After studying abroad for a third time, one thing I have learned is to say yes to everything.
The day after my trip to Cartago, my mama tica invited Sheri and I to go with her and the rest of the family to go to the local church. There, the 6 dogs would receive a blessing from the priest.
About an hour later, I assisted my papa tico, mama tica, and my host sister, Allison, in wrangling the six dogs into the trunk of the car. I cannot begin to describe to you the amount of barking a mayhem that took place. My mama tica instructed me to ride shotgun so she and Allison could keep the dogs calm.
During the 30-minute car ride, there was lots of barking and laughing at the craziness of what six dogs in the trunk of a car looks like.
Eventually, we made it to the church and unloaded the six dogs. I was in charge of Lukas (my abuela’s dog). Once the dogs did their business, mama tica instructed everyone to pick up their dogs (besides Baxter the golden retriever) because there were so many dogs and children at the church. Lukas was content for a few minutes and then started to bark like crazy. Mama tica had me switch dogs and I ended up with Luna (one of the schnauzers). Luna lasted in my arms for all of 5 minutes before also barking like crazy. I once again changed dogs and held Sven who calmly laid in my arms.
A religious official (I have no idea who) made their way around all of the dogs in attendance and threw holy water on them. When the official came to Lukas, my mama tica said to put extra holy water on him because he needed it.
Before leaving, mama tica asked the priest for a group photo. This was the final result:
After the photo shoot, we loaded all of the dogs back into the car. Sven sat with me in the front, but eventually made his way back to mama tica during the car ride. She informed me that Sven gets car sick, so she pulled back his ears with a pony tail holder and held a plastic Ziploc bag in front of his mouth for the duration of the ride. I cannot begin to tell you all, friends, how much I was laughing at the whole entire situation.
Mama tica decided we would have pizza for lunch, so we stopped at pizza hut. You can tell in the below photo how enamored the dogs are with her.
Eventually we made it home–Sven did not get carsick in case you were wondering. I may have only have hit the 1-month mark in Costa Rica, but man did the Pizza Hut pizza taste delicious!
Truly a unique host family experience!
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