This week's student blog post comes from Emily Price, student from Messiah College in Pennsylvania. Emily reflects on the moments that most touched her heart throughout the semester, those beautiful experiences which are most important to all of us in the end.
How do I describe my LASP Experience?
I could tell you about the gorgeous beaches or the grand volcanoes that I visited here in Costa Rica. Or about all the new Spanish words I have learned. Or about all the shocking and horrific things in the corrupt systems that exist in our world, systems that perpetuate injustice and hurt the majority of the people in the world. But more than anything, I want to tell you about how strangers opened their homes to me and became my family. I want to tell you about the joy I found in walking to class every day. I want to tell you how I have come to love and treasure the simple moments of my time here in Latin America.
1. Sitting in the kitchen spilling flour everywhere while helping my mother make bean and cheese empanadas
2. Missing the bus for the beach in Nicaragua and instead catching a ride in the back of the watermelon truck
3. Joking around with my host-brother for the hundredth time when he pretends to be sleeping
4. Walking through the streets of Costa Rica, and passing the same guard everyday who greets me with PURA VIDA!
5. Sitting in bed with my host-sister and mother having deep conversations about our life and faith and how everything is in “las manos de Dios”
6. Trying to find the words to explain the definition of “gringo” to my father
7. Playing school with little sister in Nicaragua by teaching her colors and numbers in Spanish
8. Walking outside my house every night to look up at the stars and the beautiful luna
9. Standing in front of the Hermanos en Cristo congregation in Nicaragua wanting to share my thanks, by saying we will never forget this experience. But instead stumbling over my Spanish and saying… “Nosotros olvidaremos esta experiencia” or “We will forget this experience” in front of the entire congregation. (I hope they understood, but at least now I have a good story to tell)
10. Not knowing why my family and I were skipping church and then finding out after two hours in the car that we were going to a strawberry festival
11. Arriving at my new home and meeting at least 30 members of my new family and friends because they are so excited to have me there.
12. Enjoying cafecito twice a day, just for the opportunity to drink delicious coffee and enjoy conversation with my family.
13. Falling asleep on the couch in the living room, as my family watches yet another Saprissa soccer game
14. Waking up in the morning to hearing my neighbor’s rooster crow, or my aunts chattering outside my window.
15. Sitting outside my house, talking with my aunts and family while trying to get a smile out of my little cousin
I do not know when it happened. But somehow, little by little, Latin America has stolen my heart. This place has become my home, my family, and my joy. I am truly overwhelmed by the love and generosity that has been showed to me. How am I ever going to leave???