Thursday, June 16, 2016
Salud, Dinero, Amor, Tiempo para disfrutar
As my last week in Costa Rica approaches I've realized how much the Tican people and this beautiful country has grown on me. I will truly miss it and I'm enjoying my time here so much that I don't feel ready to leave but I hope the opportunity will rise again in my life where I can return and pick up where I left off. My API program director told me about a saying here in CR when people sneeze that I really enjoyed. If you sneeze once the response is Salud (Health), if you sneeze a second time you say Dinero (Money), a third Amor (Love), and fourth Tiempo para disfrutar (time to enjoy). I would like to continue to use this and thought it was special tidbit of the culture that I could bring home with me and I also found it sentimental. It seems Latino people for the most part are much more sentimental in general and genuinely care for one another. Again in general the families are close and like to spend time with each and take good care of each other. Of course this occurs in the US as well but here it feels so much different. The pace of life in Costa Rica is slower and relaxed and "go with the flow". Sometimes in the states it feels that everyone is always in rush, or just seem to lack in caring for people around no matter how important they are in your life, which I feel sometimes allows sentimental feelings to fly out the door. I by all means like to plan how I ideally would like my day to go or to plan a trip/vacation but in CR sometimes it really is just one day at a time, or hour at a time without worrying too much what will happen because it most situations everything will go as planned if you just let go. It's a scary feeling for a lot of people myself included depending on the situation but when you do ease the stress of planning each and every moment of your life every once in awhile, you allow yourself to live a little more. You don't restrict yourself, you get uncomfortable, you put yourself in situations you might not have normally been in and sometimes that's okay. This is completely subjective of course but I could get used to this lifestyle pace that I've adapted for a short period of time here in CR. Another reoccurring observation I've made comes back to conservation. I know the climate in the US very much depends on the part of the country and Costa Rica for the most part has the same climate country-wide. However, they construction of most of their buildings and homes are mostly designed with adaptations to the climate. For example, the house I stay in does get hot when the sun is out but the materials used in the home also allow for ventilation to keep cooler at night. Again, this is not uncommon in certain parts of the states where the climate is typically warm all year round but I think we could adapt this everyone for places that do experience snow and colder weather conditions. My home in the states is made of insulation materials unlike here in CR, therefore, when the AC is not on in the home and it's hot outside the house feels warmer than if you were to just be outside sometimes. Here in CR although it gets very hot and humid the homes are constructed with this in mind to keep relatively cool when it's hot and even cooler at night for comfort without the use of an AC unit. If we constructed more homes in the states to keep the heat in when its cold and cool when it's not we could significantly reduce our reliance on electricity and other sources of energy to keep our homes suitable to live in. Although the country of CR is small and has been compared to the size of Virginia, it seems everywhere I've been despite the size Costa Ricans also make the most of their space in homes, restaurants, etc. It might be a tight fit but they do not waste space. Just one of the many other ways CR is so efficient and environmentally aware, in which we can learn from.