Home Away from Home

I’m sitting on my new front porch listening to Andrés Cepeda as the sun goes down and the crickets come out. Children run back and forth, and their small voices and the pitter patter of their feet racing down the dirt road waft through the air. I prayed for a patio and sunsets because those two things help me find stillness in the chaos. Not only did I get those two things, but I also got the mountains in my backyard! Win-Win!

When our YD leaders talked to us about our possible sites, they kept emphasizing how hot and rural every site was. Palmar Norte is definitely hot and humid; I sweat sitting still. However, what I did not expect was the warmth and welcoming extended by my host mother and brother. Living with these two is well worth the heat and humidity, and their warm-hearted banter around the dinner table makes me feel at home. They take great care to make sure I understand everything they’re saying and congratulate me when I use Costa Rican slang correctly.

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me and my host brother at the museo de las esferas (museum of the spheres)

The patio has quickly become my favorite place in the house. It’s often cooler outside than inside, so I often come out here to write letters, read, play a game, etc. The house is small and simple, and for the first few weeks my host mom and host brother shared a room to make space for me. I’m amazed by their patience and flexibility and the way they have shifted their lives around in order to make space for me.

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the view from the front patio

Over the next few weeks I will be discussing the idea of “home” here in Costa Rica and in the Peace Corps, as well as the little details that make homes home. If there is any aspect that you would like to know about or see pictures of, please let me know! I will do my best to make it happen.


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