So I have been trying to get an internship here in Costa Rica for a few months now. One of my professors of the International Relations of Latin America said he works for the congress (Asemblea Legislativa) and they offer internships for both international and local students. Naturally I was pretty excited, so I applied back in February to begin in March.
By the time March rolled around my professor seemed to keep making excuses about the internship and I doubted I would ever hear anything back. I had just about given up when one day he told me they had accepted me and I would start in April if I still had the time and willpower to participate.
I don’t know too many people that would pass up a chance to work the congress of another country, regardless of their major. As it turns out I work for the library of the congress, specifically their research division, CEDIL (Centro de Investigaciones Legislativas). They were pretty excited to have a native English speaker, and decided to take advantage of any translation skills I might have.
Now, I don’t speak much Spanish (keep in mind that I’m only in Intermediate II). I feel as though they expect a bit too much from me, because they plopped a 300 page document in my email and want me to translate the whole thing. I’ll be honest with you guys, I’m tossing the whole thing into Google Translate and making the minor corrections I know how to do wherever I need to. There’s no way I can translate this whole thing from English to Spanish within the limited amount of time I have, but hey, I’m learning all sorts of new words and it is definitely improving my language skills bit by bit.
Plus the people are really friendly. The others in the office take a coffee break around 3PM and they just sit around chatting and snacking for a bout a half hour. This happens pretty much all over the country, everyone tries to break around the same time to talk with coworkers, and on more than one occasion I've come home and my host family has a few cousins over for the same thing. Sometimes there's enough food for it to be considered a meal by most standards. At the office, even the intern who works only four hours a day i s invited, and that is certainly something I could get used to!