Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

A New Experience

Hello, blog world.

My name is Ben Menke and I hope to become a worthy member of this new society I have now joined. I have never blogged before about anything, but I am optimistic that I can take on this new challenge! Expect to hear some outrageous, exciting, and maybe even some plain old normal reports from me over the course of the next 5 months, and I will do the same.

Christmas Eve with my brothers and sister

Christmas Eve with my brothers and sister

This Christmas break has been unlike any other I have experienced up to this point. Now that finals and all of my duties to an American college education are over for the next 6 months, Costa Rica has been on my mind more than ever. I have been away from home for extended periods before, but never quite like this. Driving 15 hours north for college every semester is one thing, but leaving behind a whole culture for almost half a year is another. Add to the mix that I am a one-month newborn into the world of being a fiance and it makes leaving my American home that much more bittersweet. But Costa Rica is a journey I have been looking forward to for quite a while now and I can’t believe that it’s almost here! I just know I’m going to forget to pack some important thing I need for my trip – I can’t wait to find out what it is!

I have spoken briefly with my host family (la familia Vega-Sibaja) on the phone, but we have been emailing periodically with questions that are typical of strangers who are going to be all of a sudden living together for 5 months and will one day be family. Talking with them for the first time really accelerated the reality of this whole thing, and in an incredibly good way. I had to utilize what knowledge I had of the Spanish language to uphold my side of our conversation, and I realized there was considerable room for improvement of my lingual competence. Becoming equally familiar with the Spanish language as I am with English has been a goal of mine for a very long time, and it is going to finally happen. There’s a dream come true for ya! I even get to experience a legit Costa Rican wedding for my host brother while I’m there – how lucky am I?!

Even if I wanted to, I probably couldn’t anticipate all that I am going to experience, and I don’t want to even pretend like I’m ready for it all. But I am confident that I will carry an open mind with me wherever I go and do my best to make the most out of this unique and rare opportunity.

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2 Responses to “A New Experience”

  1. Emily Says:

    woo hoo!! looks good! :)

  2. Grandal Says:

    12 Jan 2010 (U Michael’s bairthday!)…Grandot got U Rachel to install your blog on “my” (our) computer) and I’m looking forward to staying hooked up. The Pony Express
    was never like this!! Nor was the U S Postal service in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s with their 1, 2, & 3 cent postage stamps.!!! What a world……God bless! Grandal

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