A New Costa Rica Resident’s Path to Biculturalism (Part 2)
- by crv.staff
- 1:53 PM UTC
Today we continue the story from our previous post of how our friend, Daveed Hollander, came to be a resident of Costa Rica. Read the first part of Daveed’s story about coming to live and establish roots in the Zona Sur Region of Costa Rica here.
Daveed and Vanessa quickly clicked, but their decision to move in together was definitely not popular with her family. “Living together created huge issues,” says Daveed, ”as her parents are devoutly Catholic.” All parties were soon delighted, however, when Daveed and Vanessa married.
Daveed cites adapting to each other’s extended families as both one of the biggest challenges and one of the best rewards of living in a multicultural family. “My wife is from a family of five sisters and four brothers…WOW,” exclaims Daveed. “With such a big family it is sometimes hard to find peace at family events, but everyone helps out so much. Even though we all have our differences at times, at the end of the day we are one big family.”
Language, of course, poses another problem. “Sometimes my words don’t come out exactly right in Spanish,” Daveed admits, “and I have had a hard time communicating.” Still, the young couple’s underlying trust helps to finesse such communication breakdowns. “My wife and I are best friends first and that keeps us from fighting. Years ago we learned to use the words ‘Tell Mr. Grumpy to go away’ whenever we felt frustrated or mad at each other, which made us smile and so prevented silly fights. Even today we use the same words with our infant son when he cries, and it seems to work…well occasionally, anyway,” laughs Daveed.
Now future educational plans for their own son are foremost in the minds of Daveed and Vanessa as they sort out their own multicultural options and priorities. “At first we were thinking we would have to home school part time and send him to Tico school part time, and this was a problem because of work constraints on both my wife and myself,” Daveed explains. “So for a while we were just stuck on what to do. Now one of Costa Rica’s best private schools has announced plans to come to our area, Valle de San Isidro, so it seems we have found a good solution.”
Despite the extra challenges and demands of living with feet firmly planted in several worlds, Daveed wouldn’t trade his lot for anything. “No two days are ever the same because you are always learning something new or trying something new, whether it be a fruit or the little meat they sell on the street.”
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