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What Students Say

A Feeling of Coming Home - Costa Rica Trip

by Theresa Pace

As I stepped off the plane and felt the sizzling heat hit my body, I knew I had arrived. I had arrived in a place that I had longed to return to for quite some time. I had arrived to a place where theair smells of sweet fruits and salty waters. Oh, how I had longed to return. I was there, back in the northwestern Costa Rican provincia of Guanacaste, a place that I hold so dear in my heart, a place that I can only dream about from the United States. This was my third time in a country I first visited with the IU trip in 2006. As we drove away from the airport, I could only stare out the window in astonishment that I had found my way back. Driving along mountainsides, feeling a warm breeze hit my face, and laughter that filled the bus. This was going to be a great trip.

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To me, Costa Rica is a country so beautiful, so peaceful, that it is hard not to return again and again. Life is simple, the people are genuine, and there are not enough words to describe my thoughts and feelings for this wonderful place. While I am there, something takes over me, and for only a short while I am able to be at peace with myself and see the world from another’s eye. I love Costa Rica, Guanacaste in particular, with its unbelievably hot days, and at just the right times a breeze that is so incredibly sweet. Yes, Guanacaste is amazing: from its cordilleras (chain of mountains) to its llanuras (open plains), Guanacaste has it all. Did I mention the beaches? Samara, with its blue Pacific waters, is an image that can never be wiped away from my memory; the sounds of the waves, watching la espuma fizzle away to nothing before another wave pounds into the shore, and a breeze that always seems to come at just the right moment, bringing the ocean right to your nose. Then if you’re lucky, you will stay to watch one of the most amazing sunsets in the whole world.

The sun slowly creeping down has a way of lighting up the water and the sky to make it appear as one. Gradually, the sun falls so far behind the palm trees that in no time at all, the beach is dark. It takes on another life. Suddenly the stars seem to be calling you. You cannot keep your eyes off of them. They are so bright and there are so many. I never knew so many stars existed. Maybe, it is that I never took the time to look, or maybe it is that they don’t exist in Indiana. It could be that the lights from our city and the pollution that lingers above prevents me from experiencing this amazing view of our sky.

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Not in Costa Rica, and certainly not in clear Guanacaste in particular.


I hope to return again one day to this place I hold so dear. Until then I will keep dreaming about the sweet tropical fruits, la comida tan rica (wonderful food), the endless mountainside that surrounds Guanacaste, the salty breezes along the Pacific, the faces of so many Ticos, content with all that their land has given them. They are a people rich indeed, as the name of their country proudly proclaims: Costa Rica (Rich Coast).


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