More Than Just Surviving
Sara Eckstein has just recently reached the halfway mark in her time as a volunteer in Costa Rica. This milestone has caused Sara to experience a wealth of different emotions. In her recent blogpost, Sara notes the memorable experiences that she “could not have anticipated even if [she] wanted to.” Her passion for teaching and experiencing foreign cultures is undeniable; according to Sara: “To everyone else in Curré, this is life. But to me, it’s unexpected and exciting.” Check out what else Sara has to say about her time in Costa Rica thus far!
On this day in Rey Curré, I noticed that half a year just went by. The good news is that half a year remains. It’s good news for duel purposes: because I’ve still got plenty of time to continue serving and seeing and sharing life here and because I’ve only got a half a year to go before I will be reunited with my community in the States, with a whole year of experiences to bring home. I want that these experiences will shape my future: my relationships, my occupation, my resources, my time, my worldview, my faith, my character, and my dreams. Most have been good, some have been hard, but many of these experiences, I could not have anticipated even if I wanted to.
For instance, I never thought…
…that I would put everything on hold at about 8:30am and 3:30pm everyday to look for a cup of coffee
….that I would introduce a third grade Tican to my parents over Skype and watch him and my dad make faces at each other
….that I would find a surrogate brother, half a world away
….that I would sing a song in front of a Tican church. (The best part is, I showed my colleagues at the elementary school a recording of the song, and immediately after, they eagerly asked me to translate what I was singing to Spanish. The only trouble is that I was singing in Spanish. Or, at least I was trying. Next stop, pronunciation practice! 😉
…that I would make a birthday cake for my host niece’s first birthday! And, in the process, teach my third grader, Raúl, a thing or two about baking.
…that I would witness that same niece taking some of her first steps
….that I would give impromptu guitar lessons. (They don’t seem to mind that I could count on two hands the number of chords and rhythms that I know how to play.)
…that I would travel to Las Vegas on bicycle biweekly to teach English to a group of 20 eager, energetic first through sixth graders
….that I would wear jeans to work in a tropical climate. (Somehow, dressing up here always involves wearing pants.)
…that I would wake up to find out that a scorpion spent the night on top of my covers
….that I would eat rice and beans for dinner, heat them up again for breakfast, serve myself some more rice and beans for lunch at the school cafeteria, and then round off the day with another healthy plate of rice and beans. (But, no worries, it’s always accompanied by a chicken leg or a slice of fried pork and an avocado or tomato. And, at breakfast, I eat rice and beans mixed together which has a special name: gallo pinto, or “painted rooster.” They get really creative with the rice and beans here. 😉
…that I would do a dance while taking my laundry off the line just to avoid being bitten by the flesh-eating ants. (It hurts!)
Why do I delight in such simple things? To everyone else in Curré, this is life. But to me, it’s unexpected and exciting. I’m a biology student looking under a microscope for the first time. I’m a movie-goer watching the newest release. I’m an athlete finishing first at long last. I’m a math student solving her first equation. I’m a toddler learning to walk. We search for things and cherish things beyond our immediate needs: food, water, shelter. Why? Could it be that we were made for more than just surviving? Could it be that we were made to be conquerors? (Romans 8:37-39)