living spaces

January 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

last friday I moved to a new place. same town, different living situation. my host family and I parted ways with the pleasant uneventfulness of everyday life. a short and sweet goodbye with a touching invitation to return at any time if my new living arrangement should prove untenable.  for the first time in twenty-six years of life, i am living
independently.

it is customary for children in costa rica to live with their parents until they marry, and sometimes well after that. that my move to living apart from a family met mild curiosity is an interesting insight into the changing attitudes to family structure and independence in costa rica. it’s at least a reflection of the familiarity american culture enjoys here.

a part of me would have liked to have stayed with los arley for the entirety of my service but the development of circumstances and the persistence of other reasons (none serious or taboo) were cumulatively taxing. many volunteers don’t leave their host families for a variety of reasons, but it’s widely recognized as a difficult undertaking. for me, it was that wonderful experience of cultural exchange, community integration and self-exploration. it also was mentally exhausting and strangely, induced in me a kind of complacency that seems to have been remedied for the time being.

it’s a new year, calendar and lunar, and i’m happy for the changes and the chance to start anew. the year of the dragon, the year of the budget, the year 2012, whatever you wish to call it…it’s going to be a good one.

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