Culture Shock

8 Feb

“Bienvenidos a Costa Rica: paraíso ecológico para invertido y diversión.” So welcomed the customs sign on arrival in Costa Rica, my new tropical home.

Already my old kinship with this country is returning. The spectacular mountain views, tranquil field school, dense tropical rainforest and home gardeners grab and hold my attention. The town of Atenas where we are staying provides a close-knit community for locals while accomodating for large gringo tour groups seeking National Geographic’s famed “best climate in the world”. Indeed, the warm weather helps (70s and windy every day).

The first thing I notice this time around is the communications crevasse. Costa Ricans are not connected in the ways that we are, lacking high bandwidth internet and even cell phone service in some places. Lives simply aren’t as connected here to machines we have come to rely on. So far, underestimating this chaotic tendency has cost me an application for Echoing Green phase 2, a meeting with my farmer, and an amazing Forestdance festival in the South. It will take some adjusting and much advance planning to deal with this new reality.

Classes are great nonetheless, as I start Tropical Field Ecology, Sustainable Development Economics, Sociological Impacts of Tourism in Costa Rica, and Intro to Natural Resource management this week. I have already gotten to know all my professors, and the students are cool. It’s very close-knit. I see a lot of opportunity here to really expand my horizons.

Look for more updates soon. 2 weeks is the end of the honeymoon, now starts my real time exploring this beautiful country!

-Eddie Miller
BU ’10


3 Responses to “Culture Shock”

  1. Alex Bernson February 9, 2009 at 11:54 pm #

    That’s a lovely sign to be greeted with.

    I think the communications issue you highlight is really interesting. I’ve been thinking a lot about the radical embedding of communications technology in modern 1st world life a lot recently, especially as my blackberry has grown into a comforting, logical and indispensable limb of my body, connecting me to the virtual world that has become an ever-more closely overlayed geographical and social space floating abovem around and through the physical realities I traverse. Internet, tell me when the restaurant is open till. Tell me what my friends are doing, where they’re eating, what their mood is. Help me plan my night. Help me navigate and coordinate 4 different social engagements the same evening. Tell me that my friends are thinking about me and wondering what I’m up to. And do it all in a constantly buzzing, svelte and comforting slab of plastic and flashing lights.

    Also, I think you mean communications chasm, not crevasse. Or at least, that’s the standard phrasing as I’ve heard it.

    Looking forward to more updates.


  1. Contents « A Global Organic Mindset - December 23, 2009

    […] (Weekend Away with Nietzche)-3/14/2009 My “intellectual” Baggage was Stolen!-2/23/2009 “Culture Shock”-2/8/2009 In Defense of the Word.-12/17/2008 A Day in the Life- 12/09/2008 On […]

  2. Master Index: « A Global Organic Mindset - April 23, 2012

    […] (Weekend Away with Nietzche)-3/14/2009 My “intellectual” Baggage was Stolen!-2/23/2009 “Culture Shock”-2/8/2009 In Defense of the Word.-12/17/2008 A Day in the Life- 12/09/2008 On […]

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