Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I am going to miss all the things, I never thought I would miss.

As the semester comes to a close, I have been asked to reflect on my experience here in a number of different ways. It seems as it has been a never ending stream of questions about what I learning from the culture and what I learned about myself, and this is what I have decided. I am going to miss all the little things I never though I would miss because I never knew it would be the little things that taught me the most. It is not any of our group trips that stick out in my mind, or nights out with friends, instead the things that stick out in my head as my favorite memories in Costa Rica are moments with my family. As much as I do not want to admit it, I will miss my two year old Tico brother jumping into my arms when I get home from school everyday, or walking to the grocery store with my Tica sister to get something my mom needs to cook dinner. I will miss waking up to the sound of my abuela’s voice singing along with the Mariachi music on the radio. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to study abroad and know that it is something that has changed the person I am for the better. I can say with confidence that I experienced as much as I could with my time here. Like all study abroad experiences, mine has had its ups and downs. I have realized who I care about the most by who I miss the most. I am beyond excited about returning to what we now refer to as our “real lives” but this does not mean that I will not miss being here. Three and a half months ago, I wrote a blog about my first impressions of Costa Rica and in it I included a quote someone gave me before I left for this adventure.

“The is one purpose in life and one only: to bear witness to and understand as much as possible to the complexity of the world – its beauty, its mystery, its riddles. The more you understand the more you look, the greater is your enjoyment of life and your sense of peace. That’s all there is to it. If an activity is not grounded in ‘to love’ or ‘to learn’ it does not have value.”

I can say with confidence that this purpose has been fulfilled with this trip and that it has had value. I have loved and I have learned more than I ever thought possible.
- Cullen Pitler

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