As our time continues to wind down, I find myself reflecting more and more on my adventures in Costa Rica. As each event comes racing back to mind, I can’t help but to remember when my dad dropped me off in the Columbus airport, handed me some money, gave me a hug and told me that he loved me and was proud of me. As I pretended not to have tears in my eyes or want to drive right home and not get on the plane, I stepped through the metal detector, grabbed a last cup of Starbucks and headed to my plane to embark on my adventure abroad.
What a quick trip, it seemed. Soon I was arriving at my first homestay. With little Spanish, an upset stomach and a pounding headache from nerves, I stepped inside and met my new family in Curridabat. We had our ups and downs and my Spanish got better and better. I settled into a routine and before long, I headed to Nicaragua for the trip of a lifetime. Oh, how that trip impacted me. My little family was just what I needed in that moment and for that I cannot be more thankful. Soon, our time in San Jose wound down and the Pitzer clan headed to Panama for vacation… I mean class. What a fun adventure that was, jellyfish stings and all! So many awesome memories from that trip: my very first sloth encounter, bioluminescence, and the best snorkeling of my life.
As we began the second part of our trip and headed to our new homestays, I remember being so excited to meet my new family. I received most precious letter and picture from them and I knew I was going to love them. I was so right. After being here for 2.5 months, I can safely say that this will be one of the hardest goodbyes. My three sisters and mom and dad have made me feel like a part of their family. They have loved me, fed me and taken care of me when I was ill. They have taken me to a pig roast, a family birthday party, to the beach, to a pool, to church every Sunday, to the hospital in San Isidro when my dad was sick, to work in the kitchen at the church as well as to visit our various neighbors. Yet again, I am blown away and feel so blessed that these people have not only invited me into their home but also into their lives.
As I continue to scramble to finish all of my work before their deadlines, I am going to try my hardest to appreciate all that is here. This family will forever feel like a branch of my own family and I hope one day, they can meet my real family. I am so lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life. Thank you to each and every one of you!
Stay tuned for the next update: Lessons learned abroad!