If I had to chose one word to describe my experience in Costa Rica it would most definitely be MEMORABLE! Wow, I can not believe the trip is already over. It seems just like yesterday I was boarding the plane to San Jose. I must say ten days was just not enough.

The best part of my trip would definitely be the time spent with my host family. At first I was extremely nervous about meeting the family for the first time. Soon after I met them we began to click and connect on so many levels. Of course they knew very little English but we did not let our language differences be the barrier of communication.

I definitely had the best family, they were so loving and thoughtful. I felt like my host mom was the back bone of the family. She did everything from cleaning and cooking, to making sure kids were happy at all times. She always had a smile on her face and that’s what I loved about her. Also what I found to be so cute was how my mom would speak to my dad. She would always address my dad by “Mi Amor” which means “my love”. My parents were together for over 35 years.

San Salvador was the village we stayed in with our families. The place was so beautiful and peaceful, it definitely gave a relaxed vibe. I could definitely picture myself living there in the future. Something I noticed while staying in the village, and will forever cherish, was how content the people were there. They didn’t care about having the latest technology or the hottest clothes. As long as they had each other, nothing else mattered. I respect that a lot because in America we are very materialistic. We tend to believe that these material things are our necessities and we cannot live without them. I have realized that we can live without them. If the people in Costa Rica can do it and be happy so can we! All you is need a great support system, your family, to be happy.

When I look back on my journey I feel so grateful and blessed to have been a part of it. Thank you Wandering Scholar for this amazing opportunity! read more →

Marina's Trip

The day is finally here. Today I will be traveling to the beautiful country of Costa Rica for ten days. There are so many emotions going on so I thought I will share them here on my blog. 

I keep thinking about my potential host family. I wonder if its a large or small family. I wonder if they have kids and, if so, will the kids accept me? I know in the beginning it will be awkward but I hope as the days pass they warm up to me. With all that in mind I took a lot of time thinking of a great gift for the family.  So for my home stay gift I got knitted bracelets, pens, and a huge Philadelphia mug. I bought a reusable bag with flowers on it  to put everything in. I know Costa Rica is a very green place so I thought that would be a nice touch. Also the best part of the gift are the plain white t-shirts I bought so we can tie dye them! I love tie dying shirts so I thought that would be a great arts & crafts activity to do with my home stay family. Although I did not get a chance to make the scrap book, I plan to finish it in the future then mail it to them.

 I hope during my stay I create everlasting friendships with my family so we can continue communicating when I leave. I just want this to be a great and memorable experience. 

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Marina's Trip

In less than 9 days I will be traveling to the beautiful land of Costa Rica. As I anxiously await for departure, I still have several important duties to be handled. One being my documentation project. During this trip I will record parts of  my experience with my camera. Then with the recordings, I will create a video diary.

My plan for this video diary is to capture my before, during, and after experience. The primary goal is to show my growth as an individual and how it has evolved overtime. This week I had the chance to speak to my mentor Caitlin and we discussed my project in more depth. I explained to Caitlin how I wanted my video diary to be a reflection of my journey as well. So she suggested I create my own questions to ask before and after my trip. Caitlin also sent me a set a questions to help for my reflection segment. Caitlin is an experienced traveler who led a group of students to Mongolia. She was such a big help in the process. I know with out doubt I am on the right track for my documentation project. Thank you Caitlin!

This is my first blog, there will definitely be more on the way! Please feel free to add any comments, feedback is always welcomed and appreciated.

Pura Vida!

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