to explain that I still feel so reliant on my own parents, I couldn’t imagine raising a baby anytime soon. Regardless of the mother’s ages, the babies were happy and healthy and beautiful. Maybe I’ll write more about this later, I’m so tired tonight. Today marks 1 month in Costa Rica!

Dad, Luis, Teresita, Me!


Happy babies 

1 comment:

  1. Reminds me of my home stay in Kenya- even though we all spoke english, figuring out what and how to do things was perplexing- trying hard not to be the rude or ugly american, but without a clear rule book to go by. People there were so overly kind and gracious that it wasn't ever easy or clear to identify if you might have done something rude or offensive. Two of us adult women were given 1 room with 1 small bed to sleep in, and even though supposedly the request had been made for individual beds, the home-stay person didn't understand the problem. It was awkward to say the least. We ended up with an additional cot in the room which was fine- my partner worked through the whole thing as graciously as she could and things were fine. We both wished we could have helped out and done some chores or things, but our wonderful host would have none of it.