Category Archives: Costa Rica

First Day Off in Costa Rica

Today we enjoyed our first day of doing NOTHING in a long time. Instead of going someplace we just enjoyed our neighborhood.
Mike and Maddy looking for bugsMadison has a homework assignment in her science class.  She has to collect eight different Costa Rican bugs and find out what they are.  So in the morning we went walking through the neighborhood and ended up at the Salse park to look for bugs.  We had great success finding all the bugs she needed.
Mike and Erin eating lunchAfter our morning of etymology we went to try out one of the local restaurants. Within a half block of our apartment are two restaurants that are simply the front room of someone’s house.  They have a typical refrigerator and oven in the front room with restaurant style tables and chairs.  If not for the sign on the front of their home you would never know it is a restaurant. The three of us enjoyed a great lunch and three drinks for eight dollars, including tip.  We will have to try the other restaurant next week.

Failing Our First Test

Erin and Mike just took our first Spanish test. And, we failed…badly. No worries though. The test we failed was our placement exam. This is the test that helps the school determine how much Spanish we know.
Both of us only answered about 40% of the questions. Likely, many of our answers were wrong. We are not worried. If we knew Spanish already we wouldn’t be attending a Spanish school.
Instruction starts early next week and we will be placed in a class that is appropriate for our current knowledge.

Spanish Word of the Week – Tico

Tico – This is the common term for a native of Costa Rica. The plural form is ticos.
Residents of Costa Rica almost always refer to themselves as Ticos, instead of using the more-formal Costa Rican. It is acceptable for foreigners who are familiar with or living in Costa Rica to use the term Tico. The feminine or female form is Tica.

We learned about this term before we came to Costa Rica, but we were too unfamiliar to use it.  However, once we got here we learned about its usage.  Ticos prefer the term.

First Day of Orientation at Language School

The Pettengills at the Spanish Language InstituteThis afternoon we attended our first orientation at the Spanish Language Institute.  Tomorrow Madison starts her first day of school and Mike and Erin continue going through the orientation and registration process.
Before orientation, after 10+ hours of sleep, we finished unpacking our bags and cleaning our apartment. After orientation we took a cab to pick up a few household items we needed.
We also discovered that our Spanish is already good enough to ask directions, pay rent, purchase a cooking pot, take a taxi ride and buy a piece of candy.  We look forward to learning more then that.
Oh, by the way, it rained again today.

The Pettengills in Costa Rica

We’re here. We made it. We are in San Jose, Costa Rica to study Spanish at the Spanish Language Institute for the next nine months.
Loading our bigs in Costa RicaWe were picked up at the airport by a fellow student. We loaded all of our bags on/in the car (barely), and drove to our new home.
We were treated to lunch and visited two different stores to pick up some groceries and supplies.  Then back to our apartment to unpack.
It appears that we landed in Costa Rica during rainy season.  That means three thing – constant rain from 2pm to 8pm every day, thunder storms, and occasional power outages. Our apartment is great. It is a fourplex, with the landlord in one unit and Spanish students in the other three.
Tomorrow is our first day of orientation at school. All three of us are really looking forward meeting new friends and better understanding what the next chunk of our life looks like.