Fatima Verona (September 30, 2019): The Routine–Taking It Step-by-Step (Gap Year Blog #3)

Photo by Nadine Shaabana on Unsplash

My day to day life right now is pretty routine-like. I get up five days of the week early in the morning to drive to work which is about forty-five minutes away with traffic, and I practice Portuguese almost every day for at least thirty minutes to an hour. I still live in Miami, Florida, but that will change come December when I take my flight to Costa Rica.

“Costa Rica? But, I thought you were headed to Portugal for six months?”

Change of plans!

I was unable to get my hands on a visa on time so, I’m volunteering at the Jaguar Rescue Center in Costa Rica for a month or more starting January and then working as an English teacher for a while in Punta Cocles, Limón. Afterward, I’ll be back in Florida for a week and pack my bags for Portugal, where I’ll be volunteering in Lisbon with ImpacTrip and then, if I get a notice that I’ve been accepted as a volunteer, in Serra with CO Project Farm, all for another span of three months.

A sloth at the JRC!

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t relieved at how things turned out. Honest thing is, going to Portugal even for more than three months, is too expensive. But now I have the prospect of visiting Costa Rica again, and this time working with an amazing and ethical team of wildlife conservationists and volunteers who are making it their mission to help protect the rainforests. Since 2008, they claim to have rescued an average of 500–700 animals per year and successfully released over 40% of them back into their natural habitat.

In Costa Rica, I will be interacting with animals in need of feeding and cleaning, and other volunteers and staff. At the school, I’ll be teaching primarily Spanish-speaking children English. In Portugal, I will mostly be involved with the locals in helping redistribute wasted food, and working with children. Later, you’ll probably hear from me in the fields of Serra, nurturing the organization’s garden of sustainably-grown fruits and vegetables, and feeding their livestock (which are mostly goats by the way!)

I’m looking forward to these upcoming adventures, and even though they seem far away from now, I’m sure the effort I’m putting in now will be well worth it in the future.

Published by Warren Oliver

CRE Associate Director for Global Programming

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