Is summer here already?! It sure is! Our first session is underway and it is off to a bang! All of our students have arrived safe and sound and we are getting into the Costa Rican swing of things. The sun is hot, but the cool breeze of the ocean is helping us stay a little cooler. So far we have met some new people, have put our acting skills the test, worked hard at our service sites and learned about GLA, and discovered what “Pura Vida” really means. This is going to be a great session filled with lots of service, culture, and of course fun!
Until next time….
Lindsey and the entire Beachside Service Adventure Crew
This morning we all piled into busses and drove down a little dirt road to a small school and medical center. When we got there we grabbed shovels and axes. We started taking down barbed wire fences while a few of us worked outside at the medical center and tried to level out the dirt outside to make a waiting room. Local women joined us and helped the whole time! They are some hardworking women! Some of us tried to make small conversations in Spanish and found out some cool facts about them. After lunch and siesta we played soccer with the locals. We tied! They were very welcoming and had their families with them. Small children came and practiced their English while we practiced our Spanish. After being inspired we came back to base and watched the World Cup.
– Hannah Matts and Abigail Schuh (Leaders of the day)
We started off the day waking up smelling the cool summer breeze. We went and ate a hearty breakfast, followed by a trip to a school where we started the process of building a cement sidewalk for children who go to the school so they can walk home safely. We used axes and shoveled dirt to level out a path. While working on this project we were able to demonstrate leadership skills and create a community with our peers. After our hard work we went back to the home base where we played games to gain trust and build a better relationship with our peers. Finally, we played a soccer game against the native Costa Ricans. We tied 7-7 which hasn’t been done in a while. After a long phycially and tireing day we arrived back at home base for dinner. Afterwards we relaxed, went in the pool and slept off a hard day’s work.
– DeVon Pearson and Natalie Cohen (Leaders of the day)
For the service group assigned to building the fence at the school, we first started our work by pulling out wood that was used along with barbed wire to build a fence around a school. The kids then were released to play outside so we joined them in playing a version of duck duck goose. Later on we played with them on the recycled tire playground a GLA team built last year. I think I can speak for us when saying playing with the children was such an enjoyable experience even though the language barrier provided a challenge for the majority of us. After they went back to class, we had to finish the hard work of pulling out the wood and also digging the remaining hole even deeper for the new fence. Overall, today we made good progress at our service site and it was a very productive day.
Emily Ruela and Reynold Anthony (Leaders of the day)
Today we did community service at the medical center. For this we moved around dirt and leveled it out for the cement we will be putting there later. We are doing this to create a waiting room for the patients. After that we had free time at our home base and were able to take cooking lessons, make jewelry, swim in the pool and play volleyball in our mentor groups, which are assigned at the beginning of the program. These are designed to help us meet new people while doing fun activities. Tonight we enjoyed a walk on the beach. Overall it was a great day of fun activities and service.
Jennifer Johnston and Jack Sewell (Leaders of the day)
Today we switched service sites and my group worked on the medical center. We dug holes for a fence and flattened dirt that will eventually become a waiting room for the medical center. Two groups went to an uninhabited island to swim and hangout, while the other group did yoga and bonded. In our casita groups we talked about the environment and how to make the world a better place. Tonight we are having dance lessons and possibly a game of BINGO. It was another great day in Costa Rica!
Ashley Caster and Margaret Johnston (Leaders of the day)
Today we started off the day with a hearty breakfast. On our 3rd day of service we switched sites. It was an exciting day playing with the children at the local school/ At the school we continued to dig the holes for the fence that will be put in soon. After we went back to homenas ean ate lunch. Then angelica’s casita group too a boat ride ot an uninhabited island. Nena’s group arrived soon after. The island was beautiful and relaxing. Tonight after dinner we are having dancing lessons! Later we have a choice of BINGO or a night walk on the beach. Lights out is at 10 tonight so we can get a good night’s sleep for our 4th day of service tomorrow!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY EMILY!
Paulina Cheney (Leader of the day)
Today our group worked at a school site where we shoveled dirt into wheelbarrows to create the foundation for a new sidewalk. During one break we played with some school children where we ran around, climbed, solved puzzles and learned about the way these students interact. This afternoon some students on an exciting boat ride to an uninhabited island called “The Island of the Birds” where we swam, snorkeled, walked and collected seashells.
Becca Kohn (Leader of the day)
Today at service we finished digging holes for the fence at the school by the medical center. Everyone then went to the medical center and helped pour concrete. We also brought colorful string and made friendship bracelets with the kids there.
– Eliza Lenihan and Mason Lloyd Sullivan (Leaders of the day)
Our group worked hard at the service sites and still had fun with it. We also picked up trash on the beach and everyone was surprised at the amount of trash there was. Everyone became more aware of the environment around us in that sense.
– Abby Rush (Leader of the day)
Today, Friday June 19th, we took our 40-minute trek to a local school located a little outside of La Cruz. Our mission at this school is to build a sidewalk that enables students to walk to and from school safely. Current conditions at the school require the kids to walk in the road, which is very dangerous due to cars. Upon arriving at the school we admired the work we had completed the previous day. Then we focused our attention on the work we faced. After we had a clear idea of what we had to complete today we went and played with the students. The students ranged in ages from 3 to 6. Some activities included baseball, tag, cops and robbers, piggyback rides, puzzles, and so much more. The children always have smiles on their faces and really love to interact with us. The language barrier is difficult at times, but it has pushed us to learn new words that will enable us to communicate with the kids. They especially love to play a game where we have to catch them by enclosing them in a hula-hoop. We also had a piggyback race where all of us had a child on our back and raced to the soccer goal and back. After playing with the kids we said “adios” followed by many hugs and then set off to work. We had different teams to speed up the process in an efficient manor. First some of us shoveled and filled the wheelbarrows with rocks and dirt. Second, people pushed the wheelbarrows and emptied them onto the side where the sidewalk was being built. Third, we raked the rocks and dirt so that the ground was level. Lastly, some people came around and packed down the dirt so that it will be tightly compacted for the cement. At 11:15 we all got back on the bus and headed back to La Cruz for a yummy lunch.
Today was an awesome day with GLA! Even though we had to wake up super early, we had an exciting day planned. We began our day with a bus ride to a majestic (dormant) volcano, and we had some great tour guides show us around to the awesome lagoons and small lakes. We
walked around in the beautiful tropical rainforests, and we were introduced to many of the unique animals that reside Costa Rica. We also got to relax in a steaming hot springs. After that we painted ourselves (and each other) with mud, followed by a rinse-off in the cool river flowing behind the springs. We also took a trip to the booming down of El Coco, in which we ate, shopped, and did some sight-seeing. Finally we had a musical bus ride home and some freetime to bond before coming together again for dinner. We can’t wait for another day full of adventures.
– Gabriella Scolpino, Carleigh O’Donoghue, Skyler Price, and Amina Youssef (Leaders of the day)
All students have departed safely and are on their way home!