As Time Dwindles; Relax, Research, and Return

Posted: November 18, 2014

Kelsey Stalker
Lawrence University
Environmental Studies and Studio Art
Sustainable Development Studies, Costa Rica

As we approach the final stage of our study abroad experience, the SFS Costa Rica fall 2014 group hurries to squeeze in as many experiences as possible with our remaining time here.

We just had our five-day break, where groups of students traveled independently to multiple spots including the Caribbean and Pacific coasts, and even Panama. One group decided to return to a previously visited organic farm, El Progreso, to volunteer for all five days. My break involved venturing along the Caribbean coast. Popular spots—the little peaceful town of Cahuita and the lively party central of Puerto Viejo—were our beautiful homes for those short days. It was a bittersweet goodbye at the end of break, as we missed the legendary laid-back relaxation of the Caribbean, but we also were excited to reunite with our fellow students.

Upon our return we needed to get down to business, as Directed Research was our main priority. Literature reviews, statistics classes, and group meetings have all consumed our lives for the past week or so, all in preparation for our departures to the field on the 17th. The days are passing fast, and the air at the Center is becoming thick with anticipated goodbyes as only 18 days remain in the program.

Our group has become unbelievably close as a consequence of spending nearly every day together for over two months, but we wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. On the morning of December 4th, we all will disperse; some will travel more of the country, some will travel other countries, some will return home. Despite this agonizingly short time we have spent together, there is no limit on the memories and experiences we have gained.

The return to our respective homes will only give us more of a reason to take a spontaneous road trip to California, and maybe even a ski trip to Vermont. These newfound friendships have been made to last, and I have a good feeling they will.