Prior to departure, I looked at Costa Rica on a map a countless number of times. I Google Searched "Costa Rica" and scrolled desperately through the results, in hopes of comprehending even a glimpse of what my future home for the next semester was like. The moment I exited the plane and finally entered Costa Rica seems like a whirlwind, as do the following months.


Now, upon returning to the States, I search with the same desperation as before; except instead of trying to image what Costa Rica will be like, I scrunch my brow and shut my eyes in attempts to remember what it was like- the morning sunrises out my window in San José, the long but much needed walk to ICADS, the countless conversations with classmates and Ticans that inspired and challenged all I have known. I so deeply want these memories to remain crystal clear in my mind forever, but I fear that some will fade into vague recollections.


My biggest takeaway from the semester, the learning that I will adamantly ensure does not face, is the concept of intentionality. Being intentional. This is connected to almost every aspect of life- how I interact with my family, how I build friendships, how I seek God and seek to love others. Costa Rica opened my eyes to nuances of being intentional and its life changing power.


~ Anna Vandeberg

Bethel College