Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Home by Addie Cady

            Sitting here next to the fire in the high mountain Paraiso Quetzal lodge, feeling the first cold air I’ve experienced in Costa Rica and hearing the now so familiar laughter of twelve people whom I’ve come to love, I finally realize that things are coming to an end. It’s a bittersweet sentiment. I’m excited to go home, but as cliché as it may sound, home is where the heart is, and part of my heart is now here with my OTS family.
            This last block has been the culmination of so much promise. Everything seems to have come together, from the people to the projects, to sound a perfect note on which to end the semester. Friendships have become sisterhoods. We blast music and yelp loudly along, borrow each others’ clothes, snap at each other when we’re grumpy, and curl up, four or more girls spooning in a twin bed, to share our laughter and our tears. From times of exasperation to elation, we hold each other together. It has been the greatest gift I could imagine to be a part of such a wonderful community.
            Yet the community here stretches beyond just the people. Part of the wonder of being here is the raw beauty we experience: the way the moon laces its light through moss laden trees at night, the misty glow of morning sun through dense canopy, the fresh scent of rain and wood and life. I’ve covered every trail now in the Wilson Botanical Garden’s forest, hiking day and night, downpour and shine, at times very sure of where I am and at others very lost. It has brought a magic to the way I see the world. Three days ago I found myself ahead of my companions on a walk down to the river and I sat for a few minutes alone on its bank. The sun was setting and the light gleamed into my eyes and brought me to tears. I began to sing. The river hummed along and a bird called out in the distance, and I felt so at peace, one with the moment, one with myself. The other girls caught up then and for a minute we stood there together basking in the beauty of being in that place, and in the beauty of having each other.

            I’ve learned so much on this trip. When I sat down to write this I thought I would share the joy of feeling competent in Spanish, a funny anecdote or two about people sharing overly detailed stories about their sex lives during my week surveying parents on whether they had talked to their adolescents about contraceptives, the pride I experienced presenting our results in our poster session. But instead what came pouring out of me were memories of the moments that truly made this trip meaningful—being in one of the most beautiful places in the world, sharing moments of pure human compassion with some of its most beautiful people.

No comments:

Post a Comment