Learning How to Fail
Hey everybody! I’m so sorry it’s been so long! I’ve actually had this post written and saved for quite a while now, but I realized I never posted it. I promise I’ll start posting more consistently again; CR life has just been crazy busy! Anyway, enjoy…
Learning a new language is all about discovering that it’s okay, actually necessary, to mess up and learn from your mistakes. Nothing forces you to realize this more than complete immersion in a foreign country that speaks that language. In my Spanish classes in the US, I would sometimes avoid actively participating in class because I was scared that I would say something incorrectly. That doesn’t work in Costa Rica. If you want to be able to communicate with the world around you, you’ve got to use Spanish. Being here has taught me to say things in the most accurate way I know how and hope for the best. I’ve been surprised by how well I have been understood (despite my many mistakes). Trying and failing and trying again is the best way to finally get it right.
I’ve also learned that living in a new country requires a few failures too. The best way to figure out a new place is to get a little lost or take the wrong bus one, or two, or seventeen times. Some of my favorite adventures here so far have turned out a bit differently from the original plan. I’m only here for the semester, so I want to visit as many cool places as I can during these few months. IFSA provides a few really great excursions for us during our time here, but all the other weekends we’re on our own to explore.
One of the first free weekends, without much of a plan at all, some of the girls from my program and I confusedly made our way to San Jose and hopped on a bus to one of the nearest beaches, Jaco. We had no idea what we were doing, but it ended up being quite an adventure. We found some of the best batidos (fruit smoothies) we’ve had in Costa Rica, stayed in a hip little hostel, and finally got to relax in the sun. The next weekend, we decided to go on a hunt for some cool bushes. Yep, bushes. We had heard from lots of people about this cool park called “Zarcero” where there are huge bushes trimmed into neat shapes, so we really wanted to go. Everybody told us it was a quick bus ride from Heredia so we went for it. Three hours, two buses, and a taxi later, we ended up in a teeny tiny town where we could see a little bit of green sticking up in the distance. When we got to the entrance of the park, we all just started laughing. “We did all this for a bush. LOL.” Don’t get me wrong, the bushes are pretty cool (see pics), it’s just that after everything we had been through, it seemed so small. It was still a great day and a great bonding experience.
Messing up doesn’t always feel the best, but lots of times, in the end, everything turns out all right, if not better. Pura vida.