We’ve had school off for the past week for Semana Santa (holy week). I’d never heard of this before, but that’s just my religious ignorance because it’s a really important holiday time all over the world! And here, it seems like the whole country goes on vacation! We went to the Caribbean coast (along with every other Costa Rican, it seemed), and how different it was! Muggy, for one, but also so much reggae music and beads and people with dark skin and sweet flavorful food—it was refreshing. We stayed in a hostel that was just bonkers! The entire place-floors, walls, ceilings, tables—was mosaiced in tiles and mirror. It was dazzling and confusing and mesmerizing and I can’t imagine having to clean all that grout, but it was wonderful. One night there were 400 people staying there! There are huge spaces of rows and rows of hundreds of hammocks, and floors of tents, or bunk rooms. I expected it to be mostly young tourists, and there were a few hundred of us, but there were also a lot of Costa Ricans—a kind of magical glistening place for young people to meet up. There was a constant bustling hum of energy and noise. One night there was a full moon fiesta, and another night a big bonfire at the beach with an impromptu drum/accordion/voice/dance party. It was really refreshing meeting other kids studying abroad in Costa Rica who also had break for Semana Santa, there’s so many of us! We beached for a lot of our time, and rented bikes and went on a long morning ride—and got caught in the rain, and just generally enjoyed the Caribbean culture there that’s so different from what I’m used to on the other coast. Only 3 weeks left, yikes.

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