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Change is everywhere. It happens all the time. But in the short amount of time I’ve been granted on earth thus far I’ve really only experienced a few changes I consider to be more or less drastic. Pretty typical ones actually: going to a new middle school and high school, moving off to college, getting a new job/internship, and now, of course, living in another country. The process of shifting from one “normal” situation to another is difficult at times in the early stages for me. Intermittent frustrations with language acquisition have been uncomfortably welcome and have added new synapses to my brain function, which is a good thing! At this point I have been able to see a few glimpses of the euphoria that comes with complete confidence and control of the language, but it comes and goes. With time I’m sure it will come more than go. What has been an unexpected surprise is how gringo-riffic my accent is in my first few sentences of each morning. For some reason I forget how to use a Spanish accent when I wake up… kinda weird!

Laura wins!

Another change we have been lucky enough to be a part of this semester reigns in the political arena with the election process that ultimately led to the first female president in Costa Rican history: Laura Chinchilla. We had a fun Super Bowl / Presidential Election party at our house on Sunday to celebrate both historic occasions. Julian and I, the only Estadounidenses (“Americans” is not politically correct I’ve been told) in the house, were the only ones really watching the Super Bowl I think, but we had two TVs in the room to broadcast both events so everyone was happy. The whole time leading up to the election involved an incredible amount of flag-adorning, car honking, and conversation sparking. What is neat is how incredibly passionate Ticos are about politics without transmitting an ounce of that passion into violence. They really seem to be a peaceful people as a whole from what I can gather.

Sucking on some coco juice during orienation

Classes began this week, which is another change to chalk up on the growing list. There are marked similarities and differences between the education system here and at home, but to say that it is more USA-esque than not might be stretching it. Details may be too many to discuss in a blog that is meant only to summarize my experience while attempting to keep your interest. I have yet to make an incredible amount of new Tico friends after my first couple days in school here at UNA, but there is time yet. I have noticed that male adolescents here tend to consistently have two things in common: raging hormones and copious amounts of hair gel. Though this inevitably attracts the females, whose wardrobes can be as sassy as their hair is brown, because lip-locked couples obviously licensed in PDA dot the campus like sprinkles on a sundae. And my middle school frowned upon holding hands…

Overall my school situation is nothing to complain about because I have both Fridays and Mondays free, which allows for a personally unprecedented 4-day weekend for the entire semester, and most of my classes involve frequent field trips (some even overnight near the beach!) for very cheap. I think I can cruise with the 15-credit hour load I’ve got, so I can focus more on Costa Rica and her people while I’m here rather than books and papers. There will be time for that later. :)


3 Responses to “Changes”

  1. Mom Says:

    You do such a good job of making your experiences interesting, Benj. I laughed out loud at the “raging hormones and hair gel” comment! Keep on keeping on, and be easy on yourself…you’re awesome! I love you!

  2. Marcy Says:

    What a JOY to read your words … what a gift you have (well, that and photography, of course)! Enjoy your 4-day weekends — won’t happen many more times in your life. What a life you’re leading! Love you and have fun!

  3. Kelsey - cousin :) Says:

    Benj, I absolutely love reading your blogs! And your facebook pictures are really fun to look at, too. I’m so glad that you’re having an amazing time, and I bet it’s just gonna keep getting better as you become more comfortable with the language/culture there. You’re definitely on the top of my prayer list AND the top of my Internet Favorites list. :) Keep having fun and making the most of every day there! Love, Kelsey

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