Yat's Big Trip travel blog

Woke up feeling very happy and excited... My voluntary work placement is finally about to start, and I couldn´t wait to find out all about what I will be doing for the next three months! Something I had dreamed and planned for such a long time, it felt kind of surreal. Very impressivly made it to the OTEC office on time, and without getting lost -the laidback Latin American culture obviously had no effect on my punctuality! :p

Finally met Alejandro Lopez, my program co-ordinator who I have been coresponding with since March. It was like meeting up with an old friend. He wasn´t how I had imagined him, but it was good that he was a mature professional, who paid for the taxi rides and coffee. Thought he might speak in Spanish to me (hence finding out how little I understood), but the whole morning, he was conversing with me in English.

First he took me to the Immigration office, for my handprints to be recorded. It was kind of fun, having my fingers dipped in ink and then rolled across a piece of card. Some of you will understand how I obsessed with hand and footprints! Unfortunately, a set of footprints weren´t required...

Then he took me on a quick walk through the very centre of San Jose, even going into the impressive Teatro Nacional for a few minutes to impress the grandeur of it to me. After that, it was time for a cup of coffee, whilst he told me more about my placement - although the specifics of which I would have to wait until I got to Tarcoles, 120km south west of San Jose. Then it was time to go back to the office for more paperwork, in exchange for some pretty brochures and maps of Costa Rica.

He adviced me to be as active as possible, as there were not much to do in a fishing village. There would also be plenty of opportunities to visit other parts of Costa Rica, and he circled parts of interest for me, as well as a brief history. Apparently there is a Four Seasons Hotel in Costa Rica, costing US$600 a night (now, why didn´t he book me in there...???), as well as houses owned by David Hasselhof and Elizabeth Taylor. Still, don´t worry, there are budget options available.... Lovely!

With the instructions for catching the bus the next day safely in my possession, he offered to answer any questions I may have at any time of the day. Then it was time to go, and do some last minute shopping before heading off to the wilderness...

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