It has now been almost TWO weeks since I’ve came from Costa Rica. Two weeks ago, I was in a different country, with people who I had never even met in my life. It’s crazy how time flies! I am SO honored that I was chosen to take the trip to Costa Rica. I can honestly say, the trip has dramatically changed my view in life. I was able to gain not only physical but also mental strength. In addition, I was able to do MANY things out of my comfort zone.

About 3 days into the trip, we hiked to a beautiful waterfall. Now hiking isn’t my type of thing but I was open to do it. Little did I know, how crazy scary and dangerous it was. Hiking down to the waterfall, I felt like I was in a movie because the hike was such an adventure. Every step I slid on the mug because it was so wet and sticky. There was also a time where I almost broke down in tears because I had to cross on a pah that was so high and I have a fear of heights.

Once I reached the waterfall, as I was just about to dip m y feet in the water, I stubbed my toe against a rock and my whole to nail lifted. I didn’t notice at first until I looked down and noticed a stream of blood on the ground. I then started to feel my whole foot hurt. Seconds later I started to feel my toe sting. I was able to get to one of the leaders and tell them about my foot. I then hiked BACK up with a RIPPED off toenail.

Honestly, I am happy that I went through that pain because it greatened my strength and also, who else can share a story about their toenail being ripped off in Costa Rica?

Staying with my homestay family made me SO much more appreciative for what I have. The conditions that my host family lived in were drastically different from the conditions I live in but I was not as disturbed by them as I thought I would be. Once I arrived at my homestay, it was easy for me to settle in and I instantly adapted to the family’s way of living. My host family was also extremely nice and welcoming. They made sure I was comfortable and was enjoying my stay. I especially enjoyed my family because they reminded me of my own family. I remember on the first night I arrived, there was a spider climbing down the wall and I looked up to a nest of spiders right above my bed. My Walking Tree buddy explained to them my fear of spiders and the next day, all the spiders were gone. That one little act showed that the family cared about my stay.

Everyone in the village was extremely welcoming. Everyone was so welcoming and kind. I felt like I joined a little family. It was amazing how closely everyone within the village were. They would live MILES apart but still know each other and know where each other lives. Staying in the community showed me how a community is suppose to be. They showed that no matter what happens, they will always stick together. I also learned the importance of family because no matter what, anything can happen to the one you love so I am now very appreciative of everyone in my life. My trip to Costa Rica was very eye opening for me and I wouldn’t have traded my ticket for the world! Thank you Wandering Scholars!