A Study Abroad experience beyond words
In 2007 I spent 5 months in Costa Rica through a study abroad program; part of the appeal of the program was the 2 week community service project that occurred halfway through our time there. We ended up in a small village called Corralar de Mora about 2 hours from San Jose (the capitol city). The trip up to Corralar involved washed out dirt and gravel roads and the structure and appearance of the dwellings rapidly deteriorated the further up the mountain we went. Our two weeks were spent working with the community, especially the children, who often slept 3 or more to a bed and whose homes were nothing more than pieces of sheet metal put together over dirt floors. There was a sense of joy and happiness in that community that I've never seen before; this was all the more miraculous as one of their school buildings had burned to the ground due to arson about 1 month before we arrived. They made us part of their family and there was not a dry eye on our bus when we left two weeks after we arrived. That experience and the selflessness and happiness of that community inspires me - they might not have much (electricity was considered a luxury) but they were happy.