Ewan’s Summer of Service Reflection

This summer, with the help of the Road Less Traveled I traveled to Costa Rica for nine days. The reason I choose this trip was because I wanted to help out those less fortunate and practice my Spanish speaking skills. In These nine days we traveled to a rural school in the countryside of Costa Rica. We helped repair a small school in a town that had a population of about 600 people. Our jobs mostly consisted of cementing, painting, and de-rusting. However, not only did we help repair a small school, but we were able to practice our Spanish speaking skills on all of the locals and teach English to them as well.  We stayed in a community center courtesy of the locals.

Over these nine days I became a much better Spanish speaker, and I realized how I take many things in my daily life for granted. Since we were in Costa Rica, not many people spoke English so everyone was practically forced to speak Spanish to one another. Because of this, I was able to get much better at speaking Spanish, and I was able to teach some of the locals English. After arriving in the small rural town it was hard for me to process how many of these people were living. Many people lived in small huts and shacks which had no air conditioning. Also, many people had to hand wash their cloths. In my house in New York, I own a washing machine, and I have air conditioning which I can change to whatever temperature I desire to be in my house. It just shows how many people, including myself take things like washing machines for granted when there are still people who hand wash their clothes. The time I spent in Costa Rica helped me look at the world in a different way, and I hope to experience trips like this in the future.


3 thoughts on “Ewan’s Summer of Service Reflection

  1. It’s one thing to read or hear about people living without modern conveniences we take for granted—and another to actually live in that situation for a while, as you have described very clearly. Did the place where you stayed, the Community Center, have air conditioning?

  2. Ewan,
    I’m glad you were able to improve your language skills during this experience. I am sure your time in Costa Rica also made you realize how importnat having a second or third language can be. Our interactions and service with others is limited when we don’t have a means by which to communicate. Keep working to improve your Spanish.

  3. Ewan,

    I am a member of the school’s Service Committee and your post caught my eye because I shared a similar experience to yours when I was in high school myself. It is wonderful that your trip allowed you to help the community physically by repairing a school, and that your trip also allowed you to use your language skills. It is also great that your experience led you to realize how much we in more fortunate circumstances take for granted modern conveniences such as A.C. and washing machines. It sounds like this trip really impacted your life in a positive way!


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