The past two weeks studying Spanish at La Mariposa were quite an adventure. Each day I could feel the depth and length of conversations growing. With each verb tense I reviewed or learned during Spanish class my conversation grew in depth. I could talk about what I did in the past, present, and what I was going to do in the future. While this provided a wonderful opportunity to grow my relationships with those around me and make me an altogether better communicator it also brought up the questions about what I would do when I returned to the United States. That question is just as brutal in Spanish as it is in English. With the possibility of graduating early after I get back in April, the question of what I am actually going to do when I return is in the forefront of my mind. While the future is an important thing to consider, the least beneficial thing to do would be to bypass the present for the future. How does one live in the present with a vision of the future as well? I am not sure exactly sure how to answer this question but I know that staying present in what I am doing today is going to directly impact my experience here and thus the path I will take after.
My experience in San Juan de La Concepcion, at La Mariposa, has been overwhelmingly positive. My host family and everyone I came in contact with thus far have been welcoming and willing to help me in anyway that they can. The one Sunday I was in San Juan I attended church with my family. This was a very different experience than anytime I have attended service in the states, not solely because it lasted twice as long and all of the songs were in Spanish but because at the end of the service the entire church community blessed me. On the way home I was overwhelmed by a sense of support from people in a community that barely knew me. This sense of support was furthered when my host mom told me I was a part of their family and that I could visit anytime while I was in Nicaragua and was not expected to pay.
A sign of this growth for me is a certain sense of discomfort and being overwhelmed. Someone once told me that the only way to grow is to be in a place of discomfort, to experience different things, and to venture away from the known. I can feel something stirring inside myself and no it is not all the beans I have been eating. Something actually internally is shifting. I am not sure if it’s the air here, the people, volunteering or what but something about this, about being here now is moving things. This in itself is discomforting, that is the knowledge that I am changing and will be different upon returning in April. While it is scary I find myself yearning for that change and growth and I armed with knowledge that I have the support of those around me and at home. Thus I willingly embrace the discomfort and inevitable growth and change and can focus on the present knowing my future will unfold.