From a tropical place to experiencing winter for the first time

Blogger Dylana Camacho Orozco from Costa Rica experiences winter at Truckee Meadows Community College

Last winter was very special for me as an international student from a tropical country. In Costa Rica we just experience sunny and rainy seasons, and sometimes the two are mixed so we can have both in just one day.  Part of the reason why I chose Reno was my desire to feel snow for the first time.

This year snow came later than other years (according to my local friends), so I was feeling disappointed because there was no snow at all, and also the days when it was supposed to be snowing I told my mom and she texted me all the time asking me if it was already snowing. But no, it wasn’t, or at least it didn’t happen till January.

First day of snow: Jan 6, 2024

We had a snow storm starting that day, I remember that the morning started as normal but with some flurries falling. I didn’t think it would look different, but when I checked out hours later everything was already covered in snow, it looked so pretty and unreal. So, the first thing I did was to call my mom and show her my window while I was already putting some warm clothes on to feel the snow.

Dylana & her first snowman

I was so happy and even nostalgic because I remembered how much I wanted to see snow when I was just a little girl.

So well, that day I touched snow and I felt how my hair and my face was freezing, but I built a snowman in my backyard and even though it looks creepy I’m proud of it.

Experiencing snow in the Mountains — Disco Tubing at Palisades, Tahoe

When snow was already melted here, snow activities kept opening up in the mountains. Some friends and I decided to go for the first time to do Disco Tubing at Palisades, Tahoe.

Disco Tubing consists of using disco tubes to slide down snowy slopes. At Palisades, they do a whole fantastic experience of this since they use flashing lights to decorate the place while you listen to cool music.

Disco Tubing at Palisades, Tahoe

First, this is the tunnel where we used a moving ramp to get up in the mountain with our disco tube. Then, up in the slide we can see all the slides available to use.

That’s where the scary part starts, there is no security belt, no helmets provided, just you in a Disco Tube trying to stay in without turning or hitting yourself in the big blocks of snow of the surroundings, which makes it even more fun.

We spent approximately 1 hour sliding and having fun there; the most surprising part is that when it closed, somebody told us that there was a concert close by (we heard the music coming from the mountains but thought it was just another event).

Ludacris Concert

To our surprise it was Ludacris who was performing there! So we stayed during the whole concert, it was fantastic.

This was a really fun activity, I experienced real snow and how I really needed to use three different layers of clothes to be able to resist how cold it was.

Skiing for the first time

My last experience was a “must do” in a place with snow: I finally went skiing.  

Definitely, I was super nervous about it. I have a little bit of experience doing this kind of thing since I used to use roller skates before, but after trying both, it is not the same at all.

TMCC International Students

A group of international students went with TMCC to ski at Mount Rose.

We had some ski and snowboarding lessons as well as enough time to practice on our own. And I fell down in the snow a lot of times which was equally cute and painful. My friend Brenda and I enjoyed our ski lessons and we learned a lot about how to move, and most importantly, how to get up every time we fall.

Dylana & Brenda

Being able to experience all of these activities makes me realize how much I miss my tropical Costa Rica, but also how incredible it is to get out of our comfort zone and try new things that we are not used to.

Ski & Snowboarding Lessons

Snow was a whole new experience for me and I really enjoyed it and I’m grateful for all the opportunities I had to play in the snow. Now that summer is approaching in the Reno area, I’m thrilled to see how similar it is to what I know as  summer.

So, stay tuned to see what else happens along this changing journey.

Dylana Camacho Orozco from Costa Rica is an international student at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada.

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