This is Becca W, Valerie, and Zach checking in and writing their last entry from Costa Rica.
I (Becca) can't believe we are already in the final days of our Costa Rican experience! Reflecting on the past month makes me feel incredibly grateful for this opportunity. Being completely immersed in a culture very different from my own is extraordinarily eye-opening. My time in Costa Rica has made me appreciate the diversity and cultural sensitivity found within and between Latino populations. I learned an amazing amount about the Spanish language and the differences between dialects, slang, and common phrases. Of course, I also learned about the mental health system, as I blogged about this topic last week.
One of the most interesting experiences has been eating Costa Rican food. Although repetitive at times (rice & beans), meals are always flavorful and usually healthy. I am lucky that my Costa Rican mother taught me an especially tasty recipe for gallo pinto and various juices. I will certainly try to integrate some Costa Rican cuisine into my diet once we return to Boston!
Finally, I feel blessed to have traveled to Costa Rica with such a wonderful group of students. We have all grown during this trip, as friends and as learners. I am certain I have made life long friendships through this program and look forward to many more experiences with this talented group! See you soon, America! Pura vida!
Becca W, 3rd year PsyD, LMHP
Valerie here! Is it really time to start packing? This month was certainly quite full and filled with many different experiences. Just this morning my group took a tour of the Hospital Calderón Guardia. For me it was a tough experience to pass through hallways and waiting rooms bursting with patients waiting to be seen. I am thankful to know that it would be a different experience if I or a family member sought medical services in the U.S.
Reflecting upon my overall experience, what I will miss most from Costa Rica will be my host family. They have been so wonderful and welcoming towards me and have truly made this experience complete. They have helped me to improve my language skills and took the time to introduce me to different places in their homeland. So many of the Ticos I have met have been wonderfully welcoming and laid back. I will certainly miss the land of Pura Vida! What a wonderful trip it has been here! :)
Valerie, 2nd year MA Counseling, LMHP