Friday July 5, 2019
Hola from San Jose!
We landed safely and arrived to our hostel in Alajuela to meet our new roommates and travel companions. Those that arrived earlier in the day had the chance to visit the central park in Alajuela and see the hustle and bustle of the city. After a delicious dinner and some information about the upcoming 2 weeks, we rested up for our bug day of travel tomorrow. Pura Vida!
Sunday July 7, 2019
Today we woke up to an early breakfast. Then we traveled to Pijije, where we took surveys. We met many animals such as cats, dogs and chickens. We then returned for lunch and a quick nap. We departed for down town Liberia, where we cooled down with some ice cream and hung out in the park. After that we ate dinner and had a group discussion and then went to sleep.
Monday July 8, 2019
Today was our first day at the clinic! We sprayed and neutered tons of animals. All while providing low costing healthcare for the whole neighborhood and their pets. We were able to assist surgeons and prepare the dogs for surgery! We had so much fun and we were able to do an important part in the preparation. Some of the animals we helped today were some of the pets we met yesterday.
We met a dog with mange and a group of students decided to contribute money to get the puppy the proper treatment to help. Mange is a painful skin condition that causes extreme pain and can result in the loss of hair for the dog. We also took part in playing with the children while their pets were in surgery. Overall it was an amazing and successful day for every student!
Tuesday July 9, 2019
Today we did a lot of fun activities such as zip lining, horseback riding, and going to the beach. We zip lined through the canopy of the beautiful Costa Rican rainforest. At the same place, we we rode on horses to a gorgeous watering hole full of butterflies. After that, we went back to the hotel and ate lunch. Next, we spent a couple of relaxing hours at the beach, enjoying the sun.
Wednesday July 10, 2019
Today we continued our service and operated on three cats and a handful of dogs. One dog in particular, a senior Labrador retriever, had a massive tumor that we successfully removed in a 58 minute high risk surgery. Many of the volunteers had played with the children which gave them immense joy from the simple acts of being given piggy back rides and stickers.
The kids tackled our volunteers with love and compassion, which fuels the drive to complete our mission in Costa Rica. After service, we headed back to the hotel, where we ate a variety of flavor-packed foods and played soccer at a nearby indoor facility. The mentors made soccer a very enjoyable time as they got everybody included in a sport that is considered a rich passion in Costa Rica.
Thursday July 11, 2019
Today was our last day working with the VIDA staff at the clinic. We all had a blast and completed six more successful surgeries on two female cats, three female dogs, and one male dog. It was hard to leave the clinic for the last time, but we have all learned so much and enjoyed the experience of learning. We are excited to begin the next leg of the journey to Orosí in Cartago and we will keep you posted. We’re all looking forward to cooler temperatures!
Friday July 12, 2019
So our journey begins as we travel to the small village of Orosi! This morning, we departed from Liberia and had a short five hour drive there! Upon our arrival, we enjoyed the vivid and elegant landscapes right from our hotel! After dinning on chicken and salad with lots of tomatoes, we left for the town’s square! There we observed a rustic old church and dined upon iced sweets! Orosi is a beautiful place and we and we can not wait to continue our exploration!
Saturday July 13, 2019
Today was our first day of service in Orosi! We took turns walking dogs and chipping paint off the shelter walls. After a break for lunch, we spent three hours in the hot springs admiring the incredible views of mountains and a volcano! We ended the day with a quick and meaningful leadership activity back at home base.
Monday July 15, 2019
We started our day off by heading to the dog shelter, walking dogs, sanding cages, and painting doors. Then we went for a very tasking hike where we ended at a huge and beautiful waterfall. We came back for dinner and ended our night with an activity.
Today, we sadly said goodbye to Nicole as she left the program early. We then headed to our last day of service, continuing painting and sanding walls as well as walking the dogs. It was very sad to say goodbye to all the cute dogs. We continued our day with a siesta. We were spooked at the haunted hospital, but had a lot of fun walking through the buildings. We ended our day with a farewell dinner with pizza and soda. After dinner some of the students played Just Dance and made the most of their last day. It was a great finish to the trip.