This will be brief due to the fact that I have five final exams in the next two days, but I had some things I just couldn’t wait to share with you!
First, the beach was AMAZING! It was just what everyone needed to relax a little before finishing up academically. Swimming, dancing, eating LOTS of American food (it is an area with a LOT of tourists…the hotel catering service is aware of this fact and capitalizes on it J), and bonding as a group were all on the menu. Also, I had my first dream IN SPANISH! This was incredibly exciting…now I can just sleep instead of study! On second thought…. J
Fourth of July here was an amazing testament to the strength of American patriotism—I celebrated with 2,500 other Americans and their immediate families at a special picnic. There was cotton candy, hot dogs, square dancing, bounce houses, ice cream, popcorn, antique cars and even an Uncle Sam! Hearing so much English was a little bit strange, yet refreshing! Previously, I had been afraid that, as a girl with a patriotic heart from birth (Cross into the Blue! Aim high! GO AIR FORCE!), this day would be difficult in another country. On the contrary: my love of my roots was re-affirmed, as it has been continually throughout this experience. I love Costa Rica, but living here has certainly given me a greater since of pride in my own country.
On the prayer note, I am really struggling with something right now and your prayers would be VERY much appreciated: we are split into two classes on the trip: advanced and intermediate. I am in the intermediate group. We have 5 classes a day, and the only main difference in the two groups is in the grammar class, but the groups are separated all day long to make class size smaller (there are like 12 in each class). Yesterday in our literature class, the professor told us how much more intelligent the other class is. I can feel myself getting upset as I write this…it is very difficult to feel judged in that way while trying to learn something totally new. Another professor said something similar to the other class, and I know that it is very trivial, but I am having a rough time of dealing with it. The issue is not about intelligence: the students in my class have all only had the first 5 semesters of college level Spanish. The other class is more advanced by nature; they have all taken more classes, one is a native speaker, and several are Spanish majors. Please pray that I keep this logic in mind and go into the exams with a humble attitude accompanied by a sense of confidence in the ability that He has given me to understand this new language and to understand that people say things without thinking in Spanish, too!
I am very excited to see you all VERY soon! Thank you again for your support!
Love from Costa Rica and “hasta pronto”!
Costa Rica Chica