Pura Vida

Nine days. Nine days to live in someone else’s shoes and they were the best days I have experienced so far. Costa Rica, in the city of San Jose, is when it all began. After driving for what seemed like a week into the mountains of this beautiful, green, country, we made it to our home for the time being. Sharing a room with eight other people may sound like the biggest waste of time and money, what I believed at first, but the most truthful statement I can say is that I would do anything to be there now. We got to give back to a community that wasn’t ours by building roads for kids to be able to make it to school, bodegas for them to store their books, and even plant avocado trees in the abundant gardens each school has, and it was the most rewarding feeling. The whole experience made me realize how little we actually need to be really happy and how much we take for granted back home. The elementary school kids volunteered to come in during their two week break from school to meet and play with other kids from around the world.  One major thing I took away from there was the phrase “Pura Vida”, meaning pure life. It’s a phrase that is constantly thrown around in casual conversations and is often attached to the answer to “how are you?” I found this interesting because it’s kind of like their reminder to always appreciate the things in their life and stay humble. As if to say no matter what state their life is in, it’s a good, pure, life.

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