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The McDermott Scholars Award covers all expenses of a superb four-year academic education at The University of Texas at Dallas, in concert with a diverse array of intensive extracurricular experiences, including internships, travel, and cultural enrichment.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

¡Hasta Luego Costa Rica!

Some places people travel are life-changing. For me, Costa Rica has been life improving. Two months of Spanish language courses, two months of weekend travels, two months of living with a Costa Rican family, and two months of planning my days according to what I intrinsically had a desire to do most certainly set my daily routine on a delightful path. It’s difficult not to make the most of each day when my host mother cooked delicious food and then asked me at each meal what I did yesterday, how I liked it, and what I was planning on doing today.
My meal-time musings ended up taking me to a couple beaches and beautiful mountain sights. It turns out a on the southern tip of the Peninsula of Nicoya there is a beach town that reminds me of a neighborhood that could be found in Austin. Organic food and live music in a town set in between three waterfalls and wide stretches of beach. When I made my way to mountain landmarks, with bus rides were reminiscent of roller coasters, I could not help but marvel at the landscape. A striking attraction is called Rio Celeste, a river on the side of a volcano with minerals that turn the water opaque blue. Hiking a progressively harder trail leads to waterfalls and hot springs. It’s not every day the social norm is to strip down to a swimsuit, relax in a hot spring, and talk to traveling Spaniards, Germans, Americans, and Costa Ricans about their travels.
Many things I encountered would not constitute a typical day back in the States. Many more can in fact be replicated once I return but I’ve come to associate with Costa Rica. I will miss winding bus rides through the mountains, spinning classes in Spanish, the occasional “tranquila mi amor” when I am unsure of what to do, the delicious coffee, the delicious food, the helpful strangers, and most of all the “Pura Vida” attitude.
So, I will fight the urge to perpetually live in paradise and make it to my retun flight home. This will not be easy, and I can only console myself in saying “Hasta luego Costa Rica! Yo regresar√©.”

(The picture is at Rio Celeste.)

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