Friday August 10, 2018
Welcome to Costa Rica!!
Yesterday was a successful arrival day! We spent the day relaxing at our hotel and getting to know each other. Now that every student is here safe, we are so excited to start sharing this experience as we embark to our homebase at the coast! As we say in Costa Rica…Pura vida!
Hannah Calloway, International Director
Saturday August 11, 2018
The first full day in Bailla Ballena was a success. We started with a nutritional, locally grown breakfast, before a quick bus ride to the beach. At the beach we split into two groups. One group went with the fabulous Bodhi Surf instructors begin the first lesson on basic surfing. The second group learned about litter, micro-plastics, and beach clean up. We alternated roles halfway through, so both groups got both experiences. After that we returned to homebase and enjoyed a delicious lunch. Then we went on a walk through the community and learned about wildlife and cultural norms. We learned more about litter with a life sized whale model made of plastic bottles- A picture of how much litter is used every day. We are all looking forward to day two of service in Costa Rica!
Sunday August 12, 2018
Hola! Today was a beautiful day in Costa Rica. We went to the beach and swam and saw some bottlenose dolphins. We also learned how to open coconuts and we drank fresh coconut water. We enjoyed quesadillas and potatoes for lunch. After that we went and painted a mural in a local neighborhood. Everyone developed new painting skills, bonded, and had a blast! Then we returned to home base and relaxed, swam, and socialized with eachother. Another great day in paradise!
Monday August 13, 2018
Parents, Family and Friends,
Day 5 in Costa Rica carried its own adventures and experiences. Pancakes for breakfast had everyone ready for surf lessons pt. 2. Today we all learned how to stand up and turn our boards. Everyone had success in one way or the other and we definitely all improved in our general knowledge of the sport.
After surf we went to work on some GLA projects including painting, nailing boards and cutting and measuring planks for signs and structures. After a long dark rainstorm back at camp we learned how to make some traditional Costa Rican entree (i.e. Empanadas and tortillas) and we ate our masterpieces at dinner.
Last but certainly not least was dancing!!
We learned Salsa, Cha Cha, and Merengue. Dancing was certainly the highlight of the night and we all learned, and sweat a lot.
Buenos Noches from the Uvita province!
Tuesday August 14, 2018
Day 6 in Costa Rica rainy season was very productive! The day started off with service building service signs for a reforestation project. We also had lots of fun spotting native animals such as Howler Monkeys, and Leaf Cutter Ants. Did you know that Howler monkeys are the loudest mammals on the planet? After lunch we learned all about ways plastic has impacted the beaches of the planet, sobering experience. Then we got to work on ideas to start preventing plastic use. We had some really practical and creative ideas.
Wednesday August 15, 2018
Today was our final day of surfing. Our instructors taught us how to properly catch waves while remaining on our boards the entire time. Surfing as a whole has been an amazing experience for all of the students and a great way to connect more to the community of Bahía Uvita. Surfing will be missed dearly by all the students but the lessons learned and the awareness raised to the dangers of plastics to Bahía Ballena and beaches across the world have changed our mindset for the better.
Toady, we had to eat breakfast at 6am in order to take a boat to Corcovado National Park, which contains 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity. As we got on the boat, waves were gradually stronger, making the ride feel like a rollercoaster. Luckily, our guide, Risto, was able to spot dolphins. As we started walking towards the national park, we saw many hermit crabs on the shore. This created an optical illusion, as the sand seemed to be moving. Throughout our hike, the wildlife we spotted was breathtaking: spider monkeys, howler monkeys, agoutis, bats, yellow-headed caracaras, and blue morphos were some of many species we were privileged to see. While we experienced costa rican flora and fauna, we also experienced its culture, as we ate arroz con pollo for lunch. While the park was pristine and remote, we still saw a lot of plastic on its beach, stressing the importance of this program. On the boat ride back, we saw three humpback whales: two mothers and a calf. After a long day, we all relaxed at home base and rested up for the upcoming adventures.
Sunday August 19, 2018
Wow! The last few days certainly are not the least. Today we went to a beautiful waterfall, a 4Km walk. When we got settled we jumped into the crystal clear water and enjoyed the scenery. We saw monkeys and jumped into the water from a ledge. The waterfall was probably the highlight of the day – but the bakery after may be a close second.
We went to a few souvenir shops and got some quality Costa Rican merch. (Mothers get ready for some key chains)
We all are excited to bring the knowledge that we have gained on this trip back home to our family and friends.