At the AdAstra Rocket Company! This is NASA's 2016 Mars Project
I want to begin my blog this week with a story:
Two days ago, I separated from the group I have been running with and went for a long run wallowing in self-pity. I was upset that I did not know anybody my age here. I did not feel like I was making the most of my time here. Also, I was upset that my knowledge of the Spanish language still presented quite the challenge to me at times. I ran to the Universidad of Costa Rica which is absolutely huge and gorgeous. I spent almost an hour running around their campus before I realized that I was utterly and completely lost. I had no idea where I had entered and there were no directional signs. While running and recognizing that I was lost, a tropical storm hit with its strong gusts of wind, terrential downpours, thunder, and lightening.
I was stuck in the midst of this, completely disoriented, and miles away from the office. First I asked a street vendor for a bag to protect my ipod. After that, I was not thinking rationally. I just kept running, hoping to find the way out through recognition or something of the sort. As I am sure you guessed, this method did not work. Instead, I ended up soaking wet and lost. Interestingly enough, I did not feel upset or worried at all. Instead, I felt somewhat empowered. As I ran, I threw my arms up in the air and let the rain drip down my face. For me, this moment marks a turning point, an epiphany. I recognized that I am the one responsible for my own happiness here. I made the decision to live and work abroad, to immerse myself in a different culture. If I was bored or frustrated, I needed to do something about it in the moment.
A statue of a runner
After that, I went into the local library and asked for directions. As I ran back, I met a few Americans who invited me to go out this weekend. Tomorrow I will be going to a Malpais concert with an American guy and a bunch of his Costa Rican friends. On Saturday, I will be going hiking with a Costa Rican outdoors group and an American guy. I think that this experience shows that my journey here so far has not been as expected. I have learned a valuable lesson already and I hope to use it in my remaining 6 weeks here.
In regard to work, I have been very busy. I completed the research necessary for the company structural changes, but I am now compiling data from other microfinance institutions to incorporate into my client satisfaction research paper, presentation, and surveys.
Where I run
This week we went on a company trip to Liberia (a state in Costa Rica). I absolutely loved it there! The weather was in the high 90s and the ambience was absolutely beautiful. In the afternoon we went for a tour and lecture at the AdAstra Rocket Company laboratory and facilities. Check the place out online: www.adastrarocket.com
. Although I am not naturally inclined toward science or math, I found this place absolutely fascinating. This location's purpose is to work on a project for NASA designed by Franklin Chang. The project is a rocket that will enable man to walk on Mars by 2016. 10% of the rocket is being constructed in Liberia and 90% in Houston, TX. The building has been completed entirely and it is now in its testing stages. 2011 is its first projected entry into outer space as a test-run. We were fortunate enough to be able to see the components of the rocket built in the Costa Rican facilities. I have added some pictures to my blog for you all to see!
Overall, once I think about outer space etc, I am able to recognize that there is a vast universe out there and although seemingly difficult, my problems are very small when compared to something like the endless number of stars in solar system.