COSTA RICA (August 2008)

After a few days off, I'm again heading to Central America. This time it's LAX to Dallas, then Dallas to San Jose. I am not thrilled to be flying through Dallas as I have never had a flight there ever leave on time or from its original gate. This time proves to be the same, though the problem starts in LA. While I watched the cleaning crew disembark ten minutes prior, the announcement comes that there is a delay while the plane is being cleaned. Noticing that the right engine cover is open, either American Airlines employs very thorough cleaning crews or it's an engine problem. Ten minutes later comes the announcement that it's an engine problem. We finally set off an hour late, making the Dallas flight even later as it is the same plane.

Late into Costa Rica, I meet my host family after Customs and Immigration. I have never lived with a host family before and am not sure what to expect. My poor Spanish skills are also a concern. As for accommodations, it's an old, lumpy mattress, one working electrical outlet, and very dim lighting. In the morning I'll learn that I'm also in for cold showers all week.

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