Pesos in my pockets
I cannot believe it has been almost 2 months since I left my home in Buenos Aires, Argentina. We often hear people use the term “culture shock” when they visit a foreign country–they feel out of place upon being exposed to different food, distinct customs, and a whole new way of life. Well, let me tell you…”reverse culture shock” is also a thing. While I could not have been happier to step off the plane in good ole California, the first couple weeks home were challenging to say the least. I’d still have the urge to speak Spanish in public places and restaurants, I couldn’t go anywhere without finding pesos in my pockets (of course, they cannot be exchanged for US dollars…yay!), and I had the feeling that any day I would be jumping on a plane headed back to BA.
That being said, I have thoroughly enjoyed my holiday break back in the U.S.A. I spent Thanksgiving week in Hawaii with my whole family, visited my younger sister at Syracuse University, made it back to Mount St. James to say hi to friends right before the onslaught of finals, woke up at the crack of dawn to watch the New Year’s Rose Parade in Pasadena, California, and took a family road trip to the gorgeous Grand Canyon. (Side note: if you haven’t been to the huge hole in the ground that is the Grand Canyon, add it to your bucket list now!)
Of course, the best part of being home has been spending time with family/friends, playing with my dog, Pip, sitting on the couch, and binge watching TV. All in all, the US has treated me extremely well during this non-abroad segment of my year abroad. I may not say it enough but I LOVE AMERICA!
To the rainforest!
Now one week out from my next abroad adventure, I’m running around trying to find stylish zip-off field pants, snake boots, quick-dry T’s, headlamps, and insect repellent–and also wondering why I have not done ANY of this sooner! I kid you not, I’ve been to REI four times in the last two days.
Nevertheless, I am beyond excited for this upcoming semester in Costa Rica (formally called a semester in Tropical Disease, Environmental Change, and Human Health). I would say, “don’t let the title intimidate you,” but it intimidates me…haha. I haven’t taken a single science course since the end of sophomore year so here’s to me getting back into the rhythm of rigorous academic coursework. I am grateful for two things, however: 1. the science courses will be taught in English & 2. I will be learning in the beautiful rainforest accompanied by new friends and monkeys.
So, caio for now! Next time we talk I’ll have landed in the capital city, San Jose, and be living that ~pura vida~ life!
This break I learned…
1.) that the temperature of air increases 2 degrees centigrade for every thousand feet you descend…so while you need a large coat at the top of the Grand Canyon you’ll be wishing you were in shorts and a T at the bottom.
2.) how to find the apex of a curve and safely utilize the Anti-lock Break System (ABS) in a high performance vehicle. If you would like to learn more, visit the website for Bondurant School of High Performance Driving. Thanks for the Christmas present, Mom & Dad.