Wow! It’s so crazy how time flies by! Just little over a month ago I was enjoying the Costa Rican Lifestyle. Now I’m back home doing the same crazy routine of working and getting prepared for school.
Before the trip, I never thought that going to another country would change my point of views for the rest of my life. Once I arrived in the village of San Salvador, I was worried about the condition of the home were I stayed in but the people were so loving and caring, the conditions of my host family’s house did not matter one bit after. Since i’ve got back home, I keep on referencing Costa Rica because the experience was SO incredible!
Since the trip, I have become more grateful of my family because I know they will always be there for me no matter what. I also really appreciate my home and all that I have in life. Back in Costa Rica, the people in the village were very appreciative of their family. They showed me that family will always be around no matter what the circumstances are.
What inspired me the most while I was in Costa Rica was seeing how happy the people were. Everyone in the village got along and they just appreciate life so much. They appreciate every little thing they have, which I think is drastically different from what I have.
My favorite memory in Costa Rica was surfing. We had so much fun that I don’t think anyone took pictures. I really miss my host family because they always kept a smile on my face. They really made me feel like I was part of their family.
Once I got back home, it was surprisingly really easy for me to adapt back to everything. I think that was because I was kind of looking forward to my bed where I didn’t have to worry about any insects crawling over me in the middle of the night.
Overall, this trip was an AMAZING experience and if I had the opportunity to do it again, I TOTALLY would. read more →

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! read more →

Today was a VERY busy day. Most people who are departing from a trip that is almost two weeks would probably spend their time saying goodbye to close family BUT I went some last minute shopping today. I feel very accomplished and although I didn’t get to say goodbye to my nana, I am happy that my To Do list before I leave is completed.

With only a couple of hours until getting on my flight and departing for Costa Rica, I am excited, nervous, and anxious all at once. I super excited to meet everyone that I will be traveling with. I’m really nervous about the plane ride considering this is going to be my first time in a plane let alone an airport.

A lot is going through my head both good and bad. I definitely will miss my family because they are a big part of my life. I will also miss my bed, my mom’s food and oh… work! I know it may seem weird that I’m going to miss work but I love my job and the people that work there. I am really looking forward to starting my service project and learning new things! I think the topic I chose to do my documentation project on is very intriguing to me because I am a foodaholic. I also can’t wait to meet my host family…I hope they like my gift!

I am really proud that all my hardwork for becoming a Wandering Scholar is finally going to pay off while I am on this trip. All the research and blog post were worth completing. Now, my adventure can begin! read more →

With just three days until my trip, I realized I have A LOT of uncompleted task on my to do list. I have everything that I need, I just need to start packing! I’ve been really paranoid about leaving stuff behind because once it’s left, I can’t travel 2386.2 miles to get it! The hardest thing to leave behind is my family. Considering that this is my first time taking a plane and traveling out of the country, I am VERY nervous. I always usually count on my family to be there for me whenever I’m worried or anything. My family means the world to me and I’m a little scared to travel so far away from home away for them. I wish I could pack them in my suitcase!

Along with the physical things to leave, I also want to leave some aspects of my personality. I want to leave my shy character behind. I know that I am flying over 2000 miles away from home with a group of people I never met in my life but I need to be open to learning about them and also listen to them. I am a very shy person but once one gets to know me, I am super talkative and hyper. I hope to take my outgoing personality. I know there will be new things to try and people to talk to and I want to be open to do and try new things.

So far as my sense of style, I looked up Costa Rican style, and I am pretty confident that I will fit in. Their Sense of style isn’t that distinct from the way Americans dress but every country even towns have their own style. I don’t think I’d feel comfortable wearing a Red Sox tee shirt in Costa Rica only because I feel like that would definitely make me stand out as a foreigner. I have one special bracelet that was given to me by my grandmother and I hope to share the history of the bracelet with my host family. It is a very special bracelet and has a very passionate story behind how I got it as a gift. read more →

Politics affect everything in our daily lives. They are the driving force in how society, economy, and everything flows. Considering that I am going to visit this gorgeous, breathtaking country, I was curious about any ongoing political events in the BEAUTIFUL Costa Rica.

After looking through some ongoing events, the article about Costa Rica providing aid for African migrants caught my attention.

Back in about April , Costa Rica prevented  hundreds of undocumented migrants from entering the country. They finally granted authorization for migrants to enter and be accepted into shelters. These migrants, majority being African and some coming from Dominican Republic, demanded permission to leave Costa Rica’s south border town. They had been repressed in continuing their journey through Mexico and Central America.  As the article, Blocked African migrants finally move to C. Rica,  states, “More than 600 irregular migrants…agreed to be peacefully transported to Campo Ferial in Paso Canoas”. Migrants were taken to the shelters and were interviewed and medically checked up before they were transferred to the southern towns of Rio Cio and Buenos Aries. After about 3,000 Cuban migrants  attempted  to cross,   both Costa Rica and Nicaragua obstructed entry of migrants without visas to prevent the number of Cubans traveling to the U.S.

 Although the title of this article highlights African migrants, the article’s major fixate on the Cuban migrants.

Similar to the focus of this article, CNN presented a more particular article,  Bound for U.S., Cuban migrants are stuck in Central America, on the Cuban migrants. The article opens with the introduction of Pavel Fernandez, a Cuban migrant  hoping to migrate to the U.S. Cuban migrants were stuck at Panama’s Northern border with Costa Rica where some of them were able to take a flight to Mexico. The article continues on how the number of Cuban migrants double up every year.  This article’s essential focus was on the process of Cubans settling into the shelters and their struggles migrating to their destination.

Another article, 600 US-bound Africans Stranded in Costa Rica After Officials Block Route focused on the African migrants. More than 600 Africans weren’t being permitted to enter Costa Rica to continue their journey to U.S. There was a build up of migrants in the border town Paso Canoas. Legally, Costa Rica can only hold migrants for 30 days where the government would either deport or release them. Similar to the previous articles, this article ends with details of 3,000 Cubans also not being accepted for entrance.

The last article  U.S. Pays to Feed and Shelter Cuban Migrants Stranded in Costa Rica, discuss how the U.S spend 1 million dollars to help feed migrants in the shelters. The article focused on Cubans attempting to migrate. The Costa Rican government was forced to open 29 shelters in schools, fire stations and other locations to provided safety for Cubans. Costa Rica’s former minister stated that they have spent 3 million dollars housing the Cuban migrants. This crisis had been using up Costa Rica’s resources. Many of the shelters were shut down as Cuban migrants carried on with their journey. Similar to the previous articles, this mentioned about  the Cuban migrants. This article differs from the previous two because the essential point was about the expenses of the shelters and how the U.S. was involved in helping with the migrate crisis.

I was really fascinated on how much aid Costa Rica provided for the migrants. What caught most of my attention was how much media publicized the Cuban migrants but not much for  the African or Dominican and other migrants. Every article that I looked at always mentioned or ended with the mentioning of Cuban migrants.

 Sources

https://www.yahoo.com/news/blocked-african-migrants-finally-move-c-rica-shelter-231915025.html

 

http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/24/americas/cuban-migrant-crisis/

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/22/600-us-bound-africans-stranded-costa-rica-block-migration-route

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/05/world/americas/us-pays-to-feed-and-shelter-cuban-migrants-in-costa-rica.html?_r=0

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