The Voice


The Voice


The Voice

Josh’s Log #1

     ¡Buen día, Voice readers! This is world-class badminton player and renowned Captain Jack Sparrow impersonator Joshua Lloyd. I’ll be in Heredia, Costa Rica until the end of the semester and I’ll be sending in occasional updates for anyone who wants to learn about Latin American culture, Spanish language or what it’s like to study abroad.

      I started my grand journey at Newark Liberty International on Saturday, September 2 on a direct flight for Costa Rica. After dodging some stray lightning storms over the capital of San José, my flight landed in Alajuela later that night, and I promptly went straight into the wrong customs line. Fortunately, I figured it out before I got too far and headed over to the much slower-moving line of visitors. My study abroad directors were waiting amidst the mob of people shouting about taxi rides, and before long I was at my host family’s house near the Latin University of Costa Rica. Despite some stormy conditions in Texas, the rest of our merry band arrived just in time for the first week of classes.     

     Our language courses at the Universidad Latina (or “la U”) usually go from eight to eleven in the morning. La U offers training in many of the same career paths as BloomU, including Human Resources, Finance, Computer Engineering and Law.     

      Ticos (people from Costa Rica) have a simple saying. “Pura vida,” or “pure life,” encompasses the entire Costa Rican way of living. It’s used for greetings, goodbyes, and everything in between. If you can’t think of something to say in Costa Rica, “pura vida” will pretty much always work.
When I’m out and about, I always bring a sombrilla (umbrella) cause the rain here hits like an RKO; hard and out of nowhere. Plus, rainy season runs from May to November, so you can expect a torrential downpour at least once a day.                    


     The most dangerous part of the day? Crossing the street on the way to La U, because traffic lanes here are just a suggestion.

     Four-hour thunderstorms and psychotic drivers aside, there’s plenty to admire about Costa Rica, a country roughly the size of West Virginia with a population of five million. It’s been without an official military since 1948 and has consistently topped the lists of the world’s happiest countries. How come?

     Would-be army funds instead go towards health, education, pensions and environmental management. Costa Rica also boasts the highest density of species on planet Earth, and taxes gathered from the sale of fossil fuels cover the costs of protecting Costa Rican forests. Family, friends and neighbors come first for the residents, and they spend long hours of the day catching up with fellow Ticos (as long as the coffee and snacks are plentiful).

     After two-plus weeks in Costa Rica, we’ve explored downtown Heredia, played soccer at the U Latina and successfully navigated the enormous mall near the school. Last Friday we celebrated Día de Independencia with music, dancing and parades with decorated paper lanterns called faroles. More adventures await as we prep for beach trips and a trek to Arenal Volcano in the coming weeks.       


     This is Joshua Lloyd signing off for now; hasta la próxima vez, ¡pura vida!    

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