For my community service, I cleaned the Ecomuseo in La Sierra with a few other people. Today, we finished our service early and my group ended up sitting around the table talking about the aspects of the Spanish and English language. While this was interesting, I did not want to waste the opportunity to hike and explore the surrounding forest! I ventured off down the trail, up old stone stairs, and back down the trail. Halfway through it started to pour and that enhanced the adventure. The views and sounds were perfect.
In my downtime (time not spent walking the town or researching), I love to sit on the balcony at the student house. I’ve done this every day, but I really started to think about my life in relation to my experiences here. Observing the area, I noticed the same cat make its third round looking for food or fun, lizards of some sort, climbing the fence, people walking and riding bikes, children playing soccer and games, and students playing instruments (at varying skill levels!). It is a very peaceful time for me and I started to realize that life is simpler here. Everything one needs is in walking distance. The sense of community is very strong here. Back home, some towns that do claim a sense of unity use that as their boosting point. In Las Juntas, and probably Costa Rica, strong communal ties are the norm- not something that’s rare. I am not looking forward to coming home to my long drives, traffic, large price tags, air pollution, lawn work, loud noises, bright lights, and poor produce. Pura Vida