Meet Rebekah Wieczorek!
Rebekah Wieczorek is a senior Pi Phi from Madison, Alabama who is about to graduate in August! She has spent the past month in San Jose, Costa Rica taking classes and exploring its beautiful landscapes! She is majoring in Marketing, but also putting her minor in Spanish to good use during this abroad experience.
She is currently taking two classes at the University of Costa Rica during the week, and then using her weekends to explore with her friends!!
Being on your own in a foreign country can be both nerve-racking, and exciting. Rebekah chose to use this opportunity to have fun and experience as much as she could. One of her favorite memories so far was a weekend expedition on the Escazu Trail!
"My favorite memory so far was just a few days ago, a small group of students tried to go hiking on a local, famous trail ( Tres Cruces - Escazu Trail ). Halfway up the mountain it started to pour down rain on us. The rain wasn’t so bad because we expected it and had dressed appropriately, so we continued up the trail. After 20 minutes of climbing straight uphill in the rain, a cow appeared in our path, completely blocking us. On the left of the cow was a cliff and to the right was very thick brush. We waited a few minutes (still in the rain) to see if the cow would move, but he just stared at us. Finally, we decided that the cow was a sign for us to give up and turn back so we climbed all the way back down in the pouring rain. At the base of the trail was a little Italian restaurant, so we walked in for a bite to eat and maybe a drink, only to realize it was a 5-star restaurant with a breathtaking view of the city. And we were sipping wet wearing hiking clothes. Thank goodness no one else was in the restaurant and the server was very nice to us, because at the time we did not belong there. It’s a funny memory to me because a cow determined the fate of our day."
Being abroad, you learn so many tips and tricks on how to most affectively travel. Specifically for Rebekah, the #1 thing she would carry in her backpack , is a rain jacket: "It rains pretty much every day in Costa Rica. Usually it’s only for a short period of time, but it’s consistent."
Also a fun fact about Costa Rice is that there are “Noice Ordinance” laws in this country, so you can play your own music wherever you are! Therefore, she always has a speaker w her to play some jams.
Since Costa Rica is an insanely cool country, there are so many beautiful and tropical places to visit. So far, Tortuga Island was Rebekah's favorite place she's visited.
"Tortuga Island was my favorite place we’ve visited so far. We took a catamaran from Puntarenas to the island, about an hour and a half long ride. Then on the island we got to go snorkeling, play volleyball on the beach, ride a banana boat... and of course visit the bar."
Her favorite traditional Costa Rican dish is Gallo Pinto: "Gallo pinto is a very common breakfast dish in Costa Rica and I think it is tasty and filling! Literally just rice and beans baked together, but add a little chili or a corn tortilla and it is delicious." (sounds yummy)
Rebekah has learned that there is a heavy focus on the importance of family in this country. In Costa Rica, children live with their families until they get married; this includes going to a local university and working near home. They depend on family for everything and are so incredibly close, which was inspiring to Rebekah, but left her a little homesick :(
Overall, she thinks anyone who has the opportunity should visit Costa Rica! Since it is such a small country, you can see so much in just a short amount of time. It has beautiful beaches, lively rainforests and breathtaking mountains/volcanoes.
Follow Rebekah's Costa Rican adventure on her insta @mizzwizzz , and check out the Pi Phi insta @auburnpibetaphi!!