First Impressions - Gina Lusardi

Home stay shared room



Arriving at the home stay, I had no idea what to expect. The only thing I knew was that I was looking for a green house with two doors, next to a hotel and that the Interbus was supposed to drop me off there after a three hour drive from San Jose. Arriving earlier than expected, I got dropped off at the dive shop instead. The owner, Captain Bob McDaniel, the lead instructor, JT, and Bob’s dog, Deco, greeted me and gave me a quick tour of the shop before closing up for the day. Bob then kindly gave me a ride to the home stay.

First Impressions - Gina Lusardi


On arrival two locals whom I would be sharing the house with greeted me. They both helped me with my bags and lead me through the house to my room. The woman who runs the house came home from work shortly after and introduced herself to me, welcoming me into her home.


Later, I enjoyed sitting in the living area with the three of them watching Transformers. Around 5PM I started to wonder what I was going to do about food. She explained to me that dinner would be served at 6 PM every night. She spent some time in the kitchen preparing a meal that smelled absolutely marvelous. To my surprise, it was all for me. When it was ready, I sat down and examined the feast in front of my eyes. A heap of mashed Potatoes and broiled fish, topped off with a side fresh salad. It didn’t there. An all-natural juice made from a fruit tree in her backyard finished off the meal nicely. Believe me, not a crumb got left behind.

After a long day of traveling I fell asleep quite early. The sound of nature outside could lull anyone into a deep sleep quickly. The next morning I awoke early to find breakfast served bright and early at 6AM. A generous helping of scrambled eggs, onions, breakfast meat, toast, and delicious beverage was waiting for me downstairs. I was informed that Georgia would be picking me up at 8:30AM, so after breakfast I unpacked and relaxed.

First Impressions - Gina Lusardi

The dive shop

Georgia picked me up and drove to a little café in Manuel Antonio called Emilio’s. We sat down to a breathtaking backdrop of the beach down the hill. We spend a good portion of the morning there getting me started on a few things for the internship. She then took me on a small tour of Manuel Antonio. I was so grateful that she took the time to show me around/ She even gave me a run down of where to go and where not to go. I can tell already that I am going to love it here in Costa Rica. The people are friendly and welcoming, the food is delicious, the scenery is picturesque, and I have yet to be attacked by a single mosquito.

First Impressions - Gina Lusardi

Surfboard at the shop


If you’re looking for an adventure, want to explore lush landscapes, or if you just want to get a taste of an exotic culture, than come to Manuel Antonio and join us. I have yet to get a chance to get in the water and dive, but based off of what I have seen so far I can’t imagine the experience would be anything less than amazing.