So as you have probably figured out, I’ve been back in the states for a long time now. I hadn’t gotten around to posting these entries from my journal until just now… so you likely have formed preconceived notions of my work ethic. But whether you believe I work hard or not, there is one undeniable fact, I have finished my blog!
I wanted to take this time to thank everyone that contributed their photographs to help me make this an awesome project. I did not bring along a camera to this trip so NONE of these photographs are mine. Special shout out to Laura Aprill (also a Study Abroad scholar), Joe L’Huillier, Luis Gonzalez, Santiago Charry, Samantha Lewis, and Samantha Knudson. Because of you (“I never stray too far from the sidewalk” … jk) and your steadfast dedication to filling your camera up with memories and visual records of our trip, I have been able to make this project a success!!! I’m going to be like a mangrove and give you “props”. Team effort guys.
Thanks to the IAP program for awarding me with the Study Abroad Scholars scholarship and for allowing me the opportunity to write for their blog. Professionally, it helped me develop my writing skills and provided me the self-assigned task of describing the world around me as I experienced international life. I found it extremely rewarding to record my thoughts during this trip and then revising (only slightly, all of these entries are directly from the journal except Day 30 – The Last Supper) them to post on the site. It allowed me to relive this experience all over. Even now, sitting here and reading through my journal, there are details that escape me. Lost in rainforest as I once was. My journal kept the history of my travels and well as my sanity.
There were definitely times that I found life abroad to be challenging, mundane, and even unwelcoming. But I really had to dig down deep to find my resolve within and remember why I came. Writing in my journal became therapeutic for me. It allowed me to express my issues openly and describe my thoughts about what I was experiencing. And by the end of the page, my issues would resolve themselves. I was actively addressing my problems while I was writing. This is why I think everyone should keep a daily journal. This is a very special opportunity you have. It only lasts so long. I wanted to remember it as best as possible.
And with that very reflecting introduction, I’ll provide a terrible transition! Now it the moment you have all been waiting for! I have made a list of the Top 20 photos that I didn’t get to post here from everyone’s camera reel. Some are fun, some are beautiful, and some are just there. Hopefully you have enjoyed my blog and all I had to say about my trip!!! Enjoy 😉