Hola! This summer I traveled to the great lands of Costa Rica. This was a trip affiliated with my school’s Spanish department. I believe that fate works in mysterious ways, especially presenting itself in the form of signs. There are signs everywhere for people to see and interpret. These signs are placed in our paths to lead us in the direction of who we are to become in the future. A sign that fate put in my path was this opportunity to journey to Costa Rica
This trip was a chance for me to learn a new culture, make new friends, zip line over the canopies of a rainforest, climb up an active volcano, and most importantly it was a chance for me to get to know the local Ticos (Costa Ricans) and to complete our service project there in Turrialba, Costa Rica! The community service project was to help create a small biblioteca (library) for an escuelita (little school) named Carmen Lyra. Most of the money we raised went to nuevos libros (new books), paint, utensils, and to a man whom we hired to put up the electricity and a roof cover for the room. We worked very hard and for hours at a time but one of the greatest things about the week we worked there, was the fact that the students were still in school.
The kids were adorable, they loved watching us work, listening to us talk in English, and especially loved it when we played with them. Some of the children even skipped almuerzo (lunch) just to come talk with us or to watch us work on their library. Sometimes it was hard to keep working all the time because all we would want to do was play futbol (soccer) with the students. The great thing about the children was just how gracious and giving they were all the time, they were thankful for everything that they had even though their school had so little. They were just grateful to go to school and be given the opportunity to learn every day.
We were the first gringos, foreigners, which these young Ticos (Costa Ricans) had ever seen. I am glad that we were the first gringos able to get to know these children so now they can grow up with a good outlook on other gringos and realize that there are some people who really do care. This caring issue was a big mystery for the teachers as well, the question of why we were there helping them in the first place. They couldn’t believe us, as young adults, would want to come to Coast Rica, of all places, to help out their school just because we wanted to, without any reward. What they didn’t understand was that seeing those kids’ faces and being their friends, was all that we wanted in return; just the knowledge that we made an impact on their lives, and helped somebody.
If Fate had never placed this opportunity in front of me I would have never been able to experience the satisfactory feeling one gets by helping others. This trip has truly opened up many more doors for me in the future, and has made me want to help even more people when I go to college. I hope to find more signs like this one, to lead me in my chosen path of helping others.
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