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Thursday July 5, 2018
Hello GLA Families!
Greetings from Alajuela, Costa Rica, the first stop in our summer adventure!
Twenty-one young ladies and two young men have arrived throughout the day to participate in the fourteen-day Animal Rescue Project. The earliest breezed through at 7am and the last touched down at 8pm, local time.
First photo shows the 19 students that arrived by 4pm, and the second photo shows our last four arrivals!
So glad to have everyone here!
We spent the day resting, getting to know one another, and eating the fine food.We are tired, but well-fed!, and excited about the next two weeks. Stay tuned for more updates!
Sunday July 8, 2018
Hi families! It’s Clairese!
Today we had our first clinic day in the lovely town of Parrita. After breakfast, we loaded the bus and headed to set up the clinic. It was such an amazing experience getting to assist with pre-surgery, surgery, and recovery. All the groups worked very hard and worked together as a team.
After the clinic we came back to lunch and then participated in a global awareness discussion. Next we headed to a local restaurant to try the fine cuisine.
Overall it was such a fun day with a truly amazing, unforgettable experience.
Monday July 9, 2018
Today, we went to a beautiful beach where we worked all morning to make it look even nicer. We divided into three groups: the first one cleaned tables and wrote VIDA and GLA symbols. Another group planted trees, and the last picked up trash from the sand. When we finished working we went to the ocean and had a lot of fun taking pictures and looking at the waves. After the beach, we had some really good pizza and pasta for lunch. We got on the bus and arrived in the new hotel where we had dinner.
Tuesday July 10, 2018
Today was the first morning in our temporary home of Liberia. Breakfast was at 7 so that means we got to sleep in a little (6:40)! We ate a classic breakfast of beans and rice, eggs, and fresh fruit. We changed into our scrubs and began our journey. The bus ride was guided by lush mountains that reached the sky. We arrived at a small community about 20 minutes later.
This was an amazing opportunity to be one with the culture and lean directly from the locals. We were walking around and completing home visits, which consisted of drawing with the kids, seeing how the locals live and experience life, giving a survey about the new animal welfare law in Costa Rica, and also teach families how to care for their pets.
Many of the owners didn’t want to neuter or spay their dogs for many reasons like bleeding, expenses, or the fact that it’s perceived as unnecessary. We informed the owners of the importance of spaying/neutering and mentioned our upcoming clinic. Not only did the owners have lots of dogs—they also had rabbits, chickens, sheep, and even cows.
To conclude our afternoon in Liberia, we had a scavenger hunt in the park, went shopping, and had ice cream!
At night, we went out to eat and played a leadership activity that was heart-warming and made us all closer. It showed us the value of new friends and the impact of new experiences.
Bye for now!
Wednesday July 11, 2018
Hey all! This is Sarah!
Today we had our second animal clinic day in Liberia. After breakfast, we loaded the bus
and went to the clinic that was set up in a local school. We had the opportunity to give
shots, take their temperature, and even assist in surgery! We all had a great time and
learned a lot more about veterinary medicine.
After the clinic, we headed back to the hotel for lunch and participated in a leadership
activity discussing our interest in animals and what motivated us to take this amazing GLA
Then we walked around and went to some of the local souvenir shops and the
supermarket. We returned to the hotel, ate dinner, and reflected on our unforgettable
experiences in Costa Rica!
See you soon!
Thursday July 12 through Saturday July 14, 2018
This is Grace Fitzgerald and I am writing three days of blogs!
On July 12 we moved to our final location for the last leg of the trip. We got to sleep in until 8am and ate an exciting breakfast of pancakes, which differed from the rice, beans, and eggs that we had every other morning at the hotel. The bus ride to Orosi was long, but beautiful views of mountains and valleys made it worthwhile.
For the last week, the counselors have been talking up Orosi as the best location we visit, and when we arrived we realized that it is as amazing as it sounded. Our hotel’s views of the entire valley unparalleled by anything we have seen so far. At night, we watched a TED Talk that opened our minds about the benefits of travelling and seeing the world from different perspectives.
July 13 began with our first day of volunteering at the local dog shelter. I myself woke up to the beautiful sounds of chirping birds, but at 4:30am. At the shelter, we spent the first hour scraping paint off the walls so that a new coat could be put on. However we were limited by the tools at hand. Only the paint chippers worked well despite hard scrubbing with sandpaper. We also got the chance to walk the dogs along the road and look at surrounding farms and houses. After lunch, we finally got to visit the hot springs. The naturally warm mineral water calmed everyone down and put us in tranquil moods. After thousands of photos were taken overlooking the edge of the pools into the valley, the staff served us fresh juices and authentic Costa Rican snacks. At the hotel, we got to learn to prepare and shape tortillas. Our dinner of pizza felt close to home. In honor of Friday the 13, we watched Coraline at night in the meeting room and relaxed.
Saturday July 14 did not go exactly as planned. Due to rain the night before and into the morning, our service was cancelled and instead, most people spent the morning relaxing in the meeting room and enjoying the views. We had an activity about animal behavior to fill the space, and then after lunch embarked on our journey to the coffee farm. The owners of the farm explained the process of making coffee from the starting plant to the finished roasted bean. We even got to try freshly roasted bean. Everyone had a great time and bought lots of fresh organic coffee Before dinner, we watched Adichie’s speech, “The Danger of a Single Story” and discussed the ways that stereotypes can skew our perceptions. After dinner, we had a dance lesson from some of the Costa Rican staff members. Although critical at first, everyone ended up having a blast and dancing our hearts out. Despite the thunderstorm outside, everyone truly enjoyed themselves and we connected as a group.