It is a very strange feeling to think back to my arrival to Costa Rica. In a lot of ways I do not feel like I have been away from home very long. It feels like everything in MN and at Drake is at a stand still while I enjoy my vacation. Haha I know this is not the case though. And when I think back to the first time I met my host family, my first weekend trips, and the multitude of uncomfortable and awkward moments I experienced as a result of being in a new place, it seems like I have been here forever. It is going to be hard to leave for sure! But at the same time I have reached that point where the anticipation of getting home makes me ready. I have started to think about all the things that will be happening when I get home. Emails are coming from Drake asking about my interest involvements in different organizations for next year, so I am trying to make decisions about those things as well. And of course I am so excited to see my family and friends and catch up on their lives!
One major thing I am going to try and take away from my semester abroad is that it is unnecessary to constantly be running. It is good to take time to read or play Rummikub with your host family 🙂 I have realized that a lot of students in the US are involved in A LOT of clubs and organizations. Like too many probably. Here clubs are not quite as popular from what I have noticed. I know clubs and leadership opportunities are a great thing because they provide us with a lot of good experience! I have loved some of the organizations I have been involved in at Drake. But I am going to try and make a conscious decision to be a little less involved than I was before. This is sometimes hard when many opportunities come your way and you often have to say no without knowing what other opportunities will follow. But I ask God will guide me in my plans and help me choose things I like the most. I do not want to be running around stressed out. I prefer to enjoy the last 2 years of college with my friends! Do not get me wrong, it would be against my character to do nothing but classes. haha. However, I am really hoping to take part of this Costa Rican attitude back with me 🙂
I am not going to put up pictures because I can show you them when I get home in LESS THAN 10 DAYS, but here are a few random things to share.
- For my Spring Break I went to 2 places: Bocas del Toro, Panama and Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. To be honest Panama was not the best experience of my life because I was getting over being sick and it was raining most of the time. It is a fun town though and the beaches are beautiful! However my time in Puerto Viejo was BOMB. It was my first time on the Caribbean side of CR. The other places I visited were on the Pacific Ocean. I did lots of fun things like bike to different beaches, went out to eat, stayed in the cutest hostel EVER and for CHEAP, and more. The owner of our hostel was Italian and his accent was so great! Then on the way home I went white water rafting! The most amazing part was the scenery we passed while going down the river. INCREDIBLE. I had one of those throw away water cameras so I am quite excited to get them developed when I get back to the U.S. and see how they turned out. There is a good chance a lot of them are of my finger or something, but that is the fun of it. Like before digital cameras, it will be a surprise how the photos turned out 🙂
- For my semester abroad, as long as I get a C in every class it will just transfer back to Drake as credit. This has taken a lot of pressure off of me to do a perfect job on my schoolwork! I still do not like to slack in my school work but I understand now why we have grades. Without grades it is hard to motivate yourself to do things super well just for the sake of learning, especially if the topic does not interest you.
- So I checked the weather forcast for the last 8 days I am here and it is cloudy with a chance of rain every one of those days. This is strange because since I have been here it has hardly EVER rained. Almost all sun. Therefore, I have come to realize the rainy season is coming. Looks like I was here at the right time and it is not too bad of a time to leave. Too bad though because I have not gotten sun for about two weeks and my tan is fading haha
- I got a haircut! Seems funny I did it like two weeks before coming home but my hair was just too hard to deal with because it has gotten so long. And I successfully explained what I wanted to the hairdresser and all turned out well. My host mom and her granddaughter gave me the recommendation of where to go. It was a little store with one hairdresser. Super nice and only $14 after tip and everything. They straightened my hair which took like 45 minutes because she was so thorough and THEN went on to cut it.
- I should be all done with Spanish classes for my minor once I get back. So I have a few ways I am planning to keep up on my Spanish when I get home—read books, skype a few people from Costa Rica, use this online website I found that have games, potentially find a place to volunteer that has a lot of Spanish speakers, and try to practice with whatever friends from home that know Spanish. It is not like I am fluent or anything, but I do not want to lose the grounds I have gained.
- It was strange not being with my family on Pascha, but I Skyped them all that Sunday and it was so great to see all of their faces! Skype is such a great thing. They just passed me around from person to person 🙂
- Little time left, lots of things going on… going to be an action packed 9 days!
Pura Vida! Nos vemos muy pronto 🙂