Saturday July 21, 2018
Friends and Families,
What a day! After a long day of arrivals and greetings, we’re just about to sit down for dinner. Liam has yet to arrive, but he’ll be here in time for some of Laura’s delicious cooking later this evening.
Today students found rooms, signed up for leadership roles, and began working on questions for our community agreements activity tomorrow when we arrive to Parrita. We made it into town despite the rain and loaded up on some delicious Costa Rican junk food, including yucca chips and aloe juice. We had a delicious lunch of barbeque chicken and falafel, and we can’t wait for dinner.
Hopefully everyone will get a good night’s rest because tomorrow, the fun and work begin!
Tuesday July 24, 2018
Today was our third day in Costa Rica. Yesterday we did a quick swim test and had an orientation for our upcoming clinic days. We then drove to our first home base in Parrita. We stopped for a snack and souvenirs, and even saw crocodiles from the bus.
Today was our first day of service. We were supposed to go to a school today to teach the kids about the importance of taking care of their pets, but it ended up not working out. The teacher was sick and unlike where we live, they don’t have substitutes, so the kids can’t go to school. Instead, we were able to clean a local beach. We split into three groups for service: one planted trees, the second painted the tables, benches, and the third picked up garbage on the beach.
After coming back to the hotel for lunch, we went to the beach for the afternoon. We went to two different beaches due to a short burst of Costa Rican rain and high tides. We were at the beach for about two hours and some of us swam the whole time. After, we went to the beach town to walk to some stores and get pizza and pasta for dinner. We’re all super excited for our first clinic day tomorrow.
Tuesday July 24 and Wednesday July 25, 2018
The 24th started out with an early wakeup call. It was clinic day one. When we got to the
clinic site, we needed to wrap the stables in bags to prepare for surgery and intake. I had a
dog named Terri. Terri needed to be neutered so he went through intake where he had a
check up and pre-anesthesia. He went through surgery where two others and I monitored
the anesthesia and one other group member assisted in surgery. This was the same for all
groups. After surgery, Terri went into recovery. We monitored each animal’s temperature,
respiratory rate, and heart beat—it was really cool to hear a beating heart. The dogs were
delusional when they woke up, so their tongues were sticking out. It was the cutest thing!
Now that the dogs and a couple of cats have been spayed/neutered, the population and
welfare of so many animals will become much better than before. After getting home and
eating lunch, we went to the store to buy snacks and other things.
The next day, we woke up to a day of service at Manuel Antonio Park. The group listened to
an interesting presentation about wildlife and marine life conservation to educate us about
Costa Rica. After this we were split into four groups. Two groups shoveled, and two groups
painted. I was in group three. We shoveled rocks back onto the path to make getting around
easier, as well as add to the continual effort to beautify Costa Rica’s parks. After the hard
work was done, I was rewarded with an unopened coconut. I smashed it on the ground in
an attempt to open it (it kinda worked). Anyways, it tasted extremely good. As the service
was brought to an end, we finally went to the beach. We all walked to one of the beaches at
the park and jumped in, even though we were afraid of the jellyfish. The water was so
warm, but a little rough, so we changed to a second beach. It was littered with beautiful
rocks of all kinds. It was around three when rain started to sprinkle on the beach, so we
decided to walk back to the bus and take some much needed showers to wash off the sand.
The past two days have been amazing and I’m excited for the rest of the trip!
Tuesday July 31, 2018
Family and Friends,
Today we woke up bright and early at 6:45 am for breakfast. We enjoyed a delicious meal
together looking out on the gorgeous view of foggy mountains and a faraway river. After
breakfast, we all got ready for day two of service at the shelter. We boarded the vans and
bounced down the windy mountain roads as we excitedly awaited a long day of walking
dogs, scraping old paint, painting kennels, and hanging out with pups. Once we arrived, we
divided into groups and got straight to work. The dogs were excited to see us and the
shelter staff were grateful to have us. It is a wonderful feeling to actually see your work
improve the lives of animals up front. After service, we hugged the dogs goodbye for the
day and headed back to the hotel for lunch. Hungry from our hard work, we replenished on
steak, salad, rice, beans, and fried plantains.
Later, with bellies full and smiles on our faces, we took off to the coffee tour about 30
minutes away. The farm was purchased in the 1980s and is a fully functioning, completely
organic coffee farm. It uses naturally grown fungi instead of pesticides and prides itself on
the pristine, delicious coffee produced. We were able to indulge in a detailed tour of the
entire coffee process—from fruit to cup. After the tour, we enjoyed warm, scrumptious
coffee and purchased coffee beans and grounds from the gift shop.
Gazing at the gorgeous scenery, we twisted back up the mountain roads to the hotel. After
some relax time, we ate loaded tacos for dinner, which was a great finish to a great day.
When dinner was over, some kids sat in the hot tubs in the chilly mountain air on the back
patio of the hotel, while others relaxed in their rooms. After a long, fulfilling day, everyone
was ready to unwind and dream about the adventures to come tomorrow.