Just So You Know…

This doesn’t make me an unpatriotic American, just a human being with a bleeding heart.

I dread the day the Affordable Care Act is repealed and dismantled. Which seeing as it has passed both in the Senate and the House, is becoming an unfortunate reality.

As an aspiring writer and future grad student(hopefully), I was excited about being covered by my parent’s insurance until I was 26. It would give me more time to not worry about  being in a ‘real’ job, and allow me to pursue art with passion because insurance is expensive and…

…I have medical conditions. My parents’ insurance is generous and helps me afford my doctor visits, but more importantly, my medicine. Without it I. Could. Not. Function. But if the pre-existing medical condition protection clause that fully protects my care, regardless of pre-existing conditions, is repealed (which of course is happening)…

…I’d be spending ~$200 a month on medicine. Not to mention I’d struggle if not be  unable to obtain insurance because of my health conditions. And I have to see specialists so I wouldn’t be able to afford all my doctor visits either.

I’m a 21 year old college student. I should be prepping myself for class, studying for GREs, and perfecting my craft. I shouldn’t be stressing about how to keep my medical costs reasonable, and be thinking about the unfortunate possibilities my future might hold. (Will I have to emigrate? Will I have to take up a job that kills my soul? What if my disease progresses? What do I do if I can’t afford to live?) 

 I’m just one person, and this is one tiny issue. There is climate change, poverty, immigration, class, race, and so many other problems. Progress and the change that come with it can be scary at times, but we cannot regress. Things cannot be the way they were ever again. But we can try to learn, move forward, and find ways to better ourselves and the situation at hand. 

The repealing of this flawed, but progressive and monumental legistaltion will not make my America ‘great’ again. It’ll make it hell.

To Congress and the Art of Adulting

That’s right. I went to the Costa Rican Congress Building. And then I adulted by planning and coordinating an entire weekend trip with me and two of my friends to Parque Nacional Ricon de la Vieja.

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The More Official Press Room

I have been to the Congress building in DC and the one in Costa Rica was very different. I knew it was going to be different but I wasn’t sure how. We were shuffled through the metal detector and ushered into the more official press room, where recorded interviews and more official announcements were made. We were also taught a little bit about how the congress works. Senators are elected on the same day as the president and hold the same term.

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The professor who arranged the trip on the Left. On the right the President of Congress.

They cannot hold back to back terms. Costa Rica has been moving away from the two party system for some time and there is no separation between church and state. In fact the Church is so important here, that Costa Rica is one of the few nations that hasn’t legalized Invitro fertilization. But we did get to meet a couple of officials including the President of Congress (think speaker of the house). He answered some of our questions and after some more learning we were back on the way to school.

So Adulting. I wanted to go to a national park and hike because Costa Rica has a rich tradition of preserving their natural enviroment and Costa Rica houses around 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity. In such a tiny country! So I picked Ricon de la Vieja. Its in northern part near Liberia. It is hard to get to, so I felt proud figuring out what would be the cheapest option for us and how we would get there (a bus ride to Liberia, then a taxi to our hotel). So to get there we were ferried by a man the couple frequently contacts for that purpose. The roads were dirt, but not bad. We were lucky, and got into the park for 1 mil each (~$2) because we are students in San Jose instead of the foreigner process of $15.

The Volcano is one of the 6 very active volcanoes in Costa Rica. In fact, the 7 hour hike up to the summit is closed due to increased activity at the summit which caused the summit to be unsafe. But we hiked to a GORGEOUS waterfall and took a Volcanic activity loop instead.

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A Sulfer Lake. Not the place to swim unless you want to die…

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Mud Pots. IN other words the mud is heated up so much it boils.

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These signs are necessary because if you walk to close you risk breaking the fragile mantel and burning your feet.

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A Volcancito, or baby volcano.

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N. standing on one of the many bridges we crossed that day.

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Hiking to the Waterfall

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The waterfall. And of course I went swimming.

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Sulfer steaming out of the ground. It smells worse than the worst rotten eggs.

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One of the few animals that we saw.

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It was an exhausting day and by dinner I was ready for bed. For dinner we went to the other restaurant in town, a house converted into a restaurant. It was very pleasant I had had delicious arroz con camarones (rice and shrimp) and Mora (blackberry juice). We crawled into bed and slept hard. Our bug bites the next morning were nasty looking, and mine are still not looking hot today. We paid the lovely dutch couple and rode the public bus into town, bought our tickets and set of in search of a bakery my Lonely Planet recommended. I had two amazing pastries, one filled with custard, the other dulce de leche. Such a good choice for breakfast.

I think I am going to get a hair cut. My hair is really starting to irk me and it would be so much easier if I had a pixie cut instead of any actual length of hair. But for now am I am too much of a chicken. I am staying in San Jose this weekend and I am super excited to be able to skype with all of my Family on Sunday because its Sammys birthday celebration! How exciting!

Por mi Tia Ginny:

Espanol is muy estresado. Yo tengo poquito examen manana sobre los verbos ser, estar, hacer, haber, tener. Y yo tengo un examen de mi clase de historia de latino americano. Yo compro hoy comida para la semana comer: bananos, manzanas, juego, yogurt y pan.