Time Capsule Letter – October 2016
Greetings form sunny Costa Rica!
By the time you read this, you will all be wondering off to new adventures! Either at home, school, vacation or with other communities. It feels like yesterday that we were on our way to homebase from airport and stopping on the road to look for monkeys. I invite you all to think back on our great experience together, and remind ourselves how much we learned together during those awesome ten days!
To begin with, you all managed to finish four projects! You were the lucky ones to see the final result of everyone’s hard work. Parquesito? Needless to say that besides the visual result of your work (painting, sanding, cleaning, varnishing)… the smile and joy of the children from El Jobo is priceless! Manzanillo? Can you imagine that a few months ago there was just a pile of leaves and dirt? And now, a beautiful place with tables, benches, grills, playground for children and a bonfire. What about the church that also serves as a school in weekends? How cool is the fact that now they have better benches and those wonderful signs at the entry?
Centro de Acopio is almost done. This project is a good example for sustainability, since you all impacted the life of eight Costa Rican families by expanding their main source of income! Working at the recycling center not only provides a better life for them but also impacts the environment. Welding, painting, cementing, digging, shoveling, cleaning, sanding, nailing …. Key words for every day!
You all did great, and now it’s also up to the community to take care of our work and teach others to be involved.
I appreciate how involved you were at project sites and how hard working. And the community shares the same thoughts! You knew very well that we have an aim to everything we do… and that we also have fun!
Remember beach time and adventure days? Frisbee game “500” on the beach? What about Haley getting over her fear of boats? And Juan Carlos getting over his far of the ocean?
Can we ever thank enough Mario for getting everyone coconuts? Such a wonderful and helpful person! Hey, what about Esteban’s talent ? Who knew that drinking water can be so much fun! And pterodactyl at night? Mixed with monkey calls? Minnie and Steve, the raccoons? Talent show mash up from room 323? And making friendship bracelets in room 333? What about the way of the derdians? Adventure days and horse ride to the waterfall? Remember also the massive group hug after the “Tap someone” activity? And what happened after that, you guys won the soccer game against the staff with one final goal… someone (we know who… and that would be me) was busy dancing salsa while being a goal keeper ☺
Every day with you felt like a blessing and I am thankful that I watched you all step out of your comfort zones and grow as leaders. You were all very open minded and adapted so much to the local culture. Key words: Rice and beans!
My wish is that you will continue to grow every day, and that the new perspectives you gained in Costa Rica will help you take initiative to positive impact your communities at home, and that is wherever in the world your home may be. You all have such great energy, I hope you spread it everywhere you go!
Thank you so much for being part of this Costa Rican adventure, I also learned so many cool things from you all!
The adventure never ends!
Smara, and of course- your lovely mentors, Camila, Emily and Nico!
Summer Blog Posts
August 5, 2016
Hola from Costa Rica!!
All 24 students arrived safe and sound, and everyone is excited for the next days of service, adventure and discovering the roots of PURA VIDA!
Another fun game that led us to the beach!
The GLA Team (Smara, Camila, Emily and Nico) + students sitting on the beach to reflect and write about their expectations.
Dayani decorated her GLA journal and we all loved it!
The best way to end the day – Sunset at Playa Rajada
– The GLA Costa Rica Team
August 6 and 7, 2016
These last couple days have been quite eventful! Saturday was our first day of service. We were split into three different groups; one went to a recycling center in El Jobo to help expand the facility, one went to El Parque de los Sueños to paint a playground and build a kiosk, and the other group went to Playa Manzanillo to build grills for the fisherman and their families. After a long morning of giving back to the Pura Vida community, we headed back to our home base to get some lunch (Rice & beans, of course)! We then filed into the buses to head to the beach! From there we got on a boat and headed out on the water to snorkel. After a long day, we came back and met with our mentor groups, with a surprise visit from a stray cow wondering through home base!
On Sunday we woke up earlier than usual to get an early start to another long day! It was Adventure Day and we were in a treat! We took an hour and a half hike through the beautiful Costa Rican forests. with sights including volcanic activity, monkeys, and waterfalls! Afterwards, we took another mini hike to some amazing hot springs! When we got there, we slathered mud all over ourselves and then washed off in the beautiful natural water! Then we went to a souvenir shop (where there was Wi-Fi!), and also stopped at a grocery store where we nearly bought them out of ice cream, chocolate, and cookies!
Anyways, all 24 of us are here, and best of friends already! We miss and love you guys so much!
– Devyn Bauer and Elizabeth Trudel
August 8 and 9, 2016
On Tuesday, August 9th we traveled to the town of La Cruz and visited a local Spanish-English public school called Liceo Experimental Bilingüe (LEB) where we played games with middle school and high school students. We were able to intermingle and immerse in a new culture and language through games. The Costa Rican students taught us some of their games and we taught them some of ours. We learned many interesting facts about the school. The students start school at seven in the morning and end at four in the afternoon, they are given a snack break for ten minutes every eighty minutes, at lunch time the students walk into town to purchase lunch, and LEB students start learning English in second grade.
After an exciting day of visiting the school we enjoyed a fun evening of jewelry making and blindfolded food tasting. GLA students hunted for seashells on the beach for seashells with holes to make bracelets with beads and colored yarn. The foods we tasted included mangos, chocolate covered bananas, empanadas, guava, papaya, plantains, cheese, and mamoncillo.
Editor’s Note: The last (optional) activity of the day was a quick hike up the hill near our hotel – where we got a nice view Isla Bolanos and Nicaragua!
On Wednesday, June 10th we had a thrilling day in Liberia at Rincon De La Vieja National Park tubing, zip lining, and horseback riding to a beautiful waterfall where we swam then rode our horses back.
We ended the night with a bonfire on the beach making Costa Rican s’mores with galletas (cookies), marshmallows, and chocolate sauce.
We are having a great time in Costa Rica, pura vida! We have made so many new friendships, memories, and impacts our local community that we can’t wait to share with our families and friends at home. See you soon!
– Elizabeth Trudel and Devyn Bauer