Monday, December 3, 2007

Saying Goodbye

With 5 days left in Costa Rica, I find myself experiencing a range of emotions. One on hand, I'm happy to get back to my family in the States, back to a comfortable bed and the ease of living on my own. On the other hand, I'm really going to miss the family that I've grown so close to over the past 4 months (and the warm weather and beautiful beaches).

I participated in a study-abroad homestay to Iceland in high school, and my 'real' family has hosted AFS Exchange students from all over the world. Sadly, I feel like I know how this story will end. We'll keep in great touch with our families the first few months we return. We'll miss them and reminisce on 'the good days in San Jose.' Then, communication will slow to only the occasional holiday or birthday call, and before you know it, the families we lived with and loved will just become a fond memory, a distant aspect of our past. As much as I hope this won't be the case, deep down I feel like it might be.

It's hard to believe that Saturday will be the last time that many of us see these family members and this country. Though I promise my host mom I will come back and visit one day, maybe for my honeymoon, a quote from Lost in Translation comes to mind: "Let's never come back here again because it will never be so much fun." With all the development that has happened in Costa Rica since the turn of the century, it's inevitable that this country will change even more by the time we will come back.

My advice to future students (or Costa Rica travellers):
Enjoy your time here. Every minute you spend wishing you were home is a minute you'll never have again to enjoy all that Costa Rica has to offer.
Appreciate the hardships of the country. You might complain from time to time, but be glad you were able to visit before Costa Rica became the next Miami. Appreciate all we have in the United States.
Spend time with your family. You're not a hassle to them; they do this because they like it, too. You can all learn from each other, and the more you talk with them, the better your Spanish will become.

Pura Vida!

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