Chapter 1: The Quest for Pura Vida

You Can Call Me Ne-Ne If You Want To (But It’s Kind of Weird)

My host mom’s name is Nidia, but she goes by Nini (nee nee).  When I first learned this, I was excited to inform her of a connection we have, because friends and family at home call me Nene (or Ney-Ney or Nay-Nay; pick your spelling).

She kind of laughed and asked me if I would prefer to go by that, and I told her I was fine with either Nene or Renee.  She never did call me Nene after that.

A couple of weeks later, I learned that “nene” is actually a word in Spanish, a term of endearment that is roughly the equivalent of baby or honey.  It’s also the masculine form of the word.  I was basically telling her she could call me “baby boy.”

Maybe I should stick with Renee while I’m in Costa Rica.  Although I suppose Nena wouldn’t be terrible.


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