by Catricia Morris
High: My relationship with my 8-year-old host brother has developed quite a bit over the last month. He is probably the person I talk to the most in my host family. He asks me for help with homework and to play games with him, which I love. When I see him at school he looks genuinely excited to see me and that always makes me feel really good. My brother back at home is much older, so having a sibling so much younger than me has been a new experience but, I have really enjoyed the time I have gotten to spend with him.
Low: From the moment I decided to go abroad this fall and I realized that I would be missing Thanksgiving at home for the first time I told myself it would be okay that I was going to miss it because I would be going home two weeks later. Not being home for Thanksgiving was way harder than I expected. I was the only one of my cousins that was not there and it was really hard for me because, even though Thanksgiving is pretty much the same every year, I felt like I was missing out. I ended up having a really nice Thanksgiving dinner with my friends here, but I really missed being with my family.
Glitter: I am really proud of myself in terms of how much I have pushed my limits since being here. Before coming to Costa Rica I never did anything that involved much risk, but here I have really stepped out of my comfort zone in order to enjoy all of the things Costa Rica has to offer. For example, this month I went waterfall rappelling and took a weekend trip to the beach. I was terrified to go rappelling, and it was really hard, but also incredibly rewarding (plus it made me feel pretty cool). Going to the beach may not sound very risky, but before coming here I would have never taken a trip to somewhere 7 hours away without much of a plan. I have learned how to allow myself to relax and not overanalyze everything I do, and because of that I have been able to enjoy life a lot more.
Catricia Morris is currently a junior at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. This semester she is studying abroad in Monteverde, Costa Rica. Throughout her four months there she will be taking Spanish classes and working at one of the local bilingual schools as a student teacher in a kindergarten classroom.