Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Dear Costa Rica

Dear Costa Rica,

I can’t believe our time has come to an end. It seemed to be over before it really began. We have spent the last three months falling in love with each other. You took the time to show me yourself even though I came with lots of misconceptions. You proved me wrong about the things I thought I knew. You taught me about the real Costa Rica, but even more you taught me about the real me. I was able to find myself when I found you. I was scared to really get to know you and I hesitated to open myself up. As I explored new places, you helped me meet new friends to make me more at home. As I tried new things I found a new person inside of me.. The more I grew comfortable with you the more I wanted to learn about you. Even when we disagreed and I was angry with being with you, you did something to take my mind off of it. As I learned more about you the more I came to respect you. We have grown so close that I can’t bear to let you go even though we both knew that my time would be short. So all I can say to you Costa Rica is Thank you. Thank you for all the special places you showed me. Thank you for giving me lifelong friends to share you with. But thank you the most for giving me another place to call home.

Love your newest Tica,

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

visit from home

This weekend my mother and grandmother came to visit me from Alexandria, VA. This is a trip I have been counting down to for weeks. Not only have I been excited to see them, but also to show them the country that I have been living in for 3 months. I wanted to show them how I’ve been living, what I’ve learned and why I fell in love with the country. Along with all the excitement came a little nervousness. I wanted them to love Costa Rica just as much as I did.
The first thing we did when they arrived was to meet my Tico family, who has been the most important part of my life here in Costa Rica. We all ate dinner together and it was quite an overwhelming experience. My Tica mom would ask me to translate something to my mom and vise versa. At some points in the conversation I forgot who I was talking to and began to speak Spanish to my mom and English to my Tica mother. The conversation moved so fast, but everyone was laughing and smiling so I figured they were all getting along great.
The next day I took my mom and grandmother downtown to do a little shopping. I hailed a taxi and when we got in I immediately held on because I have become accustomed to their speeding, swerving, and rough gear changing. My mother and grandmother on the other hand immediately began to panic saying, “Tell him he is to close to that car!” “How do you say slow down?” “Why aren’t there any lanes here?” They eventually got over the shock and enjoyed the rest of the day shopping. They thought all the people were so friendly and my mom kept asking me short phrases in Spanish. By the end of the trip my grandmother was enjoying gallo pinto as much as I was and my mother was prepared to go back to the US and take a Spanish course.