OMG, I’ve been here for a month! That is unbelievable! Before leaving a lot of people told me that culture shock and assimilation to my new country would be like a roller coaster. With four weeks of expertise (or something like that), I would have to say that I agree with the analogy. Here’s some insight into the experience I’ve been having so far.
Host Family Life:
Down: Not being in complete control of what I can eat or what I can wear on a given day has contributed to my feelings of dependency. This has been a big change from living on my own in Maryville. Up: Am I complaining about the fact that my host mom does my laundry and serves me delicious meals? Certainly not! She is awesome, and I only wish she would let me help out more.
Down: Not always being able to express my thoughts/emotions in Spanish is more frustrating than I would have guessed. It’s very difficult to participate in intelligent conversations or to have a personality in a second language. Up: I have had a lot of chances to work on speaking and listening. I am so happy that people are willing to work with me, and I have no doubt that I’m improving.
Down: I really really miss my family, friends, and boyfriend. And my house. And my car. And my job. And abundant water fountains. Up: I’m definitely not without support from my loved ones, even from afar, and learning that I can do things without the comforts that I’ve always known is kind of an awesome experience!
The Tropical Climate:
Down: Sunburns, bug bites, and sweat. Up: I’m kind of ok with not being frozen at home.
And… here are some pictures of the latest adventures I’ve had in local towns.
The view from the coffee plantation we visited in Naranjo.
Painting oxcart wheels in Sarchí.
And one of the Los Chorros waterfalls in Grecia!