Posted on August 18,2011 by latinomentalhealth

This past weekend a few of us had the pleasure of visiting Manuel Antonio National Park on the southern Pacific coast. We had the less fortunate pleasure of renting a GPS that had Costa Rican tourism advertisements built into the system. For example: did you know that the oil from the African Palm Tree can be used to make margarine, industrial lubricants and makeup? This fact and many more were continuously spewed to us as we made the three hour journey to/from La Guacima. All joking aside, Manuel Antonio is a beautiful set of beaches that stretch over light brown sand and turquoise water and I highly recommend everyone visit it on their next trip to Costa Rica.

We're in our final week at El Rancho and are finalizing our respective language needs. I have started to tackle the infamous “subjunctive” tense and am quite grateful to have a knowledgeable and patient instructor. I can truly say that I have never been more comfortable speaking and writing Spanish than in all of my previous years of schooling. Trust me, Sallie Mae will confirm that I've historically been a big fan of shelling out tuition money for language instruction.

In our last few days in Costa Rica it seems to be apparent that everyone has bittersweet feelings about transitioning back to the States. I feel that I have so much more to learn lingually and that many of the nuances of Central American culture has yet to become apparent to me. However, all things must come to an end, and our summer immersion is no different.

I leave you and Costa Rica with a toast, so raise your glasses of Imperial (Costa Rica's token beer) if you have them:

Here's to new experiences and lasting friendships. “Pura Vida” Costa Rica.