Wednesday, June 16, 2010


After looking at my last post and how long it's been since I've last blogged, it's safe to say I got a little too caught up in life in Costa Rica and then back at home to have time to blog.
Costa Rica was absolutely amazing though. I still miss my host families and the ISV ticos. Got an email from my host family yesterday actually!! It was all in spanish so I had to get Anni to translate it but nevertheless it was such a beautiful email.

'Hi Julia,
This email is to say hello, hoping you're well. We are very keen to see you again.
We still remember the time that you spent here with us and ("de lo especial que fuistes con todos...something like "how special you were with everyone?")
We are very happy to write to you, we haven't written before now because we had lost your address.
We hope that you will come back and visit, since you are, for us, like a member of our own family and the doors of our house will always be open to you when you would like to come.
Yeison still remembers you, when he went with you to see the rabbits. He tells us that the white rabbit that you liked very much has had 10 baby rabbits which look really beautiful – they are all white like their mother.
Greetings from everyone,
Goodbye, with lots of affection from your tico family in Providencia.
We love you very much.'

I wish I had time to take more spanish lessons and actually converse with them. After being back for a good 4 months now it really surprised me how much I miss Costa Rica and just travelling in general - though the latter is easily fixed...EUROPE IN 9 DAYS haha. Just gotta get through exams first :S

Hasta leugo!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Off To Los Santos!

I can't believe it's already been a week! Now we're off to our volunteer projects for two weeks. Mine is in Los Santos, this little village of only 200 people in the middle of Costa Rican jungle. We're going to be building some trail in the jungle and working in this place that makes wood that when it's burnt it doesn't emit CO2 which is awesome! Los Santos is going to be the first carbon neutral town which is massive! The wood aparently becomes charcoal which is used to stop erosion and replenish the soil. I can't wait to get there. There's the worlds 5th purest river there and it's apparently cleaner to drink that water than to drink bottled water!

There's only one phone in the whole village and no internet so I'll be completely cut off from the world for 2 weeks!

Love, Julia

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Muchos Funos

We went bungy jumping today! It was insane! I thought I'd chicken out but after seeing a couple of people come up safely, I was fine! The first couple of seconds were crazy as but once you've reached the bottom and the rope pulls you up it's so much fun swinging around, looking down at the river below. The first time wasn't enough so I went twice! I'll put up the video as soon as I can :)

Tomorrow is graduation from the spanish classes and we have to say goodbye to our homestay family. It's going to be soooo sad.
Then we stay a night in a hotel before splitting up and going to our projects. Two weeks of construction work and cold showers whoo!

Love, Julia


Had a crazily awesome time at Montezuma and Tortuga Island the past 3 days. Montezuma is this tiny little village on the beach surrounded by rainforest, totally remote. It had such a hippie feel to it; guys in dreadlocks selling woven bracelets, coconuts just lying on the ground, people selling weed lol. It took us 6 hours to get there with part of the journey on the crappest roads ever, filled with potholes that the driver had to swerve to avoid. Ended up getting there at 11pm but the water was so warm and it was still so hot and humid so we stayed out for a couple more hours down at the beach and at chicos, this bar/club opposite our hotel.

The next day we took a boat to Tortuga Island! It is just stunning. White sand, blue water, palm trees everywhere. We went snorkelling and swimming and had a banana boat ride which was muchos fun. On the way back we stopped about 4 times just to jump off the boat and swim in the ocean. It was so lovely and warm. We also got to see a whale! After getting back we just chilled at chicos again and practiced some salsa dancing!

The next day (yesterday) we hiked through some rainforest up to this waterfall and when we got to the end, there was this lovely little lagoon at the bottom of the waterfall where we could swim and jump off rocks into the water. A few of us managed to swim behind the waterfall onto this little rock ledge where we sat and then jumped off through the waterfall. It was so magical there. Took lots of photos :) So glad I got a waterproof camera to take with me.

So today we've got spanish lessons, a salsa class and then we're going BUNGEE JUMPING! Scared out of my mind but it should be muy fun :) If I don't die, then I'll blog again later!
Love Julia

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Living Like A Tico

Wow it's been a long time since I've last blogged.

Costa Rica is absolutely amazing! Though it took us about 2 full days to get here. Our Monday was literally 43 hours long due to the time difference and it took us another half day to get here! We were so exhausted though getting the spend a day in LA was pretty fun. Most of those on the Melbourne group flight went down to Manhattan Beach for the day which was lovely and warm even though it's winter in America.

This is our fourth day in Costa Rica now and it has been amazinggggg. Definitely the best thing I have ever done in my entire life! The people on this trip with me are so friendly and we all didn't know anyone else so we got to know each other pretty quickly. There are about 50 of us here with ISV (International Student Volunteers) so I'm definitely struggling with names :P

My host family was unbelievable welcolming and have been so accommodating. They've done everything they could to make us feel like a part of their family. And they're christian as well! The first night, we sat down for dinner and our mamatico (host mum) was still getting her food. Michael (the 12 yr old nephew who is absolutely ADORABLE) started eating so we took that as our cue to start eating as well. But then the mum sat down and started saying grace out loud in spanish. Me and Jo (another girl from Adelaide staying with the same family) were just like oh crap we should have waited for her. Didn't make that mistake again!

But yes the food is so good here! Our mamatico makes us like a three course breakfast with fruit, eggs on tortillas and this rice mixed with black beans which is so so good! And after our dance class (highlight of the day - today we have a salsa class!) we get an hour for lunch and for about US $4 we get a massive plate of food with a dessert and a drink! I've been eating so much here :P

Our spanish school, Intercultura, also organises heaps of tours so tonight we're heading up to Montezuma which is apparently one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. We're staying there for two nights and it's 35 degrees there so perfect for swimming and snorkelling. We're also going to hike up to this waterfall where we can swim as well :) On Monday I might be going bungee jumping! Depends on whether enough people want to go.

Anyway our salsa class starts soon so I'll blog again when I get back from Montezuma!
Love, Julia

Monday, January 11, 2010

Here We Go

Leaving for the airport now! So excited and feels like I'm about to hyperventilate...
The next time I blog I'll be in either LA, Housten or Costa Rica!

Adios y hasta en cinco semanas!

12 Hours

I can't believe it's already here. In just 7 hours I'll be leaving home and in 12 hours, leaving the country for a crazy 5 weeks in a spanish-speaking country, knowing of course, zero spanish and relying solely on the iTranslate on my ipod.
Definitely feeling mixed feelings. On the one hand my brain is screaming 'What the heck were you thinking?! You don't know anyone on this trip, you don't speak the language and do you SERIOUSLY want to go without hot water for two weeks?!' But on the other hand I know that this will be an experience that I'll never forget, a real adventure with memories that nobody else will ever understand. And so I'm excited. Sad yes, to be leaving my family for 5 weeks, but so excited to be off on my own exploring a place that makes people say 'what?! where IS that?!'.
This is so out of my comfort zone but I have faith that He'll protect me and guide me throughout the next 40 days as He has my entire life.

Love, Julia