Oh the places you’ll go! For the past two weeks I have been on a roller coaster of immersion into the Latin American culture of the country of Costa Rica. With a heavy class schedule as well as many excursions planned for us on the weekends it has definitely been a lot of running around but as I sit in 75 degree weather I cannot complain!
(This is just my living room!!)
I think the biggest reason behind my decision to study abroad was a desire to experience a culture unlike my own or any which I have studied this far. With a year of Arabic and a semester of French under my belt I was in for quite a surprise upon entering my new life of only Spanish speakers. As intimidating as it is one of the biggest lesson I have learned so far is that sometimes you must make yourself uncomfortable to make the best connections. Just one step at a time outside of your comfort zone can make for the most memorable experience.
So far I have been having the most amazing experience with everything from the environment, animals, and people. The locals are called “Ticos” because they like to add tico to the end of words. They have this wonderful thing called Tico time, which basically means they usually run about fifteen minutes later than they say they will. (This worked out perfectly for me because I feel like I already ran on Tico time back in the states) I have also learned an interesting lesson from a not so conventional teacher, the Costa Rican houses. Many of the houses here look like a hodgepodge of scrap metal and poorly mixed cement with a iron gate on the outside. It is not the most welcoming first impression! However upon entering you see the history and stories which each house holds. It is truly a beautifully simple yet cultured lifestyle. So there you have it! Don’t judge a house by its exterior, it is okay if you are running a little late, and take baby steps outside your comfort zone!
2 weeks in and many more adventures to have!