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Well, that’s it. My time in Costa Rica is officially over and I am back to the hustle and bustle of life in the good ol’ US of A. I was told to prepare for an overwhelming sense of culture shock, but returning to the culture I have known for 21 years of my life is a lot less shocking than it was entering into one I had never experienced before. Of course, I still haven’t been able to completely shake a few Costa Rican habits I developed in my time there, such as looking for the trash can after using toilet paper in the bathroom or closing all doors as if they were made of paper maché. I have been pleasantly surprised at my lack of thought of coffee, which assures me I have somehow avoided an addiction after slugging it down an average of 1+ times a day for 5 months.  

Last Night with CR Fam

Since my last blog was posted right after my parents left, I’d like to share a bit of what happened in those last 3 days before my “resurrection” as an inhabitant of the United States: …not much. After acing a geography presentation that ended my scholastic career at UNA, I was basically left to packing and waiting. I said a few goodbyes in there too (we had a party on Friday at the beautiful home of one of our counselors, Teresita) and had a chance to journal, but it was hard to keep my mind off finally getting off that plane and stepping on to USA soil (or airport carpeting in this case). I did have a wonderful last evening with my Vega-Sibaja family as we went out to Hotel Bougainvillea where we dined on the “Day of Vengeance”, as they called it because I was paying, which meant they would finally have their chance to get back at me for all the money I cost them in grocery expenses. Thankfully their bark was worse than their “bite” (pun intended) and we all had a great time. The next morning, and I mean morning at 4:30am, both Don Luis and Marielos escorted me to the airport for a farewell that was quick like a band-aid.

I still haven’t found out what I forgot yet, but I’m sure I left something there. If I wasn’t fully convinced of my innate ability to lose things before I went to Costa Rica, I have now left no doubt. The good thing is that I never lost anything of considerable value. It’s almost like a talent. Everything was like a toy watch here, a cool towl there, or a sweater jacket on that bus that just pulled away 5 minutes ago. Of course, that is probably due to the fact that the majority of the things I own are not of considerable monetary value anyways. Oh and don’t worry, the trend has continued here in the States as well. I have already almost lost my $1.50 water bottle twice, and my $4 lamp is nowhere to be found… oh yeah, I’ve still got it!

This past week has rushed by in a flurry, but I’ve already finished with one whole physical therapy course and moved into a new house! The next class, Gross Anatomy, is sure to be a doozy, but I’m gonna hit the ground running and see if I can’t snag another A from Dr. Rodd. My roommate, Kris, is great and we’re gonna add another in the fall when Matt gets here, so this upcoming school year has “awesome” written all over it. For now I’m just enjoying the calm before the storm that will arrive at 8am on Monday in room WGH 100. I enjoyed reuniting with my family and Emily and her parents for all of about 12 hours before driving up to Evansville early Sunday morning. My dad got to stay with me up here for a couple of days, which was cool because we got to hang out some more as he got a taste of my Midwestern life, but now it’s back to being the lone Menke. 

Everything is going smoothly overall up here, but I won’t say goodbye just yet because I’ll have one more blog before I officially retire for good; that is, if Gross Anatomy hasn’t sucked out all my brain juices by then. No more “Art in Film” or choir classes anymore… it’s time to strap on my big-boy scrubs and get to dissecting!

The bus I rode probably 200 times

Yeah, I was the only male at the IFSA party...


3 Responses to “ReUNITED with the STATES”

  1. Aunt Rachel Says:

    You make EVERYTHING such a fun(ny) experience! You crack me up about losing stuff. And I smiled out loud when you realized that most of what you own is not of great monetary value! That’s the way it should be. You are rich in all the important ways. And I think you realize that. HOWEVER, note to self: no expensive gifts for you in the future! No telling where they’ll end up! JK That is soooo sweet that you took your host family out to supper! I can tell from the things you say that they REALLY bonded with you and liked you! They BOTH took you to the airport?! How cool is that! And the good-bye was “quick like a band-aid”. I’m thinking Don Luis was so emotional down deep that it HAD to be quick for his sake! Enjoy (?) Gross Anatomy?! Sounds like you’ve got a doozy of a year ahead of you! Have FUN!!! Love and miss you tons!

  2. Mom Says:

    I love your title!! Maybe that’s another career if PT or photograhy falls through…headline writer! Glad you didn’t get addicted to coffee…glad you didn’t lose anything of significance….glad you’re “home!!” (If you’d worn your stuff around your neck like I did, you never would have lost anything! :)) Love you, Benj!

  3. Marcy Says:

    So we only get to read one more blog from you? That will be so sad. It’s been a delight following your trip with you. Your words bring the trip to life! I’ve laughed and admired your writing. You’ve got quite a talent! Can’t wait to see you in August — we’re going to have a party for sure! I mailed you a package but it came back to me because I put it in the “wrong bin” so I’ll put it BACK in the mail tomorrow! So sorry about that. Enjoy (?) Gross Anatomy …! Love you, Aunt Marcy

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