Monday, January 13, 2020

Week 54: Conversa -- Learning Spanish in Costa Rica

One of the final goals of my 60 until 60 project is #29 from my list:

Go to a foreign country and practice speaking the native language

After doing a little online research for a place to go where I could practice Spanish, I found Conversa in Costa Rica.  They had a Spanish immersion program just for retirees and after a few emails with Andy Kaufman, the owner, I decided it would be the perfect way to accomplish this goal.

I fell in love with this beautiful campus, high on a hill, the moment I arrived.  Everything about this learning vacation has exceeded my expectations. Here are some of the highlights:

Making new friends

I'm not usually a big fan of going on a trip alone because.. well.. it's lonely.  However, this wasn't a typical trip or vacation and there were several reasons that I was able to make friends here at Conversa:

  • We're sort of like students in a dorm. We have common areas and a cafeteria in which we all gather and share stories
  • Though there are some couples, there are also other people who have come here alone and were interested in socializing and getting to know others
  • Most of the other students are interested in the same kinds of things I'm interested in: Communication, Travel, Learning, New Experiences, and, of course, Spanish!
  • There have been social activities and excursions on the weekends, so we're getting to know each other outside of class.
On a Coffee Plantation Tour
Even though I've only been here a week, I feel I've made some good friends! In fact, I'm already making some plans to visit some of my new friends and I hope they'll be visiting me.

The teachers and all the coordinators and staff at Conversa are extremely friendly and helpful, too.   Everyone is so welcoming and warm.

The campus

What a beautiful place! I just can't say enough about how much I love the surroundings here. Of course, it's wonderful to have perfect weather in the 70's every day in January! But, I love the quaint houses, porch swings, beautiful views, hammocks, and just the overall feeling you get at every turn.

I've made it a habit of doing a 6:30am walk down and up a very steep hill of the street leading into the campus - quite a healthy workout routine! There's a pool and flowering bushes and trees that I pass as I make my way up for breakfast each morning before our daily classes start.

Before our morning workout up the big hill
I'll only be here another few days and I already miss this little piece of heaven. I think I'll make it an annual tradition to come back each year.

Costa Rica

The country, as well, has so much to offer, from beaches, to volcanos, to rain forest hikes, to birdwatching and such a vast array of animals and plants. Last weekend I enjoyed a long day trip to Manuel Antonio National Park with several of my classmates.

 Learning Spanish

I'm loving my Spanish classes, but I must admit, I'm disappointed that my oral skills are still so poor. I feel good about how much I've learned, but I still have a long way to go. That's OK, though.  I'm motivated to continue to learn and I feel lucky that I have so many new friends to practice with!


Anonymous said...

Every year, eh? Who knows, maybe I'll join ya some time down the road...

Anonymous said...

Extremely disappointed there was no Spanish version of this blog! 😉