Disclaimer: If you’re only here for the pictures, feel free to scroll down… although if we’re friends on facebook, they’re all on there already, so it may be a let down. If you’ve got some free time and feel like hearing my musings, read on.
I didn’t know how hard it would be for me to blog about my experiences here. This week starts my fourth week here in Costa Rica. It seems like that time has flown when I look at it from that perspective even though sometimes the days seem to crawl (especially during my daily three hours of Spanish class). Ideally I thought I would have already posted three or four times by now, but here I am, just starting my second post of the semester. For some reason this experience has been really hard for me to put into words. I started out journaling two or three times a day, but now I’ve been journaling every other day at best. I don’t know what is so hard about it. I feel like I internalize so much on a moment by moment basis that when I sit down to write I have no idea where to start. I’ve heard political and faith opinions from people like Costa Rica’s next presidential candidate, an artist named Elmer who grew up in a trash dump in El Salvador, and economic officers for the U.S. Embassy. I have felt overwhelmed on so many occasions by the helplessness I feel as we encounter the topics of poverty and foreign relations in conversation, in research papers, and with the families who host us. On top of all of this I feel an enormous weight to discover the truth behind concepts and beliefs I’ve held for most of my life.
In the midst of all of this, however, I find an enormous amount of freedom. For the first time in my life I don’t have anything holding me accountable to being that moral, Christian person. I am no longer a worship leader or a member of a small group or even a regular attendee of church (my family prefers to play soccer Sunday morning, and I definitely don’t object.) And despite those things, I have never felt more inspired or called or motivated to doing the spiritual disciplines I have always resisted because before, I did them out of necessity and not desire. Before I had to force myself to think about spiritual things and now I find that God always comes up in almost every conversation I have had in the past two weeks. Before I came I was a little afraid of what I would do with the spiritual freedom I knew I would find here, so it’s really refreshing to find that God is not easily avoidable if I am desiring to live the kind of life that matters when all is said and done.
At our orientation they said a lot that, “The more you learn, the less you know.”
There are times I feel like I know even less about God and Spanish than before I came, but I know I am only becoming aware of my lack of knowledge. I can’t believe I ever thought I had anything figured out. I can’t believe I thought I had to have things figured out. What foolishness huh.
Anyway! I had hoped to do a post that talks about what my days are like here, so I’ll include a little bit of that.
Here we go:
Wake up at 6. (I know right.) Shower. Eat breakfast (sometimes while running to the bus stop.) Take bus to LASP offices for morning lectures or homework. Work in the library, play piano, or listen to lectures. Eat lunch with my fellow white compadres. Walk to Spanish classes 45 minutes away. Spend three looong hours with one other student and a professor studying Spanish. Walk back with my new friends Caleb, Charissa, Alyssa, Josh, and Rachel (the group varies a lot and also includes Paul, but he’s not new). Stop halfway to eat a trit, change money, lollygag, etc. Talk about all the things we are learning, mostly in Spanglish. (That’s the verdad and you sabes!) Take the bus from LASP alllll the way up the hill to my house. Drink coffee or hot chocolate with my family. Eat some sweet comida and watch Bonanza in Spanish with my host dad. Work on homework. Skype or check facebook. Bed on the top bunk around 10 or earlier. And repeat.
That stays pretty consistent during the week with random beach or study excursions on the weekend. And then all of this will change in two weeks and I’ll have a completely different routine. Woohoo! I love it here.
Ok here are some pictures and then I’m out.
Hasta luego e’erbawdy.