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9th Week

Jacob reflects on his blogging experience while on his OCS in Costa Rica.

Jacob reflects on his blogging experience while on his OCS in Costa Rica.

As I began my weekly process of deciding what to write about in my blog, I came to a startling realization. Those three to five ideas that I was brainstorming could not all come to fruition – its ninth week! That means that this is likely my last blog of the term. Usually I would be writing about finals and the upcoming vacation, but I still have three full weeks of classes before my term ends here. More amazingly, it means that I’ve been here for almost 12 weeks, which is already longer than a full term at Carleton.

I’ve experienced so much since I arrived in Costa Rica in August that it’s difficult to point to specific events. This blog helps, and I want to give some updates regarding what I wrote at various points throughout the term. Rereading what I wrote weeks ago is the easiest way to see my personal growth.

In my first blog of the term, “Study Abroad!”, I mentioned the project I would be doing. I had a very vague idea of what it would be, and it turned out to be an incredible experience. I worked with a master’s student on a project at La Universidad Nacional. My role in the project was looking at weather data over the past 20 years in two counties, Barva and Quepos. I did some data analysis and drew conclusions about the risk of extreme weather events (floods and droughts) in the areas. It was really interesting being involved in a project that so directly affects local communities here.

In my third blog, I talked about my Spanish language skills. I wrote the blog just before heading to Heredia to work on my project. At the end of my project a month later, my Spanish was so much better than when I wrote that blog. Whereas I speak some English with other students on the program, being alone in Heredia and working in an academic setting forced me to use and learn way more Spanish. Over that month, I learned how to be comfortable speaking Spanish naturally in a conversation.

In my most recent blogs, I wrote about what I miss and what I look forward to academically when I come back. Everything in those blogs still holds true. I miss my friends, family, and dairy products, and I can’t wait to get back to my classes and ultimate in the winter!

Jacob is a junior physics major interested in environmental science, which he is currently studying in Costa Rica (along with Spanish, of course). At Carleton, Jacob enjoys going on outings with CANOE, the outdoors club, and playing ultimate frisbee with the Gods of Plastic, Carleton’s Division III men’s ultimate team. During his fall term hiatus, you can follow his Costa Rican adventures through this blog!