Hi, travelers! I hope you are having a fantastic week. After an exciting trip to Manuel Antonio, I’m getting back into my daily routine here in Heredia. I want to introduce you to someone who makes my daily routine really fun. Meet my host mom, Flory! Flory is wise, caring, always smiling, and talks so loud and fast, it makes my head spin. Flory is one of the most positive and open-minded people I have ever met.
Today I am interviewing her, so that you can get to know her! We are speaking in Spanish, but I will translate what she told me into English for you.
Flory’s full name is Flora Delgado Marín. She lives in the city of Heredia, Costa Rica. She lives in a house which, she says, thankfully covers her from the rain and the sun. She is very grateful that God allows her to have her beautiful house, she adds. Her favorite room is her kitchen because she loves to cook. “If I’m not cooking,” she says, “I like to be in my bedroom watching television.” She has two daughters, both grown up, named Carla and Daniela. Carla lives nearby, and Daniela lives with Flory in her house, along with their poodle, Princesa. Flory says that her family is normal, like any other family. “We have our hard days and our good days,” she tells me.
For Flory’s work, she doesn’t leave the house at all. Instead, she takes in exchange students, one at a time, from the United States. Right now, that student is me! Flory cooks my meals, washes my clothes, and we spend a lot of time laughing and talking here at the house. A few weeks ago she took me to a water park with three swimming pools. Flory loves her job. “It fills the house with sounds, so it isn’t so lonely,” she says. She always makes great friends with the students, because the students who come to live in her house are always very special people.
Flory’s favorite outfit to wear is jeans, a sleeveless shirt, sandals and her watch. She can be seen most days wearing small studded earrings or large hoops. When Flory has free time, she likes to read. “Always self-help books,” she says. She enjoys getting new ideas about how to be a better, happier person. She also likes to read and watch the news. When Flory does leave the house, she likes to walk from place to place, or take the bus. More than a couple hours on the bus makes her feel restless, though, she tells me.
Flory has travelled to Nicaragua, which is the country north of Costa Rica. She has also been to Guatemala, which is northwest of Costa Rica, between Honduras and Mexico. Spanish is spoken in both of those countries. Spanish is the only language Flory speaks. “I wish I had spent more time studying languages when I was younger and it was easier to learn!” she says. If she could travel anywhere, she would go to Santa Fe, she jokes. Do you remember that Santa Fe is where I live in the United States? In truth, Flory says, she would like to go to Rome, Italy, and see the tombs of the Catholic saints.
Sometimes, by taking in exchange students like me, Flory feels like she travels without even leaving her living room! “I get to meet young people and learn about another culture, about faith and politics and…everything!” she says, smiling. She loves to learn about what other people think about and how they live in the world. “And, I love to talk!” she laughs. That sure is true. Even though most days she stays at home in Heredia, Flory shares her life with someone from another culture every day, and that makes her feel like an world class explorer!
Flory wants me to tell you to study things you love, respect your parents, and say no to drugs. “If you are going through a hard time, remember that having rough days is part of being human,” she says. But, she adds, you can’t just pray: You have to love yourself enough to ask for help, and find a solution. Every morning Flory gives me a giant hug that knocks the wind out of my lungs, and tells me, smiling, to enjoy my day. I can tell she means that from her heart. It isn’t always famous people with big names and fancy jobs who change the world. It is also regular people who do everything with kindness, a good humor and a smart, open mind. Flory has definitely made a difference in my life.
Well, I am off to eat the dinner that Flory just cooked! It smells delicious. I hope you enjoyed meeting her, and if you have any questions to ask her, let me know. I know where she lives!