Yesterday was my first day at the Samara Language School aka Intercultura. I had to be here at 7:15am, long before there was food served anywhere. Most students stay with host families who feed them breakfast, so we few hotel dwellers do not have much thought given to our needs. I am about out of almonds, but I had almonds and an Atkins bar for breakfast. There are peanuts of every flavour available here but hardly anything else (I saw pistachios in Arenal but none here in Samara).
My fellow classmates are a German woman from Munich named Maeren and a Québécois fellow named Fred. Maeren speaks German, French and English. Fred has Fench and some English. We are not totally poorly matched but I feel a bit slow. I do fine when I can write things down to say and the grammar stuff is fine. But speaking makes me feel like the next word just won't come. And in general Costa Rica isn't great for total immersion because most people,at least that one runs into in the tourist industry, speak English.
I went back to the hotel after my morning classes and took a siesta. All that brain strain wore me out. I had a lovely meal at Il Vino and then headed back to school for a cooking class. We made potato and beans empanadas with lots of cilantro. You can see why I ate first! They fry their empanadas here, when I learnt to make them in Panama they were baked with a shorter crust than they use here.
The wifi was down for about an hour last night at my hotel but has been down for about 24 hours here at the school. The students staying with host families are getting restless about it. Funny how we are here in paradise but we want our connections. I know I bloody well do.
I spent some time this morning looking at hotels in Tamarindo. I want to see a more "Westerized" Costa Rica beach town for contrast. And I looked for tours this weekend. I do want a snorkel trip, probably Saturday. And I need to decide if I want to rent a car for my last three days or just take Interbus up to Tamarindo. Renting a car is crazy expensive though.
My afternoon class went pretty well. I am actually kind of I the middle. Maeren is still at the head of the class but Fred didn't do his homework and was really fighting with the irregular verbs. It is intense but I really like their teaching method. I wish I was here for more than one week.
After class I went to the artisanal activity which turned out to be making friendship bracelets (or so I think of them). The young German women who made up most of the class were obviously practiced at this art. I remember making reins with the weave I used when I was a kid. So I have a remarkably ugly blue and gold bracelet on my arm (I could not keep which side I did last in my head from moment to moment so it is crazy uneven). It was fun. Tomorrow salsa dancing for me though.
Now I am sitting in Il Vino again awaiting tonight's dinner. Beef tenderloin in a red Italian wine sauce with veg. This place I can stay on my diet best. My worst diet day was Easter Sunday when nothing was open but the pizzeria and I ate the topping off a ham & cheese pizza and threw the rest away. Burnt my mouth on that, I think. Either that or I have some horrible dietary deficiency that is making my teeth feel loose. I prefer the pizza explanation.
Dinner was amazing. I forgot to take its picture though. It was kinda dark and I got distracted by not recognizing half the vegetables. Settling down to do homework and the off to bed. Class at 8am tomorrow.