Thursday, January 31, 2008

Costa Rica: Discovering Me

by Donna L. Watkins

I've finished three weeks of my time in Costa Rica and they should be the hardest of my nine week stay since I will soon leave for the jungle. I would say that 95% of this period of time has been very difficult.

© 2008 Kathy Pol - Donna In Her Element
The 5% of greatness lies in the people. My homestay family is very kind and gracious and everybody at the school has been wonderful. It's amazing how efficient the Costa Rican Language Academy is in a country said to move on Tico time, meaning slow and not punctual. (View my photos of school.)

That's not the case for the school. Everything is orderly and well administrated. The amazingly friendly staff make you feel like you are family and their only job is to help you with your stay in Costa Rica. They also contribute 3% of my tuition fees to fund social and environmental projects.

With all the greatness of the school, it didn't make it less of a challenge. The age groups range from teens to 70's and it's been quite obvious to me that my brain can no longer be categorized in the teen group. The emphasis on auditory learning has been a big challenge since I am a visual learner. In the evenings I spent plenty of time in the workbook and writing to integrate what was taught during the day.

Stepping into unknown territory will help you to discover more of who you are. This time has certainly done that. With all its challenges, with school being the least, I've discovered more about myself. To think, I'm only 1/3 of the way through this nine-week adventure.

I'm already assessing ways that I want life to be different when I return home. I know this trip is not happening just to prevent any more rheumatoid joint damage in the winter of Virginia. It has been specifically designed to make me aware of many things and to challenge me to make life choices based on the information and experiences I walk through while I am here.

Once I took that initial step of booking the flight back in September, it all began to evolve. The first step is always the hardest. I know that God has a challenge for each of us ... an adventure just waiting for your first step. You already know what it is. Maybe it's been buried away so long that it doesn't come to mind any more. If you get real quiet and close your eyes seeking to know what it is, I'm sure you'll discover a potential adventure of your own.

Tomorrow I will pack for my trip to the jungle. Although I can't imagine that being a challenge, I'm sure, life being as it is when we're out of our comfort zones, I'll find more discoveries about me. Venture out and make some discoveries of your own. There's an incredibly wonderful and amazing person inside that body. Don't let life get too normal!

View all Costa Rica photo albums.

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