Chao for Now

Bye bye blog:
Monday our last week began.
Tomorrow I get on a plane to go home.
I have learned many things here in Costa Rica. I’m not gonna try to share all these lessons here but I’ll summarize a few. This post may be scattered and weakly organized but its just some thoughts reflecting.
One thing I don’t even need to tell you is that Blogging is not my calling.
I thoroughly enjoy the act of writing out thoughts and memories. This process allows me to identify my feeling and perspective. Self-evaluation and logged memories are just a bonus. So forgive me for such few posts. Attribute it to me “ being fully engaged where I am” or to a lack of motivation. Regardless I think In the future I’ll possibly write on occasion, but don’t have any current plans to consistently blog. I eagerly anticipate chances to share with anyone who asks about Costa Rica, Ticos, SOL, Nicaragua, or the little dog named Chuchis who joined us for classes. However, at this point, my favorite manner to exchange memories and experiences remains face to face conversations.   (Maybe even over a cup of fresh drip Costa Rican coffee by chorreador)
Going into this trip I was at a point of near resentment for social
media and the excess use of cellphones, digital technology, the internet. Regarding this topic, my opinion has changed. Having a Spanish dictionary on my phone is the best!!! I honestly didn’t need the paperback one I brought. The one on the phone is not only more convenient but more extensive. I also have the added bonus of having an ongoing note in my phone with new vocabulary.
Other things I’ve used my phone for include lists of recommendations for food, excursions, souvenirs; bus schedules/ routes; locations; hostels; coffee etc. It’s all right there portable and accessible. My phone has been invaluable as a map and research tool. I have great admiration for the travelers before me who had paper maps and maybe landlines to confirm reservations, book hostels and get across cities let alone countries.
In addition, it’s been a blessing to have music available for the long rides across the country. My phone and laptop have been helpful for Skype, for class assignments, and Netflix. Facebook and Instagram are the main ways I communicate with friends back in the states. I haven’t had constant conversations that keep my face on my phone. However, I’ve been able to maintain friendships and easily talk to my family. And of course photos. I did not bring a camera to Costa Rica just my cell phone. Again it’s light and has a water proof case and fits in my little fanny pack. The pictures others have gotten with cameras are super nice, but for me, my smart phones camera is sufficient.
One thing I didn’t do was purchase a card to have internet outside WiFi. That would be nice especially if I wasn’t with others who do have roaming internet.
 I say all this to explain the evolution of my sentiment towards smartphones.
When traveling size and weight of your possessions matter. My appreciation for the portability and extent of uses for a cellphone is huge at this moment.
On the other hand, I almost always have a book with me or my journal. I love turning the pages and living a story. Likewise putting ink on paper is more my style for logging adventures than a keyboard. A keyboard may be faster but maybe the beauty of the journal is that you have to go slow enough to bring the pen across the page.
Another thing I’ve learned is that I love photos but photography isn’t my passion. Here I have taken an abundance of photos. I’ve found Ibut prefer to take a few good ones or many decent ones rather than laboring over the perfect shot. Though I’ll praise the work of others and greatly enjoy looking at the artistic photography. I especially enjoy taking photos to capture a memory and then painting the still frame to bring it back to life.
My love of agriculture has been set afire In Costa Rica. Beautiful hills of cartago to palm trees and coffee farms and brilliant fences made from living trees. Flowers. Forrest’s. Trees to climb and hammock in and get fruit from. Oh the delicious fruit. The many farms that we see traveling in a bus across the country set me dreaming about what I want to do. I may even study agriculture economics for a master. To be determined .
I have lived practically dairy free and confirmed its best for my body.
Also, have done a good amount of self research on veganism and vegetarianism. Several solmates are vegetarian and each has a slightly different reason. Another solmate is living ‘zero waste’ this year. All of this has led to many thoughts about the relationships of sustainability, economy, ecosystem, environment, and health.  These themes I’ve discussed with others here and done some independent study. Some conclusions I’ve made I’ve been unable to apply or have yet to be made.
At the end of this journey, I feel more informed, educated and self-aware.

Through my study abroad experience I learned about myself. I know now my expectations for self and others. How I learn and process and prefer. How complex and truly individual each other are .

I can’t tell you my favorite food, my favorite experience, my favorite thing to do. However, for certain, I can say this trip has been one of my favorite life experiences so far.
Of course, I’ve learned and practiced quite a bit of Spanish.
The time has come to take these next 5 days to a victory lap. To celebrate and say goodbye. To prepare for the  process of returning and learning there for a time. I know I’m certainly not done gleaning from this rich experience.  I’ll greatly miss seeing the world through the lens of Spanish. That’s okay though. Because things that are missed made an impact. The big impacts don’t go unnoticed
‘Til next time , Chao y pura vida.

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