Getting things started

I am spending the first week of my Fulbright Grant in San José, running errands and taking care of necessary paperwork. Although I can’t wait to get out to the forest and see some animals, my stay in Costa Rica’s chaotic capitol is surprisingly pleasant. My first 30 minutes in the taxi ride pretty much sum up the major sentiment I have about San José –the traffic is scary but the people are not. There was nothing particularly notable about my cab ride from the airport to the hostel in San José. The Tico taxi driver and I chat about Costa Rica, his family, my planned research, and we both take great pleasure and erupt in deep laughter imitating the Spanish spoken in many different countries, which can vary substantially in vocabulary and accent, leading to many silly misunderstandings, confused faces, and frustrated gringos who learned “one kind of Spanish” at University. However, in the midst of this every-day conversation, I realize what a perfect fit it was for me to come to Costa Rica for my dissertation research and for my Fulbright grant. The people make me feel at home. I chat and laugh with this cab driver with the kind of comfort that I would with someone that I have known for years and this makes me happy. Here’s to an exciting journey in Tico-landia.

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