Small Victories

A giant tile flower lives on the front of the General Studies building at UCR

I’m in Costa Rica!!!

It’s still crazy to think about it. It’s also crazy to think that I will be here for the next five months. Before I left, my sister Rachel and I were talking about how that’s too long to even really be able to comprehend as a trip. That’s a whole semester. It’s a journey, it’s my life. This is where I live now – just for a little while.

My past three days have been a whirlwind. There have been bad things – challenges with the university, challenges with my VISA, and challenges with communication (many, many of these). However, there have also been good things – I love my host family, I have wonderful friends back home who want to keep in touch with me (and I with them!), and I actually do know how to speak Spanish. Not only am I able to get around, but I’m able to have meaningful conversations. I have been able to see, through the challenges that I’ve been facing, that I am able to rise to the occasion. I can figure out orientation issues! I can figure out how to find a store! I can figure out how to take the bus! I can do it! And realizing that I am capable has probably been my biggest victory so far.

And, more and more since I’ve gotten here, I am stopping to celebrate those little victories. This morning, I had a conversation about the weather and the price of bus fare with a woman at the bus stop. She understood me, and I understood her. Go me! Also this morning, I figured out how to take the bus to Starbucks. Hooray! I am a woman of valor! (that’s for you guys, Bible study.) In Columbia, none of these things would be causes for celebration. In my everyday life I would be bummed if a five minute conversation or finding my university was the crowning achievement of my day. But here, dang it, I am gonna get excited when I do something right. Because even in three days I’ve felt like a bumbling idiot more times than I care to admit.

So today, that’s the moral of my story and my lesson for myself. I’m gonna celebrate those small victories like crazy. And hopefully, if you want to, you can take a minute to do the same.






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