Yesterday we left San Miguel and Turtle Trax, which was bittersweet. I am very grateful for the time I had there, as I learned so much and made memories that I will never forget. For me, the most impactful part of working with Turtle Trax was being exposed to the amazing, thoughtful NGO leaders and seeing how they address the problems they are passionate about (saving the sea turtles). This motivates me to think about the issues I am passionate about back home, and what can do to address them. The time I spent in San Miguel has helped me become more aware of myself/place in the world and the impact I currently and could potentially make. I already miss it so much.
Last night we arrived at our home stays and met our host families. My host is name Janette, and she is the sweetest person ever. She loves to chat and tell stories, and is always making sure everything is perfect for us. While she does speak a good amount of English, this has been an amazing opportunity to practice Spanish. I can already feel myself becoming more confident speaking Spanish, and the more conversations I have in Spanish the more I want to learn. My home stay experience thus far has pushed me out of my comfort zone, but definitely in a good way. It has also prompted me to think about my definition of “home”, and how that compares to Janette’s home I have been invited into. I think that “home” is not a place, but rather a feeling you get when you feel you belong and are fully comfortable being yourself. With that being said, I am excited to learn more about what the idea of “home” means to people here in Costa Rica, and I am going to try to soak up as much as I can on these final days of this trip.