I woke up this morning to the sound of roosters and the smell of food cooking on the stove. My host family was up bright and early at 5:00 am. After a meal of rice and beans, I went out to the front porch. My Tico dad was up since three a.m. moving cattle around from his “potrero” (pasture) to the front yard.
When I went out to see what was going on, I saw him milking a cow. After noticing me, he called me over and asked me if I wanted to milk the cow. I hesitantly said yes. He laughed as I tried and failed. When he figured out that I was hopeless, he told me to run into the house and get a glass. Knowing where that was, I slowly strolled into the house and got a glass. When I brought it back to the cow, he filled the glass with warm, unpasteurized, thick, milk. He handed it to me and told me it was a custom in his family so I drank it expecting not to like it, but I actually enjoyed it quite a bit.
This was symbolic of my entire home-stay experience. I was nervous and hesitant at first, but it turned out to be an amazing experience. I’m very happy that I had the chance to do this and I feel like I got a true Costa Rican experience.