Joenard's Duke-EWH Summer Institute

Week 4

July 9th, 2012 | Costa Rica, Mid-Trip, Nicaragua |

Spanish Class

We’ve wrapped up all the grammar topics in the textbook (200+ pages over a whole month — so much work!) at the beginning of the week. The remainder of the week, the rest of the classmates gave their presentations on the centrifuge (la centrifuga), anesthesia machine (la maquina de anesthesia), electrosurgery unit ( la maquina de electrocirugia), blood pressure cuff (la manguito de presión arterial), and oxygen concentrator (la concentrador de oxígeno).

For hour blocks of each day, we played this game where we were dealt cards by the professor with unconjugated verbs and we went around saying sentences incorporating that verb conjugated to a specific tense and specific subject (1st, 2nd, or 3rd person). We had to do this for three verbs at one point! With the remainder of the time, we chatted about temas libres (free topics). On the last day of class, we went as a class to the Museo Nacional in San Jose.

Even though I feel like I know a lot of Spanish grammar, I still feel unprepared to hold decent conversations with the people I will meet in Nicaragua. The conversational stuff I did in the spanish class I had here in Costa Rica helped a lot with this. But, I wish I was more pro-active in talking in spanish with people outside of class, especially with my homestay family. But, at least I am aware of this now, and I hope to be more social in Nicaragua.

Visit to Hospital de los Ninos en San Jose

This was our last hospital visit. This hospital is the only Children´s hospitals in Costa Rica. It is very well off. They proudly showed us their CAT scanner donated by GE last year among the other very advanced equipment they have. After that, they showed us their maintenence room whose roof had numerous female plug sockets to power up and test their equipment. They finished the tour by showing us the part of the x-ray that emits the rays using silver. It was a short but very informative visit overall. Unfortunately, we werent allowed to take pictures inside.

Outside of the Hospital Nacional de Los Ninos in San Jose.


Group picture outside the Hospital Nacional de Los Ninos.

(Possibly) Last of Our Fun Stuff in Costa Rica

On Friday, our entire group went around the Mercado Central for a bit since it’s only open on weekdays. Then, my roommate, Friz, and I did a day trip on Saturday with 8 other people from our program to Jaco. He learned how to surf. On Sunday, we just stayed in San Jose.

My other roommate, Alex, went to Cahuita on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica with the other half who didn’t go to Jaco.

Farewells – off to Nicaragua

Today is my last week in Costa Rica. I will be flying out with the rest of my group for Nicaragua within the coming week. I came into Costa Rica seeing a lot of similarities to Filipino culture. But, it was only until recently that I started to connect to the similarities that I saw and probed at them further. I feel like I am leaving too soon because of that. But, then again, I could have tried to assimilate with the culture more.

Anyways, to give a proper farewell to our Tico (Costa Rican) family, we noticed that they had pastries, fruit, and coffee in place of dinner. So, the day we left, we bought some pastries and fruit from the local supermarket for them. In turn, they gave us each a bag of really good Costa Rican coffee and a bottle of some chilli sauce that we really liked to put on our food during dinner. The family prepared us a great feast and then bid us goodbyeç.

The morning we left for the place was really hectic but went smoothly nonetheless. We woke up really early to go to the language school and then proceeded to the airport. We then left in what basically was a private plane (since the entire Duke-EWH group was the were the only ones in the plane). We reached managua and then Alex and I found our new host dad right after we got out of luggage claim. More about them in my week 5 update.

Me and My Tico Family!