(February 27th - March 1st)
We're returning back from our trip to Monte Verde this weekend! Also known as Costa Rica's Cloud Forest. This is a small get-away in the rainforest where half of our group took a zip-lining canopy tour, while the other half went hiking for the day. I volunteered myself to the hiking group since I had already experienced the zipline tour for free on a previous weekend. We spent the day exploring huge trees taller than my camera lends could scope, different creeks and mosses at the National Park, and stopped for a loaf of bread and peanut butter for lunch. After the long day of sweat and exercise, we gathered in the common place on some bean bag chairs for some jenga, spoons, and Madagascar in Español!! We met some German students over breakfast and eventually made our way back to San Jose the next day.
It's been a crazy past few weeks with preparing for midterms, Nicaragua, and then parents coming. I'm loving all of my classes but dang do they love some in- and out-of-class participation. (and lots of it!) I'm finding myself with a good amount of free time on the weekends but it quickly becomes full of taxi's to the bus station, hiking and/or beaching, late night conversations, and extremely tired Sunday nights. So I guess you could say the lack of homework enthusiasm is explained by all of those contributing factors.
At the moment, i'm currently doing some soul searching. I don't even know what that really means, but I hear every study abroad student goes through it at some point and if I had to put what i'm feeling into words, i'd say that pretty much sums it up. The past 2 months have been extremely eye opening as i've met completely new people from different places with different ideas and different backgrounds. Each and every one of my new friends has taught me something or questioned something inside of myself that I am extremely grateful for. I never realized how little I know, and how much I have left to experience and learn. One of my craziest lessons that I always am continuing to learn, is that usually when I feel completely certain and confident in an area, I am completely and most certainly wrong--which, thank God people still love you when you're wrong, because that seems to be the only way I learn anything. I will always continue to cherish those friends who lay their hand on your shoulder, look you in the eyes with a soft smile, and say "friend, I can teach you something." Isn't that what friends are for? To give and take from each other those experiences and backgrounds that contribute to a greater understanding. There are places that I will never be, things that I will never see, opportunities that I will never explore, but nothing feels better than someone who has been there, to sit you down and tell you that you absolutely have no idea what you're talking about- but friend, I will take you there. I will share with you what i've learned. I will trade my words for yours and together we can create something new. I'll admit that I might sound a little crazy, or as someone typing over their head right now, but i'll be the first to say that I'm glad my thoughts aren't written in stone on my chest because they have been shattered repeatedly as my ideas have been bent, expressed and inwardly depressed, reshaped, revamped, and retyped. I guess that's mainly what learning and being in college in your early 20's is all about though.
As many papers I type, articles I read, and assignments that I write, it's the people that have the biggest influence on my learning here and to sum up the past couple weeks that I haven't blo gged, it's been full of conversation. Conversation and new ideas.
“We are the only living things that have conversations, as far as we know. When you have conversation you never know what’s going to come out of your mouth or someone else’s mouth.” -Grace Lee Boggs (talking about how powerful conversation is in her movie "American Revolutionary" which I highly recommend!!)
Conversation is one of the most beneficial tools we have in learning, and it has been extremely powerful for me, in my "soul searching" as I call it. Meaningful as well as simple conversation, with my friends from home, my family, my friends in Costa Rica, my Tiko family, everyone I encounter. Conversation that gives and takes and creates. Forewarning though- take what I say in conversation with a grain of salt, because like I said- I'm learning that I actually know very little.
One person I've forgotten in this back and forth communication is myself. I've forgotten to take the time to pause and look into myself and to process who I am and where I'm going with all of this. So, from here on out I hope to do that. To give, and take, and create with "me". With all of the adventures recently i've forgotten those things that I love to do, the books I put down, the prayers I quit writing, the conversations I paused.
This is where I'm at, growth from all angles and learning how to balance it both inwardly and outwardly. Wish me luck!