Alright, so I feel like I have been painting a beautiful picture for you guys since I’ve been here, but I think it’s about time to give you some real information. Don’t get me wrong, this place is amazing; but there is an indescribable strength it takes to live in a foreign country for such a long period of time that they simply fail to mention in the beautiful brochures. After about two to three weeks here, I believe I went through what they call here “choque cultural.” To describe this in plain terms, it’s when you hate everything and anything about living in a foreign country. Every day for about a week, I woke up annoyed and frustrated for numerous things:
My pillow (singular) is hard as a rock, my bed is small, I have to go to sleep listening to some type of lizard crawling across my metal roof, it’s hot, it’s cold, there’s no air conditioning, took me two weeks to figure out how to use the hot water, I live next to a woman with six chiguagua who lives next to a man who owns a rooster, I get to wake up to a symphony of all the animals put together, everyone wakes up at like 5:30 am here, the food portions are too big, they get mad at me when I waste food, I have to walk 20 minutes to school, I don’t have a car to get anywhere, I have too much homework that all consists of reading in a language that I can’t understand, I have no personality in this language because I have the vocabulary of a ten year old boy, I can’t wear my sweatpants to class because it’s “inappropriate,” it rains every day because it’s “winter” here, it won’t stop raining…
You get the picture.
When I decided to study abroad, I had no idea exactly how difficult it would be. No one prepares you for how hard this journey actually is. Getting used to basically everything, because EVERYTHING is different. I think it’s the little things that bothered me the most, like not being able to flush toilet paper… yeah, ew.
But things are getting better. I’m starting to accustom myself to everything, and my Spanish is getting better. I feel more comfortable talking to everyone, and I now have Costa Rican friends.:) It’s awesome. However, I still miss home. The food. My family. My friends. My boyfriend! But I have to remind myself every once in a while that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and to open my eyes to take in all the beauty that’s surrounding me. I am basically in a tropical paradise free to do whatever, whenever I want. (as long as I get my homework done 😉 ) <– for my mother.
However, I have noticed one thing that I would change if I could do this whole thing over again. I think I would enroll in a program that had some type of student house facility, dorm, or apartment with other students. Don’t get me wrong, having 3 meals a day cooked for me, room cleaned, laundry done.. is amazing. But there are a lot of times, I get out of class, and unless I go to the gym, I don’t interact with anyone other than my family at night if that. So if I could have my way, I would put myself into a more social setting so I could meet more people and work on my Spanish at the same time.
Just a thought.
Thanks for listening to my complaints. That is all.