Well hey there friends! It’s been a while hasn’t it? How fitting of a title given that the semester is just about over and the Christmas season (and presents) are right around the corner… or if you’re in Costa Rica (like me!), the Christmas season is already very much here (yeah, they get their decoratin’ on real early).
So, first things first, to summarize what I’ve been up to since my last revelatory post of pure gold: I went on my last two field trips for ecology, we had our last IFSA gira, (AWESOME), I had a good fill of almost-all-nighters (finally had to do all those papers and projects I hadn’t worked on throughout the semester), we had our official IFSA despedida, I took exams and picked up final grades, and, most importantly, I took advantage of every free minute (and even those that maybe weren’t technically all that free) and just tried to enjoy and soak in every little thing that has made this experience special.
Now, second things second, to give some recommendations for the person who isn’t a relative of mine that is reading this out of love and a certain sense of obligation and is instead reading this blog because he actually wants to read something useful.
1) COMMUNICATE. If you really want have a good family experience, communicate. It doesn’t matter if you “can’t speak Spanish”, it doesn’t! Just TRY. Try and share something, anything, about your day to show that you are interested and that you want to be a part of the family. Or ask a question, a stupid one, it doesn’t matter. JUST TALK. And if something isn’t going well between you and your family, COMMUNICATE IT TO THEM. I promise, direct communication (even when it’s scary and uncomfortable) will help you have a great family relationship and will help you to have a great experience overall.
2) OPEN YOUR HEART. Perhaps my most important recommendation, or really the only rule you need to live by to enjoy your experience. Open your heart to everything. To EVERYTHING. To the culture, the language, the people, the food, the beautiful, the strange, the dirt, the grime, the not so beautiful, and the difficult. Be open to every part of this experience, including the most challenging and trying parts. Open yourself up and you’ll receive so much more than you could ever expect, and you will be beyond impressed by the person you will grow to become by the end of it all. And ,of course, you’ll take back a ton of beautiful memories from a fulfilling and valuable experience!
Third things third: Yeah, so I officially have two days left of the program, but really only one day before I leave for a last short trip through Costa Rica and then return home (bittersweet hurrah!!). And more than anything, I just feel weird. I just can’t (and maybe don’t want to and am not ready to) process the fact that I’m done. That this experience has come to an end. Done. Over. I’m excited to go home. Beyond excited in fact. But at the same time, it’s just hard to wrap (haha, look at that) my mind around the fact that I’m leaving. I’m actually leaving. WEIRD.
And with that, I leave you guys for what I hope is not the last time (Yeah, I know you were getting real worried this would be it). I should probably go clear all of the junk that is still on my bed from my attempt to pack earlier. Sooo…. Bye!
P.S. Sorry for all the caps and parenthesis, I guess I was just feeling really paranthetical and emphatic.