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The sounds of the river rushing, birds chirping, and music playing drift in through the open window. I look out at the lush, rolling green hills and the blue sky above. My host mom stands next to me as she teaches me how to know just how the tortilla dough should feel. I mix the water and corn flour with my hands and she stands by, making sure I get every step right. I roll the dough into little balls and begin pressing them into tortillas with the tortillera. All the while, my host mom and I discuss many things and I learn much more about the Costa Rican culture just by hearing her stories.

She watches me closely as I drop each tortilla into the pan and has the biggest smile on her face when I pull each one out golden brown. I put them down on the table and the whole family comes in to eat them. My host mom makes some fresco and my partner brings in picadillo to be wrapped inside the tortilla. Everyone eats and talks and enjoys each other’s company. I look around and realize that humans really are pretty much the same, no matter where in the world you are.