Rachel Sicheneder '11
When I came to Costa Rica, I had great plans of hiking the rainforests and doing exciting research up in the clouds of misty mountains. What I didn’t expect was an internship at the Presidential House. However, when the opportunity to work with a program called Costa Rica Multilingual presented itself I couldn’t turn it down.
I received an ID card and every week the guards lift the gate for me to enter the Costa Rican version of the White House. Although my job is less than glamorous, I work on website maintenance and publicity; it does come with its perks. My first week on the job there was a visiting representative from the Canadian government. I was invited along with a group of people from Casa Presidencial to accompany him to a dance program at Teatro Nacional. When we entered the theater we were shown to the President’s personal suite, complete with an attendant and snacks at intermission. When I left I was handed a card that said I had be invited to attend a program by the President of the Republic.
All the wining and dining paled in comparison to my chance to meet Dr. Oscar Arías, President of Costa Rica and Nobel Peace Prize winner, in November. In a publicity meeting with him and twelve international volunteers that have been in Costa Rica for the past year, he thanked us all for the work we are doing to improve English in Costa Rica. We then all got the chance to personally meet and take pictures with him. Although I may have messed up a few of my verbs in our short conversation, he still said it was a pleasure to meet me and joked about the fact that all Americans are so tall. The meeting only lasted for about half and hour but it is definitely something that I will remember from my first semester in Costa Rica.
— Rachel Sicheneder