La Ultima Semana


I am in my last week here in Costa Rica. Today our professor was giving us all our final instructions for our last day before we leave and it made me really sad. It will be very different next month without so many people around me and the work will be super challenging. I am so excited to start there, though, and actually start applying all that I have learned this month. I am expecting a lot more challenges than this month, but I think it will also be a lot more rewarding. One thing I am excited for is that my Spanish will really be put to the test because I won’t have so many people around me speaking in English. My goals for next month are:

1.       Become a regular somewhere

2.       Focus on community involvement in the hospital

3.       Make a close Nicaraguan friend

4.       Not spend all my time by myself but get out and be social

5.       Make friends with as much of the staff in the hospital as possible.

6.       Perhaps start teaching English classes twice a week

I think these are ambitious goals, but I know that I need to start with high expectations and then perhaps I will at least do some of them.

Quick recap on things that happened this week. We had salsa classes again on Monday, it was once again quite fun. Tuesday night we went roller skating at the rink. It turns out it is an extremely popular Costa Rican thing to do and there were TONS of people there. Unfortunately I am TERRRIBLE at skating, so I would do a round or two and then make my way back to the wall. It’s just such a stressful activity, I don’t understand how people enjoy it ;) I did have a great time watching all the people, and it was interesting because the Tikos would grab hands with the people in my group and help them along if they were having a hard time. Then they would also play these different games, like during one game every time they blew the whistle the skaters had to do whatever it was that they had just called out, for example switch directions, skate down low, etc. However it was all said in very difficult to understand Spanish, so most of us had no idea what was going on for a while. So entertaining. Also on Tuesday the dog of our family, Pupie (pronounced poopy), died. It was quite a sad affair.

Yesterday my roommates and I cooked dinner for the family. We made a good Dutch meal of meatballs, potatoes, and green beans. I was a little concerned because using a new kitchen can be pretty difficult, especially when the cooking tools are so different, but it actually turned out really delicious and everyone enjoyed it. And it was fun to be able to serve Kattia a bit and have dinner all together (normally the family does not eat with us). Afterwards we went out to Castro’s, a local dance club, and danced our hearts out. I had so much fun dancing salsa, meringue, and the usual American sway. I am a huge fan of dancing! However I am not a huge fan of staying out so late and getting so little sleep. It definitely messes with my thoughts and my stomach. It never ceases to amaze me how much we need sleep! We found out today that Kattia would have liked to come to Castro’s with us. I am so disappointed we did not know that earlier because it would have been so fun to have her with us. ¡Que Lastima!

I can tell the team is all getting a little restless to begin this next month, and I think we are all running off a bit of a sleep deficit. I am quite eager to hear everyone else’s stories about the next month. As for me I am a bit nervous (even more so when I am tired) but excited to see what the month holds. I think there are going to be ample opportunities to learn, serve, and practice tons of Spanish. Turns out only one person in the hospital really speaks English, which I am eager to experience because it will be a great learning experience. I have just a few more hours here in Costa Rica, so crazy because it literally feels like I just got here. Looking back on the month I can’t really remember all that happened or how it flew by so fast! And I am sure the next month will go just as quickly.

I am so blessed by my host family and roommates. I think I have said this before, but they have really been super fun to live with. Kattia clearly really cares for all the students she hosts and invests time in talking to us. And she is so helpful and patient with teaching us Spanish. I have certainly enjoyed my time here. Today as our parting present she gave us each a packet of Costa Rican beansJ my roommate Margaret’s favorite food. Haha. We were joking today about how I am going to come back here to Costa Rica for my honeymoon and stay here in her house. It was so sweet because she said, “Yes you have a free place to stay and a family here in Costa Rica.” She certainly has embraced us into her family, and someday I may have to take her up on that offer for my honeymoon ;)

Well the next time I write I will be in Honduras. I think conditions there will be somewhat different, so I have no real idea what internet time will be like, but hopefully I can continue to maintain my blog. Please pray for health, as I think the risk of illness is considerably higher (ie almost all the participants get sick at some point during the second month), and also pray for endurance, patience, and just an openness to change. Sometimes the first few days of change can be tough, so just prayer that I would have incredible strength during the first week, well and throughout the whole thing.

The last few impressions of Costa Ricans too: They often water down the soap so that it lasts longer. The problem is that it doesn’t really do anything if it is so watered down. But I suppose it costs a heap less if you don’t have to continue purchasing new soap. Even here at the airport (where I am typing this last little piece as I wait for my flight(s) to Honduras) have watered down soap. Also I am enjoying my last few days of cool weather. I have heard that Olanchito is going to be ridiculously hot so we will see how that goes. I  have certainly been enjoying this last little bit of cooler weather though.


8/14/2012 16:53:49

thank u so much.

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