Because of an unsurprisingly busy senior year, I admit that I have not given our Costa Rica trip the level of anticipation it deserves. I assume that a sizable portion of the class is worried about the dangers of the Costa Rican fauna, but I credit that to our Hollywood-ized perception of foreign places. Either way, spotting a jaguar would make for a fantastic story, and you can always leave out the part about how scared you were anyway.
My largest concern is how I will come off to the locals. I took four years of Spanish in high school, but I don’t have much to show for it, and the novice Mandarin skills that I’ve picked up in college won’t be much help in Costa Rica. I just hope that I do not embody some of the negative stereotypes associated with people of the United States going abroad. One of my main goals for this trip is to connect with the locals on a personal level and be able to write insightful pieces on my interactions with them.
From what our professor has told us, it sounds like there will be no shortage on content to write about, and the Costa Ricans will be amiable to us foreigners. I’m also excited to see what professional skills I develop throughout my two-week trek in Costa Rica. As of now, I have no idea what such skills will be, but I’m confident that I will return to the United States as a more capable and worldly reporter.