Visitors from Afar

By Marika Tiessen

Seeing visitors on campus is a normal thing, but it’s not everyday that we have people come from places as far as Costa Rica. We had the pleasure of welcoming thirteen high school students to stay with us for the night on Friday, September 8. Travelling all the way from San Jose, Costa Rica for a service and learning trip, they made a stop at Providence to tour campus and see what we are all about.

They sat in on chapel, attended a class, and then met many Providence students at a Beggar Keggar that afternoon. They’re not so different from us, yet there was a division: a language barrier that most of us don’t often face in a country where almost everyone speaks our language. Many of them didn’t speak English well, or they knew the right words but not the pronunciation. That didn’t stop us from attempting to bond with them, and they were quite open to our questions.

Shmores at the Shaw’s was the event of the night, and they turned it into a lot of fun when they pulled some people aside and starting teaching them how to dance! Soon there were people all over the lawn, dancing, talking, and watching other people dance. There might have been a language barrier, but they found other ways to show us Christian love.

Most of the feedback about their experience here was positive. Half of the girls said they would definitely consider coming to Providence for college. One of the main things that seemed to make them wary was how far away from home it is. They didn’t know if they would be able to be so far away from their families for so long. When asked what her favorite thing about Providence was, Nicole Loria (18) said, “I like the Christian perspective, and the people are cool and amazing. I like the activities. I like that it’s a small school, and you can know about each other.” Priscilla Vindas (17) said the culture is very different, as well as the weather. Coming here would be a lot different than home for them.

They left Saturday morning to do some more touring of the area before going back home. Who knows, perhaps we’ll see a couple of them on campus next year.