Made It

Sunday, February 28, 2010
San Pedro, Costa Rica
Written at 2/27/10 10:30 pm

Well, I made it!

The flight from DFW to San Jose got in 25 minutes early. I went through immigration, grabbed my bags, exchanged a little dollars for colones and went outside to look for my ride. I walked around, kept looking, kept walking. Hmmmm. I kept walking, kept looking, now with beads of sweat starting to form on the back of my neck. My bags were growing heavier by the minute.  

I stayed calm, or tried to. Meanwhile, taxi drivers and who knows who else kept approaching me, “Where you going?” ‘Taxi, need taxi?”  I kept shaking my head no. One would not leave me alone, but I kept ignoring him. After a few minutes passed, I have to admit I was getting a little concerned. Not scared, just concerned. But, I had a plan.
Plan B: Find a phone and call the cell number for the Maximo Nivel, my contact company here.
Plan C: Find a decent hotel in the area and just stay the night.
Plan D: Sit down and start to cry.

I went back inside to find a security guard and asked, “Donde es telefono?”  (Where is telephone? Keep in mind my Spanish is pretty broken). She immediately gave me her cell phone. How cool is that?! The other security guard showed me that I only needed to dial the 8-digit number listed. I got through to someone who said “Leo” was on his way and was running a little late. I told her I was wearing a black sweater (which felt nice in Chicago but was now sticking to my skin like butter on toast), blue jeans and have blond hair. She said to just wait and he would be there soon.

Immediately after that, I found Leo! He was very nice and said he speaks a little English. We also picked up another gentleman, Giovanni, a retired biologist from Australia who is working for the turtle conservation project. Leo informed us we would be staying with the same family.

We drove from the airport through downtown San Jose. I saw the National Theatre all lit up (beautiful!) and one of the main parks. Leo also had an information packet waiting for us. He told us he has two children and that he is a taxi driver for Maximo Nivel. He said he would be our driver when we needed him. His wife is also a taxi driver for the same company. He said I spoke Spanish “good,“ but I’m not so sure…..the only line I delivered flawlessly was the one I practiced from Mango Languages. haha

We drove up to the house, and a lovely woman named Marita met us at the front door. She showed us to our rooms. They are modest, but clean, and it has a bed and electricity. Excellent! Giovanni and I went back downstairs and Marita served us pescado and gallo pinto (fish, rice and beans). It was simple, but it tasted good. We chatted with her for a bit. Well, she chatted, I listened, or acted like I could understand. Actually, I could understand her at times. Giovanni speaks better Spanish than I do. It was nice having him help.


I told her about my family and where I live and what I do. She said her kids were asleep. Their names, according to my folder, are, Tatiana (21), Diego (19), Ronald (15) and Laura (13). Hopefully I can meet them tomorrow.

After eating and chatting, Giovanni and I were getting tired. He especially was, since he flew from Melbourne to LA to DFW to San Jose! Wow!! We headed up to our rooms. Marita told us to not flush the toilet paper, which I had heard before coming here. She said if I was cold that she can get me more blankets. I told her, coming from Wisconsin, this feels awesome! I unpacked a little, settled in and now I’m typing all this. I’m going to sleep soon. I’m also happy my items all made it here.  

So….I made it! I’m here, in one piece. All is well !
More tomorrow!

Jamie



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Comments

Rhonda
2010-02-28

I'm so glad you made it safely and that you have a wonderful host family. I'm looking forward to living vicariously through your adventures for the next few weeks!

Mike Bahr
2010-02-28

Glad you made it! Sounds wonderful!!

jmatczak
2010-03-01

Thanks! :)

Katie
2010-03-01

Love your updates and photos! HAVE A GREAT TIME! :D

McKenzie
2010-03-02

Why can't you flush the toilet paper? Were you scared when you couldn't find that guy that was suppose to pick you up? You missed grandpa's birthday party yesterday. Did you meet Marita's kids? Are they like American kids? I liked the pictures you sent!

jmatczak
2010-03-02

Hi McKenzie! You can't flush the toilet paper because the pipes in Costa Rica are small and can't handle paper like our toilets can. I was a little scared when that guy wasn't there to pick me up, but then he showed up and it was ok. I know, I missed Grandpa's birthday. I hope you all had fun! The kids are nice. They are like American kids, but they speak Spanish. I hope you keep reading my posts! I'll post more pictures tonight!
Love, Jamie

2023-09-26