Costa Rica Adventurer: A Travelling Womanists Protege Prepares for

Our Guest blogger for this week is Ms. Ayodele Oti.  Check her blog in our blogroll and make sure to follow her as she explores a wonderful place in Central America.  This is her own reflection as she prepared to leave on the adventure of a lifetime.  Enjoy!!!!

The countdown on my dashboard now says 0 days, 13 hours; I remember when it used to say 74 days. Tomorrow I leave to become a temporary Tico. My trip to Costa Rica will be my longest period away from the States, ever. I’ve done 3 week stints in Iceland and Barbuda, but 4 months? I can only imagine what that will be like. It hasn’t really sunk in yet that I am leaving, and I’m not sure when it will sink in that I will be in Puntarenas for 4 months.

I remember when Costa Rica was a dream. I knew before I even got to college that I wanted to spend time in this country full of a rich environment and culture. And I am happy that I’ve been fortunate enough to be supported in my endeavor to travel here. I’m excited to go there and study Spanish, Latin American culture, and ecology (especially marine biology!)

Naturally, in my excitement I have fears, but I’m also hoping not to lose sight of the goals that I want to achieve while there. I’m normally not one to let my fears get the best of me, but I have to be cognizant of my humanness, lol.

My biggest fear, which really boils down to entering the unknown, is how things will be with my host family. All I know so far is that they are Roman Catholic family (most Costa Ricans are) that consist of a mother, father, grandmother, and two daughters 15 & 19. What will I say when i first meet them? Should I memorize something? Will they think I’m weird because I cut off my hair? (yes, this thought did cross my mind, lol) Will we be able to relate and communicate with each other? But I guess there is no use worrying over it that much because I will find out in less than 24 hours.

My biggest obstacle is working on getting over fear of looking like a fool speaking a foreign language (evidenced by my considering memorizing something to say to my hosts). Spanish vocabulary just floats around in my head, but when I go to respond to someone I blank. In school the emphasis is on reading and writing, but not speaking. Also, I haven’t taken Spanish since 11th grade . However, the only way to really become fluent in a language is to go somewhere and speak it. But it’s getting over that initial embarrassment is key.

Other than these issues, in the end I wonder if I will have done what I set out to do by the time I leave Costa Rica, and I fear that I may not. But what is it I set out to do you wonder?

Jokingly (but seriously) I made a New Years Resolution to come back understanding what they say on Univision. Translation: I want to come back fluent.
I want to relax more. Usually when I go to other places I’m able to turn off the NYC rush mode and I’m sure I will be able to do that living in a beach town. But I really want to see and experience all that Costa Rica has to offer (a nod to my plans to travel the country more extensively).
I want to become healthier. When I went to Barbuda for 3 weeks last January I literally gained over 20 pounds. That can’t happen again. Especially because I have high cholesterol and now acid reflux (my life). So I hope to take up running (although for those who know me, they’ll tell you I hate running) because it’s a good way to clear your head and see things (I did run in middle school). But I really will need to take advantage of the scenery and fresh air, even if it’s just to go walking.
I want to photograph an Ocelot!!! My roommate Grace knows what this is all about. But seriously, I’m in love with them and Costa Rica has them! But in general, I really want to develop my photography skills. I didn’t drop that much on a DSLR for nothing, and reading the book I read on photography Im really excited to put what I learned to use.
Also, I think it would be cool if I dreamt in spanish but there are certainly no promises there.
Well thats all for now, I should probably get ready for bed. Travelling womanist protegé, signing out. I shall blog when I can.


~ by travelling womanists on January 20, 2011.

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