It is my first time studying abroad for a semester. I arrived in Costa Rica a week ago and I must say time has gone by pretty quick. It was a 5-hour flight ride from New York City to San Jose, Costa Rica. When I met my host mom it was a beautiful experience. When she first saw me, she handed out her hand for a handshake but I immediately asked; Can I give you hug instead? She agreed and we gave each other the warmest hug.
It was my first time traveling abroad vegan. I was nervous because I wasn’t sure if there were enough food options for me in Costa Rica. In the United States, it’s easy to find the brands I like or items like tofu, almond milk, vegetables and fruits, grains, and bread without any dairy. My host mom was just as nervous when she saw me. She was stressed because she didn’t know what to cook for me. We sat together the first day I arrived and made a list of things I can eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. She felt better and said she will try her best.
I was taken to Walmart and I was surprised. There were so many options! I spent $100 dollars and brought foods like zucchini, Oranges, pasta, lentils, split peas, spinach, cherry tomatoes, vegan cheese, and almond milk. I decided to spend money on food to help my host mom to see the types of ingredients I use. She makes new meals every day. Sometimes she asks me how I make them and other days I learn how she experiments with vegetables and new ingredients.
My second day in Costa Rica was an adventure. The students and I were taken to the highest volcano in Costa Rica called Volcan Irazú, located in the Cordillera Central near the city of Cartago. Volcanoes do not exist in New York City so I was excited to hike and reach the top of the volcano. Volcan Irazú is 11,260 feet and has destroyed the city of Cartago three times. As the bus drove to the volcano, I saw green vegetation everywhere. Farmers growing their crops, horses, and cows enjoying the grass, and citizens transportation of vegetations. As soon we arrived at Volcan Irazú, there was black sand everywhere. It was beautiful! The volcano crater was greenish blue. As I hiked up with the group, I rapidly ran out of breath, started sweating, walking slower and slower. But once I reached the peak, I felt accomplished. I wasn’t able to see the city but I was amazed at how beautiful the white clouds that covered the city. The white clouds resembled marshmallows and white cotton candy.