Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Spring 2015: We've only just begun...

Our first student blog post of Spring 2015 comes to us from Jon Thornton. Jon is a Junior at Wheaton College in Illinois, studying Communications and Anthropology.

The beautiful opportunity to experience a new culture, to learn from a new perspective; just two weeks in San José and we LASPers are settling in poco a poco.
    The city of San José is located in the Central Valley of Costa Rica, a highly elevated area of the country surrounded by mountains and volcanoes. In other words, the views are striking. Taking the bus home, one might look over a downward slope of red, green, and grey-roofed homes to see a distant mountain shrouded in clouds. However, one may also struggle trying to explain this same view in Spanish. Language, basic communication even, has been a consistent challenge. If Spanish is the language of love (as so many ticos insist), then we LASPers have just re-entered the awkward, sometimes-daunting phase of pre-teen romance.
Our group is eleven strong with the women leading the men by one (6 women; 5 men). We come from schools and universities all across North America, from the Southeast of the United States to the Northwest of Canada. With majors ranging from Spanish to Biology to Religious Studies to International Politics, our small group is about as interdisciplinary as a group of eleven can be. Each person brings her own context into conversations to make the learning process very interesting. Also, we like each other, which helps a lot.
     However, it is not simple to describe in a blog post the new relationships, new information, new understandings, etc. that come with this type of “abroad” experience. Gallo pinto, its taste and its importance, can’t fully be described in a sentence or two. The lessons we are learning through dialogue with our Costa Rican friends and family and professors is difficult to relay in text without omitting a great amount of valuable detail (please ask us about these lessons). What can be said is this: the study of Latin America and of Spanish challenges us, as North Americans, to think outside our own context. It forces us to pursue the intricacies of our own life actions and their impact of the world at large.
     This is the beginning of a semester we all know will pass too quickly. As relationships with our families deepen and opportunities for cross-cultural dialogue increase, we pray that we would be receptive to the truths God reveals. Please think of and pray for us as often as you can, so that this semester would be a reflection of God’s glory. More to come…. LASPers Spring 2015

No comments:

Post a Comment