Time Capsule Letter – October 2016
GLA staff for Costa Rica’s Beachside Service Adventure unanimously agreed that session five was the perfect way to end the summer. There were many students who came on the adventure together, yet all of the students got to know each other, made connections, and got along superbly. They quickly got the hang of the packed daily routine, which included an early breakfast (6:30am– yikes!), four hours of service, lunch, afternoon excursions, chow circles, dinner, mentor groups, and an evening activity. GLAers were eager to get started with service and worked in the heavy, humid heat with no complaints. Every day they came home from their service sites covered in paint, cement and sweat, and cheerfully exchanged stories about their mornings.
Our students easily made friends with the local students whom they served. For example, Natalie was gifted a beautiful drawing by one of the high schoolers at Colegio Coco; Rachel got a braided hairstyle by kindergarteners at La Libertad; and Andrew, Alex, Dom, and Matt had daily soccer matches with the kids at Obandito. The bug bites were a nuisance, but students did not let that stop them from exploring and enjoying Costa Rica. They teased with monkeys at an animal sanctuary, mastered salsa and bachata lessons, made their skin glow with mud masks, and conquered their fears while tubing, zip lining, and horseback riding on adventure day. Some of the most precious moments, however, were the sunsets on Coco beach, roommate heart-to-hearts after lights out, bus jam sessions, and mealtime convos comparing their different American accents and regional sayings (wicked cool!). Students were sad to say goodbye at the end of the ten days, but they already began making plans to keep in touch and travel together in the future, and to take the Costa Rican pura vida attitude with them wherever they go.
Summer Blog Posts
All 35 students are finally here in Playas del Coco. Despite the rainy afternoon, we still managed to witness a typically gorgeous Costa Rican sunset. Then came the sun come morning to kick us off with orientation activities. Stay tuned for updates on our service projects and cultural activities that get underway on Saturday.
Today was the first day of service! We split into groups to work on 3 different schools. After about 4 hours of working and becoming familiar with our work sites, we left to come back to home base and have a delicious lunch. The afternoon consisted of fun and educational cultural activities. First, we went to a local artisan who taught us how to make things out of clay. Then he made us all delicious coffee. When we came back to home base we all participated in a lively dance class where we learned how to salsa and bachata. We also sang Costa Rican songs with a local guest! It’s only Day 3 and we’ve already become so comfortable with each other. We can’t wait to see what the rest of the week will bring!
Written by Leaders of the Day Emily Powell and Devon Gallagher
August 9, 2016
A blog entry about being Leader of the Day:
As leaders for the day we felt pretty confident because we weren’t afraid to get out of our comfort zones. In the morning things were a little slow and we felt we didn’t hold people’s attention as much as we should have. As the day went on, by lunch and dinner we believe we were much more articulate and got attention more effectively. It showed that not everything will always go as planned, but a good leader can adapt to the situation. We wanted to play a game called Ships and Sailors, but based on how tired everyone was after a long day, we chose a different game on the spot that would best suite the group at the time. Overall, our experience as Leaders of the Day was worthwhile and it was an opportunity we will never forget.
Written by Kim Croce and Dennis Nguyen
Today we went to our final service day, so we finished the projects and said goodbye to all the kids and those who helped us along the way. We made good work on finishing up what we started, which was very rewarding. It is so sad to say goodbye to the schools when there is still so much work to be done. After a nice lunch we went to a new and beautiful beach where we spent a relaxing afternoon in the sun. Then we came back to home base to swim, try new fruits, and make granizados, or Costa Rican snow cones.
Written by Natalie Munn and Roxy Cummings