Phoning home to the land of sweet tea, English speakers, and deep-fried, cheese covered food. I’ve now spent my first official week in Costa Rica and man oh man has it been one packed week. I received my placement while here and I work in a nursing home in Cartago (a small village about 30 minutes outside of San Jose. My days at the nursing home are really long but so rewarding. Warning alert for squeamish individuals. The day typically starts by making our rounds in the incapacitated wing of the nursing home. It is there that we begin the long and arduous task of cleaning, packing, and wrapping bed sores for the patients. This typically takes about 2 hours to do since quite a few residence have them. I then typically make my rounds and feed the patients with feeding tubes. At that point it is time to assist with the feeding of semi-incapacitated residence. Little by little, I spoon feed the residence their lunch while I watch their eyes stare out to a time gone long ago. Following lunch is medicine time. We crush the patients pills and mix them with a little bit of coffee and once again spoon feed the patients. From there we change diapers, change cloths, bathe, and check patients for injuries. On Friday I was even given the opportunity to (successfully I might add) start an IV for one of our residence. You really begin to have a new perspective on life when you spend your day helping others live theirs. These people, who are well into their 80s and 90s, cannot function at even the most basic of levels. Watching this reminds me of how blessed I am to have my health and ability to be self-suffiient. My Spanish is also improving everyday. I’m moving closer to being fluent everyday which is great. My Tico Papa laughs at me every time I struggle to find the correct Spanish word or phrase and reminds me that it comes “poco a poco” or “little by little”. And I think that’s true of my new adventure here in Costa Rica. I’m learning everything little by little. I’ve also finally learned the bus system here, which is arguably my greatest feat. And once I completed a long, stressful, meaningful week at the nursing home, I was able to sneak away to Jacó beach where I was able to take in the sun and embrace the Pura Vida.