Within the next few days Copey de Dota really grew on me, and everyone else.  At first I was quite nervous to stay with my host family. I was really concerned about my lack of Spanish.  But Diana and Cindy were very willing to try to talk with me even though communication was challenging. My host family was very sweet. The work days continued like the first one. Every morning I woke up no later than 7:30 and ate breakfast with my host mom, at which we always tried to have conversations about church or animals or San Diego or Costa Rica. My host mom prepared my breakfast and lunch and I walked with Haywood to the school to either dig or lay cement.

All the days were filled with lots of hard work, sweat, dirt, music and laughter. Digging was hard, but mixing cement was even harder, and it seemed to last forever. We had to mix the dirt with cement and then add water. Each batch took about a half hour to an hour. By the time lunch rolled around I was starving and so eager to eat whatever delicious meal my host mom had made for me. We all sampled each others food to see what it all tasted like, then it was back to work. The days were long but the time seemed to pass so quickly.

Costa Rica 2011 Pioneer – Service Project from Walking Tree Travel on Vimeo.

Each day after working we would all go to the store to get snacks. Then I would walk back to my house and check in with my host Mom, and then we went to play soccer in the field. Everyone in Copey watches and or plays soccer. Probably one of the most memorable experiences will be the day we got all the kids to come play with us in the field. It was pouring rain just as we were about to start the game, but that didn’t stop us. The game was so intense and yet it was so fun. People were slipping in the mud and everyone was freezing but it was a blast. I wore flip flops and I had to take off my shoes and run around barefoot to play soccer. Before the trip I  had never played a game of soccer.

Nights in Copey were very calm. I would get home around 6 or so after soccer and dinner would be ready. Generally the parents ate dinner together and then Diana, Cindy and I ate when they were done. After dinner we would just watch t.v., which was either soccer or American sitcoms. Everyone went to bed very early in Copey. The whole family was in bed by 9 at the very latest.

Photo Courtesy of Walking Tree Blog

The longer I stayed in Copey the more I realized how similar Costa Rican’s are to me. My host sisters and I had so much in common. I realized that if I moved to Costa Rica my life wouldn’t be that different, it would just include a lot more Spanish. The main things that I observed in Copey that were different is that their life style is much more centered around the weather then in San Diego, or any other place in the United  States. The people in Costa Rica know that it rains in the afternoons, and that not much can get done in the rain, so they all wake up very early and get all their chores and busy work done. Then the afternoons are spent relaxing or doing light work. Whereas in the States if it snows in the morning we just get out a snow mobile and go to work. It also seems that people in Copey were very friendly, more so than where I live. And people in Copey enjoy their life, for them it is clearly about quality.