Monday April 15, 2019
Team Rice Blog
This is Team Rice going over the first two days of our Sea Turtle Initiative program.
The first night we stayed at the Hotel Trotamundo and got to tour the town along with introduction activities. While touring the town we were able to go and dance with some of the locals. Then we woke up early to take a bus ride to a zip-lining course. While zip-lining we were able to see the whole forest and take in the nature. People were able to be put out of their comfort zones, it was a great way to bond, and get to know each other right away. After the zip-lining we continued our adventure to the home base, where we took a boat through the river, into a lagoon, that led us too our soon to be home for the next week. After settling into our rooms, we did some bonding activities and ate dinner. We then went to sleep in our new rooms.
The next day kicked off with a farm tour that was given by Jason, the homebase owner and builder. We learned all about the different types of plants around us like banana trees and vanilla plants. We even got to see an expensive flower that is used in Chanel N°5. In the afternoon a man from the organization ASTOP came to talk to us about sea turtles and how 1 out of 1,000 babies survive and that the population has decreased by 80%. The group enjoyed our first siesta and then headed off to the lagoon and beach area where we swam, day on the beach, and had to complete a series of tasks based on the show survivor. Team Rice didn’t win, but we’ll come back. After the challenge we came to the home and had dinner, we then started on our first night tour! We were unable to see any sea turtles, but one group was able to see tracks!
This is Team Rice signing off,
– Ethan, Ellery, Natalie, Ian, and Emily
Tuesday April 16, 2019
Today breakfast was arepas which are basically fried dough that you put syrup on. We also had eggs, fruit and pear juice. It was really yummy. After breakfast everyone scraped off their leftovers into a bowl for the amazing kitchen staff to dispose of and got ready for the day. We were in a hurry because we had to get to a boat to go to the local village, Parismina.
After breakfast we hopped onto a boat and headed towards the village. The guide’s dog from the night before had stayed with us the whole night and came into the boat with us. The river we were on was surrounded by brush and pirates-of-the-Caribbean-like plants which was really cool. We unloaded ourselves and the dog from the boat once we landed at the port to the city and met up with our tour guide for the tour of the city.
Today the stakes were high, five groups fighting for dominance… The empanada competition. 2 competitions five teams who will win out of them all. Meat versus Salad the fight was rough. Salad attempted to please the Costa Rican children with a sweet pineapple empanada. Although team Salad ended up victorious, team Meat put in an honorable effort with their homemade sweet and spicy sauce. In the other competition was between three teams, team rice, team beans, and team plantain. The battle was extremely heated. Literally. All teams, sweating, made empanadas.
All had different ingredients. We then threw them in boiling oil. When they were cooking, we drew different designs with sauce and ingredients like tomato, lime, and pepper (we then ate the empanadas we made earlier) after they were done cooking, it was a race. We threw them on the plate sauce and ingredients everywhere. We all were in disarray, trying to please the Costa Rican women. Which in the end, turned out to be an impossible thing to do. One was too salty, one was too sweet, then one was just right. There was a score: plantines had come in last and a tie between the rice and beans. Out of 100 the highest score was 32. Oh well, better luck next time.
After the lovely experience in the heart of Parismina, the squad returned to the home base. The cooking staff made yet another delectable meal for the famished children (but not really that famished because of the empanadas from cooking class) who happily gorged themselves with beans, rice, yuca, and chicken. The excellent lunch made for a well needed siesta were everybody parked their bloated stomachs and food babies in the hammocks and surrounding tables and chilled out.
After a couple hours the squad got ready for the beach visit. Something about the beach resonated with the entire GLA community. Everyone was relaxed by the soothing waves and crazy fun activities in the water. The beach clean up activity was by far the most enriching opportunity we’ve had all trip. Everyone was engaged and eager to explore the depths of the forest to uncover all of the nearby trash.
Today, after beach cleanup, we went back to the base and we all hung out for a few minutes and then shortly after that, we had a hour long talk about climate change and how it is impacting our planet and we also talked about some solutions of what we could do to help fix up our planet. Next, we all played trivia and the questions were all about our presentation of climate change and each question was probably about 2 minutes long.
** Updates from the night walk (some students saw turtles and were able to save a turtle nest!!!) will be posted with the next blog. 🙂
Today we started off the day with the boat tour of the swamp. We saw a lot of really cool animals! We saw types of monkeys: howler monkeys, spider monkeys, and white faced monkeys. We also saw lots of birds, lizards, bats and a poison dart frog which was really neat. Today for lunch there was Mac and cheese which was nice change because it was a familiar food from home.
The weather was perfect for the beach because it was warm but not too hot and there were no clouds. We were able to swim in the ocean, sunbathe, and go in the lagoon and do chicken fights. After that we did a beach clean up and we specifically looked for these things called nurdles, which are very tiny pieces of plastic. Team salad won for the most amount of garbage collected, and plantains won for most amount of nurdles collected.
Right after that we had a dance lesson from a couple of the locals and we learned how to do the soca, salsa, meringue, and bachata. After we had a dance party. After dinner we went outside to see a sloth that Jason found, and he also found a cayman (small crocodile like animal) in the pond and we fed it chicken. We all decided to go to bed early and do a late night patrol to hopefully see a turtle. It was worth it because we saw a turtle!
We found it right when it finished digging its hole and we got to see it lay eggs. We collected the eggs and there were a little over 100. Then the turtle camouflaged her nest and we watched her go into the ocean. While we were walking back we also saw a second turtle come out of the water, but it was trying to make its nest too close to the water and the waves kept going over the nest so it gave up.
Thursday April 18, 2019
his morning we had fried dough and eggs for breakfast. We also had some awesome pineapple too. After the breakfast we learned that when we taking a photo or when we want to post anything, we should think before we post and how to ask kids for consent when taking a picture. Because of el semana Santa, the schools are all in holidays, so we went to the town for an Easter egg hunt with the local kids. We sort of let the kids know what Easter is. Each kid can get 3 candies per egg. All the kids found at least 5 eggs. The kids were really cute. We had a lot of fun.
During the day, we played soccer. What the experience! We separated into two groups, and a bunch of unpredictable soccer players show up! Some of the local kids came out to play with us. But before any of that happened we got smoothies. They were absolutely delicious.
After lunch, we began to shop through the local markets filled with homemade Costa Rican art and jewelry. 10% of the profits went to ASTOP, the local sea turtle rescue of Parismina, while the rest of the proceeds supported local Costa Ricans. Also, some students chose to have their hair done in island-vibe braids and wraps.
Since this is the last day we stay in Parismina, group meat( blog writer for today) would like to appreciate to all the staff we met in this trip. Muchas gracias a todos! Les queremos mucho. A lot of thanks to our host Jason and his wife. And their dog Lazy. Thanks to our mentors to keep this tour amazing. Thank you.