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I Learn Library

A human library inspired by the stories in the film

A Latina’s Point of View of Developed Countries

By Gaby  |   From : Marseille  |   School : Lycée Saint-Charles

Hey there! I’m Gaby, I was born on May 18th 2001 in San José, Costa Rica: a paradisiac country. My dad comes from Chile. With my grandparents, he migrated to Costa Rica in 1974 when he was two years old to escape the military dictatorship.

As an adventurous Taurus Latina, I qualify as stubborn but also loyal and generous. I lived in Costa Rica my entire life and went to a French high-school: Lycée Franco Costarricien which is basically a half French and half Costa Rican school, so I learned to speak French. Two years ago, I moved to France (big differ­ence kind of life), because my dad is making a doctorate in mechanic enginery to go back and teach with a better level of knowledge in enginery in the Costa Rican University. This doctorate lasts four years and I’m going back in middle of 2019.

When I first came to Marseille, to Europe the very first time, it was everything strange, new, different, easy to travel in the city (tramways and subways) which infrastructure Costa Rica doesn’t has, and the fact of feeling “safer” walking downtown. I didn’t live in a poor place where everything was dangerous or anything, but still, you had to be careful. It was a little difficult to adjust to the French culture: I felt as if they had a cold personality compared to Latinos which might be true but I had to live with it. I was away from my Costa Rican friends, feeling very nostalgic and not celebrating all the “quinceaños” (like the American “Sweet Sixteen” but when you turn fifteen) with them but had to keep going. My French with an accent wasn’t fluid, I thought in Spanish then translated to French, so it was inconvenient to self-centered French teenagers to talk to me, but I tried my best and became more friendly and talkative as I was before. I have an accent, not a very remarkable accent but still, there’s people who make fun on my accent and I just realized that I needed to laugh with them and not let them get to me by laughing at me.

I miss my country. I miss my family and friends. I miss my ancient school. I miss my culture who gave me arroz y frijoles (rice and beans) with tortillas to grow up. I miss talking in Spanish to everyone I cross. I can be very nostalgic, but most of time I tend to adjust to new situations and now, in a developed country I learnt to never be late (Costa Ricans are always late). I learnt another language (Italian in school) and realized I love learning new languages. I speak now fluent French. I travel by tramway and subway (it’d look not a big deal, but there aren’t these transports in Costa Rica: the buses are bad, there’s like 2 train lines, you need a car). I learnt to succeed: got grades I would have never thought I could get because I realize that a have the chance to living in a developed country for a while and sometimes students of these countries don’t appreciate what they have. I learnt a new culture: French culture and somehow middle east culture, because Marseille is the port where a lot of middle east immigrants have come and not just that, this city is a wonderful melting-pot.

I entered to this section called “International Option of the Baccalauréa” in my high school, in which we study English literature. Enter was a little difficult to me, but stay alive with the tons of homework is even more (dear teachers: please don’t take it personally!). I love the choice I made, I won’t regret being here because in my class there’s an openminded strong group that think differently of the world, have their own point of view, and are the most friendful people I met living in France.

As I said, this doctorate is taking four years out of my lifetime, which I thought it’d be an eternity when I came, but I know now that I was totally wrong. This experience, that a lot of Latinos would love to have, is a gift. A gift that has open my horizons more than expected, an opportunity that will always stay in my memory thanks to the other people I met, the First World that I’m discovering, the new cultures I’m learning. I am very pleased of living in Marseille, and as much as I want to come back to my origins, I think it’ll be hard to leave behind everything that concerns living in a developed country, France.

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