Friday, June 26, 2015

Today I was surprised to wake up and find out about what happened in the United States Supreme Court this morning.

It seemed quiet to me, for such a big decision. But perhaps that’s just because I don’t live near any big cities.

But by now, the noise is beginning to grow. Much celebration, much dissent.

I am optimistic, and excited for my friends. Even though this came about perhaps a little more forcefully for comfort government-wise, and even though this sparks a variety of other questions and concerns for the future, I sincerely hope this is the beginning of something better.

I hope we will be able to treat each other with so much more grace than we have been. This won’t work well without it. In fact, not being able to love each other will kill our country far faster than redefining traditions ever will.

We don’t necessarily have to agree. With such a diversity of experiences, that’s just not possible. But let’s not demonize or silence each other. Let’s not hurt each other to make a point, or cheer on the ones that do. (Looking at both sides, here.)

Love wins. Christians believe that more fervently than anyone else I’ve ever met. Let’s have a little more faith in it.

Opinions aside, let’s make this a positive mark in the history books.

Costa Rica part III: Tonteras, Shiro, y Choque de Cultura

The final installment of comments, much more brief than the other two posts:

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The last two weeks of my time in Costa Rica passed quietly. I finished my excursion with A.

I was talking with A about how I am embarrassed to take photos because I don’t want people to think I’m the kind of tourist that is just there to see things and be served in luxury. A said if you want to see the intentions of a foreigner, you listen to them. If they are speaking the language, or at least trying to, then you can tell that they’re here to learn.

I guess here many people put Americans on a pedestal. And I worry that people will think that I think I’m better. But what A said made me a little less ashamed/afraid of my skin color and my blue eyes and American Spanish. I’m here to learn and to make friends. That means something.

I finally found a Costa Rican food that I do not like: Tamarind. I hear it’s kind of an acquired taste, or that it’s not uncommon for people to all out dislike it. I tried to entertain thoughts of drinking the entire glass of tamarind fresco, but I couldn’t do it.

G and his brother C are ridiculous. I walked to the panadería (bakery) with them and it was tonteras (silliness) the entire way.

One day we went to hang out with E and I, G and R’s youngest son and wife. They live near a lot of family, so R took me to go meet everyone. It was awkward for me, but it meant a lot.

G adopted a little white, spotted Chihuahua puppy. We were thinking of something along the lines of white. We considered “Blanquito.” G asked me what snow is in English, but that word’s kind of tough to pronounce for a name. Offhand, I mentioned that white in Japanese is “shiro.” The next day, G was talking to his granddaughter and mentioning how “Shiro” sounded like a good name for the dog. It officially became the puppy’s name, though it’s pronounced more like “cheer-oh” by most people. R kept pronouncing it “chirop.” She doesn’t like dogs, but I think she’s warming up little by little to Shiro.

On June 1, we went grocery shopping and I strolled after my adopted family taking it all in. I remembered my first time, and I was kind of terrified. I was super comfortable that day, and it was nice.

R took me with her, her sister-in-law, and a neighbor to a country club to go swimming. I felt a bit like a hillbilly, since the place was so fancy, but it was fun.

I tended to have long talks with G in the evenings after R went to bed, but on one particular night, we all sat up talking. I let off steam about my anxieties of the impending travel day.

Shiro destroyed my headphones.

I watched an old horror movie with G, and I thought i could handle it, but it was quite sickening. G likes horror movies. He’s better at making himself dwell on positive things, I think, so maybe movies like that don’t get stuck in his mind as much they do in mine.

The first time I left G and R, I cried. I had never experienced anything like what they did for me, and I didn’t know if we would ever see each other again. This time, I didn’t feel so broken, because I know we’ll see each other again. I’m also, admittedly, more accustomed to goodbyes.

I still almost cried leaving them, though.

The travel day was exhausting. We landed after midnight, and I got home around 1:30am. The next couple of days I spent in a state of unmotivation, sleeping off headaches. Today I am feeling better, though I’m still culture shocked coming back.

I need to start getting everything in order to move to California in August, and I’m not yet ready to face the adult world. I don’t want to have to rush so quickly to the next thing as has been my habit for the last few years. I just want to sit for a while.

But I do have some time to do that.