Tuesday, May 5, 2015

One for the Books

These past couple weeks we had a full work load with our final independent projects. My group’s investigation looked at weaning practices and their relationship to social and cultural factors and occurrence of childhood disease in Coto Brus, Costa Rica. We had to go door-to-door in the Sabalito community, interviewing mothers about the weaning of their oldest child. As we walked down this one road to look for houses to “upe,” we saw this lady cleaning her car with her two daughters, who looked 8 and 10. She was a perfect candidate for our survey, however, we we’re worried that she was too busy to want to help her. We said good morning to her and told her what our survey was about and without hesitation she invited us into her home. Her house was one of the prettiest houses I’ve ever seen. It was on the edge of cliff with a gorgeous view of the valley below with hammocks on her back porch facing the viewpoint. She also had garden down a little hill behind her house. After we got to her back porch she offered my partner and I drinks then we proceeded with the survey. Once we finished giving her the survey she offered us fruit for the road. This woman epitomizes the Costa Ricans friendly personality and hospitality.

We have had projects like this throughout the semester and I am always so nervous about having to interview people in Spanish. I was afraid that they might not understand me, or that I would not understand the person I was interviewing if their answers were not yes or no. However, after doing the first couple of interviews I had everything down, both pronunciation and comprehension. My group completed 109 surveys. It’s amazing to me how much I’ve learned here especially when it came to Spanish. I always thought I was one of those people who simply could not learn another language. But completing the Spanish courses and being submerged into the language for four months, I actually have the confidence and vocabulary to speak in Spanish.

As the semester starts to wind down I start thinking about my first week in Costa Rica and meeting everyone for the first. On the first day I got here a day early and had to figure things out on my own, lacking the ability to communicate and even understand some accent in Spanish. The next day other girls in the group started to trickle in, and I never thought we would be as close as we are now. I am going to miss everyone so much even our professors. Costa Rica is such a great country. I have met amazing people, ate amazing food, especially the fruit, learned amazing things and had amazing adventures. This experience was definitely one for the books.

Le'Shauna Y. Phinazee 

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