Time Capsule Letter – October 2016
As Ric would say, “Hola chicos!”
How are things going back in the United States? Your International Director and Mentors miss you, and talk about memories from our time together often. You stand out as a group who took initiative, and demonstrated true leadership throughout your two weeks in Costa Rica. Each of you was a special part of our GLA family and brought something unique to our experience here in Costa Rica. Because of you, I learned so much about what it means to be a leader, and to live life to the fullest!
It seems like our time together was only yesterday. Remember our sweaty hike through the forest, and the boa constrictor that crossed our path? That view over the forest was stunning! What about macheteing to save the Guaycan Trees? The tractor ride to the plantation was half the adventure. These trees will continue to grow, and who knows? Maybe one day one of you will bring your grandchildren to Costa Rica and show them the trees you helped protect! Macheteing around the soccer field in Triunfo was quite a challenge, but upon returning to the community, I can tell you that it looks better than ever! Remember playing hopscotch and tag with the kids there, and our intense futbol game? What about the day we had the surprise of spending the afternoon at Playas del Coco? (Thanks Fun Committee!) Sipping from coconuts with a straw, swimming in the water, and shopping for elephant pants was the perfect was to see another side to Costa Rica.
I will always remember exploring hidden beaches by kayak, collecting seashells, and good conversations at Playa Iguanitas. And then of course, watching the sun set as Mitchell dug a giant hole with a kayak paddle, and later playing Mafia in the darkness as the waves crashed just feet away. After our hard work in the dry forest, camping at the beach was the perfect transition into our next week in the rainforest.
I loved seeing your faces when we arrived at Bromelias. I miss cooling off in the mineral pools at our beautiful Rainforest home base, watching the rain pour down from the safety of the comedor, and all of the beautiful plants that surrounded us there. At Buenos Aires, the beautiful trash cans you created have been used constantly throughout the summer. They bring a splash of color, and are remnants of your hard work in the community. At Gavilan, the recycling center is looking better than ever! All the muscle you put into mixing cement and the creativity and artistic skill you brought to the walls will have a lasting impact on the school. I hope you have not forgotten dancing the night away with Minor, Carlos, and the rest of the community, cooking delicious enyucados and prestiños, topped with a sweet, warm honey sauce, and soaking in the hot spring on our rainforest hike. What about our final futbol game, when Gerardo gathered us around and thanked us for the time we had put into improving the community, and creating connections with the children there? He was such a humble man, and I know he truly appreciated your presence in the community.
We hope that with the new school year in swing you don’t forget the lessons you learned while here in Costa Rica. Each of you is a leader in a different way, and I cannot wait to see where your lives take you! You pushed yourselves out of your comfort zones, worked hard in the communities, asked many questions about yourselves and the world, and developed new friendships that we hope you don’t leave behind! Remember to keep in touch with your mentors and fellow GLA family members in the coming months (and years!).
Your Mentor Allie
Summer Blog Posts
First group photo (Editor’s note: Kai Pohlhammer not in photo due to late arrival)
Hola from Costa Rica!
Day one is almost finished, and 17 out of 18 participants have arrived safely to the GLA home base at Horizontes. We have just gotten a call from mentor Ellen, and Kai, the last member of our group, has arrived at the Liberia airport and will be here shortly. We are eager to have our whole group together at last!
After arriving from the airport this afternoon, the students ate a late lunch of rice, beans, chicken and veggies cooked by our wonderful chefs; Maria, Manuela and Ana. After lunch, the team got to know eachother a little better with some ice breakers, and a short nature walk in the property surrounding the Horizontes property. After dinner, we began discussing what our next two weeks in Costa Rica will look like, and what our expectations are for this adventure of a lifetime.
Tomorrow will be a full day of becoming orientated with our home base (a research station in the dry forest), as well as spending time working at a plant nursery.
We all are excited to see all that these next two weeks will bring!
June 29, 2016
This morning after we woke up we went to have a traditional Costa Rican breakfast of Gallo Pinto. While we were eating breakfast we got to enjoy monkeys playing in the trees and iguanas soaking up the morning sun. After that we did our first official orientation and played some fun activities getting to learn more about each other. Following lunch we went and worked at the nursery on location of our home base. While packing bags and planting seeds we learned collaborative skills to communicate with each other as a team. Hopefully just like the seeds will grow, so will our friendships over these next two weeks.
Later on after dinner, we went on a night hike and got to learn about the wild species that lurk amongst the night. Trekking through the dark, although we couldn’t see, we bonded through the silly jokes, and our experiences learning about wildlife with Freddy.
We can’t wait to start on our next adventure, bright and early, 7am tomorrow morning.
Costa Rica Media Team
As the media team, we apologize for not updating you daily for we have been very disconnected and have been immersed into the Costa Rican culture. As of now we have transferred bases and settled into our new home in the Costa Rican forest. For the past few days we have been doing plenty of exciting activities such as hiking to waterfalls, swimming in mineral pools, foraging for fruit, and learning to be aware of our surroundings and the species that live amongst it. For our service work, we have spilt up into groups and spent time working on these sites doing different types of service work that will benefit the lives of these children that will one day be using it. Other exciting activities that we have really enjoyed was learning new dances and taking painting classes. We will update you soon about our upcoming activities.
– Media Team