I officially got to my host city around 11:00pm on August 23. At this time I didn’t get to see much of the city, but the next day my host mother walked me around. Apparently, we arrived at the beginning of the Festival of San Ramon, a 15 day celebration for the patron saint of the city. This festival includes music, food, dancing, and booths. I don’t know if it has to do with the Festival, but San Ramon is a very lively city.
Many places I researched described San Ramon as a very small city. I guess compared to San Jose, it might be. To me though, San Ramon is about the size of Bellingham. So in the way that Bellingham is small compared to Seattle, San Ramon is a small city.
San Ramon is a city that has everything a person could need. When I traveled, I brought all kinds of soaps and bathroom items with me because I heard mixed reviews about the availability of these items. After walking around and visiting some of the stores, these items are readily available, but in smaller quantities for a higher cost. However, most things that you can get in the U.S. are available here.
The layout of the city is different than what I am used to in the United States. Back home, we have stores that supply everything we could need in one place, such as Target, Fred Meyer, or Wal-Mart. That is not the case here. There is a single store for everything. For example, there is a meat store, a fruits and vegetables store, a bread store, a soap store, etc. This is something I saw a lot of in Italy and other countries outside the U.S.
Some oddities about Costa Rica:
– the showers: they basically warned us not to touch the shower heads or take long hot shower because they have a very delicate electrical system surrounding their shower usage. Also it took me a few times to figure out how the hot water worked. For my shower, it was only hot when the shower knob was turned very slightly on.
– the toilets: Costa Rica has plumbing, but it is very inefficient plumbing. Therefore, you aren’t supposed to flush toilet paper.
– Not many Ticos have cars.
– Pedestrians do not have the right of way. It’s basically a game of frogger trying to cross the street.
– Most of the streets are one way only.
– It is not as hot as I was expecting. So far it’s stayed between 70-80 degrees and has been fairly windy. It is still pretty humid though.
Some pictures of my first few days here:
|Me at the Museo de San Ramon located near the church. I am in front of a display showing prehistoric animals from Costa Rica.|
|A line of leaf cutter ants I spotted when exploring the University of Costa Rica.|
|A message to not dump trash on the sewer as this affects sea life.|