One of my biggest concerns before arriving in country was my host family. Knowing that they would be providing food and shelter for me and not knowing a damn thing about them, I was hestitant. Am I physically able to consume rice and beans three times a day? Will the language barrior land me in some sitcom-esque sitatuation ending in humiliation and failure beyond rapair? Who's washing my underwear?
My luck in this situation is beyond words. My familia Tica is large, welcoming and up for a good time. The youngest son taught me a phrase that sums them up perfectly: "Tuanis", which is actually Spanglish stemming from "Too Nice" and is used in slang to indicate a general well being or coolness. The house my roommates and I stay belongs Anajance and Marco Rodriguez a newly married couple in their mid-late fifties. They also own a home in Guanacaste and a hostel in Playa de Hermosa where they spend most of their time, so they are only at the house once or twice a week. Anajance has three sons who are in and out of house on a day to day basis as they bounce from the various houses their mother, father and step-father own. Alejandro is 31 and lives in San Josa with us all the time. He prepares all our meals and acts as our older brother. His English level is just enough to communicate on a regular basis without too much confusion. He's straight forward, takes care of us well, and loves to joke. His eight year old son, Felipe, is at the house twice a week and is learning English in school. His birthday was earlier this month and they threw a party for him yesterday at the local Roller Rink! We were unable to go but enjoyed the leftover cake, which was decorated with a huge Autobots symbol! The other two brothers, Esteban, 25, and Sergio, 23, come and go as they please traveling from beach to city to surf, work or go to school. Good vibes all around.
Although Alejandro generally kept out of our ways the first week my roommate Lindsay (so amazing, 26, from Philly) and I broke through last week and had a great night out with him and Esteban. I picked up some Guaro, a popular Costa Rican liquor made from sugar cane, and shared a nice family toast with my "brothers" and "sister". From there we headed to a local bar and practiced our Spanish and English well into the night. Last night we (Lindsay, my other roommate Emily, Jersey, 24, and I) hung at home with Alejandro and Sergio playing cards and having beers. When we ran out of traditional card games Sergio broke out Clue and it was fantastic! They're so laid back, and willing to help us with our Spanish, I really couldn't have imaged a better host family.
So to answer my above questions, Yes I can eat rice and beans with every meal and actually find myself missing it when it's not included. The language barrior has been an interesting obstacle but everyone is so cool that their have been no real problems or embarassments. And Alejandro hires a cleaning lady to come and do our laundry (although we still have to gather our garments and undergarments from the clothes line in the yard afterward)