Preparing for your trip to Costa Rica:
Packing!: The climate is very different from New England, so naturally I asked a few questions about what to pack. The traveler's dilemma: how to pack enough to get through the trip while having a little extra room in your suitcase for souvenirs and exotic animals you might want to smuggle home. Personally, I'd leave enough room for a small sloth or monkey, who will feel comfortable enough swaddled in between my skirts and tank tops. At the request of my hosts, I have packed magazines, Flinstones gummy vitamins, clothes that aren't growing mold on them, and Reese's peanut butter cups. That should leave enough breathing room for my souvenirs.
Things you wanted to know about traveling to a developing nation but were too afraid to ask:
Q: Can I bring my hair dryer or other hair styling accessories? It is important for me to look good in pictures when I screen my photo album to a roomful of bored and resentful friends and family.
A: Yes! Your U.S. appliances will work in Costa Rica, although you may suffer embarrassment as others make fun of you for styling your hair in a jungle.
Q: Will I get malaria in Costa Rica? Do I need to take any precautions to avoid contracting horrible diseases?
A: From what I've heard, malaria isn't a pressing concern in Costa Rica unless you are in very remote or high-risk areas. Personally, I like to be well-prepared so I am going to bring my own malaria.
It's good to learn a little of the language before you go somewhere foreign. I have a rudimentary knowledge of Spanish that I remember from high school, and some more I gleaned from watching soap operas on Telemundo. I only have three days left to learn the rest of the language, so I think I am going to focus on learning jokes translated into Spanish because I want people to like me. The trick is going to be remembering which are acceptable for everyone I meet and which are the dirty jokes.
*DisneyWorld was quickly knocked off its previous spot on top of the roster when someone realized they don't sell alcohol in the Magic Kingdom.