I’ve been collecting.
When I was six, it was a stash of Polly Pockets in an untidy pile in my closet. Fast forward to 13, it was CDs out of my father’s collection of classics in the garage. High School it was lipstick and notebooks (there was something about the fresh paper — the possibility! — and the school aisle that made my heart palpitate).
Right now, it’s Costa Rican phrases.
This time my collection is abstract — it will accompany me weightlessly from this country to Central America, but will weigh heavy on my mind and on my intentions as I assimilate into mode: A La Tica.
This trip means a lot to me because it’s my first time on an academic experience abroad and it’s the first opportunity to take my journalism into a place truly — completemente! — new and different to me. It’s an exciting prospect.
Connecting on a personal level and telling a genuine story about a person — a tico or tica with a story — is the biggest goal I hold for myself going into this experience. I want to do it well, respectfully and completely. I hope to meet a person I won’t ever forget.
I want to flow as fluidly as the locals in attitude and in my practice: My medium is all mediums. Whichever — words, photos, video, voice — fits the moment and the story. I want to help my fellow field reporters navigate this experience with poise and productivity. If we laugh together and produce together and enjoy our red and blue and green and white shoes together, this will be an extraordinary experience.
– Paige Blankenbuehler