Time Capsule Letter – October 2016
Well well well amigos. It seems like only yesterday we were all here in Canto de Ballena, learning all about the ocean and sustainability, as well as making great friends and memories. What a fab two weeks it was! From the very beginning you guys jumped straight in, with Jessica literally jumping straight into her very first ocean experience, amazing! You guys rocked it at surfing, Lucas and Jesse were pros out there. Everyone totally embraced all that we did, and even just sitting by the pool chatting, or jumping in and swimming in the rain after service with Julia and Brittany, was fun! Home base felt like such a busy place, and it was nice just chilling there in the evenings playing rummy, or just lying in the hammock- Connor I’m looking at you! Yazhte was also a classic- Alvin how many Yazhtes did you get?!! Insane….
All of our watersports activites were definitely amongst my favourites. The boat trip to Corcovado was a blast, and although everyone got woken up by Gordon standing over them, a fab day wa had! Module C had it tough on the way back though, as we got splashed and splashed by the other boat. I’ll never forget Kelsey getting woken up by what felt like buckets of water being thrown at us, and we couldn’t even splash them back…the injustice! I also loved the waterfall hike and going through riddles with Madeline to break up the walk, although Olivia I’m still a little salty that you tricked us into listening to your “riddle”..!:)
Bahia is still as charming as ever, and the work you guys did at service has made such an impact. The tree protectors that you made, I remember Elena, Lulu and Cammy working super hard at them, have been placed around some saplings around the soccer pitch, and look fab! The logos that Noemi and Mari helped paint look great, as does Matt’s logo for Semilla de Ballena. Team work made the dream work! The town is getting busier as the Whale festival approaches, and there are plenty more stalls to pick up some sweet purple tinted lenses (Grey, we hope you’re still rocking them!). One of my favourite memories was the stroll some of us took down to the beach that last morning, and having a quick dip in the ocean, with Abi doing some epic handstands and yoga poses as the sun rose! Isabel and Emma were straight in for a swim, and the water was so warm even though it was so early, bliss.
All in all, what a fab two weeks. We thank you guys for making it so enjoyable and easy, and for being YOU!
Summer Blog Posts
Hola from Alajuela!
We all arrived safe and sound yesterday, with our last students arriving by 7pm last night. This session we have students from Spain, Canada and the States, and three students who flew in from another programme in Costa Rica! Some of had lunch here in a traditional Costa Rican restaurant, and others arrived just in time for a pizza dinner. Tomorrow we head down to home base in Bahia Ballena, and have time to get settled in, meet the rest of the team, get to know each other, and get excited for the fun times ahead!
Bye for now!
July 30, 2016
We started the day off early with breakfast at 7 am. Our breakfast was our regular breakfast containing rice, beans, bread, eggs, and fresh fruit. We left home base around 8 to go do service and learn how to surf. Our instructor Travis not only taught us how to stand up on the board, but the meaning and basics of surfing, as well as why he teaches it. While one group was surfing the other group was doing a beach cleanup picking up trash. We left the marine conservation/beach around 12 for lunch, which consisted of salad, rice, and vegetables. After lunch we had some free time before our community walk with Wayne. Our walk started at 3 and we walked around town learning its history and the culture. After our walk we had dinner, which was rice with tuna and vegetables and plantain chips. Afterwards Travis showed us a video called the “Goose with the Golden Egg”, which exposed the corruption of national tourism in Costa Rica. The video gave us a perspective on how to sustain local communities in Costa Rica. After the movie we talked with Travis about how we can use our emotions to help the situation. That concluded our night and tomorrow we start our service working with the community and clean water.
Matt & Jesse
July 31, 2016
We started the day off at 8am with breakfast. Then we walked into town and met Amy and Wayne working with Geoporter, a company that uses gps to track and collect data in the community. We visited multiple grey water sites. We tested the waters Ph., temperature, smell, turbidity, dissolved oxygen and area. Afterward we said bye to Amy, half the group stayed around in town to shop and browse in local shops while the other half went back to go swimming. Then we met for lunch and continued to bond with our new friends. After free time we met again at 1:45 to go to the tree nursery to meet up with Travis for service. Service involved painting, building a surfboard bench, sawing wood, planting saplings and raking. After 3 hours of hot but enjoyable service we headed back to home base for an educational talk with Travis. He talked about the six R’s of sustainability and watched a Ted Talks on re-purposing garbage and into long lasting products. Then our group came up with many different ways we can practice the six R’s in Costa Rica. Next we had a delightful dinner and free time before we headed to reflection at 8:45. Tomorrow should be a fun filled day of dancing lessons and kayaking. Adios!
August 1, 2016
There was a nice change of pace as breakfast this morning was pancakes. We woke up for them at 7:30, and attended dance shortly after breakfast at 8:30. We danced salsa, meringue, swing, bachata, and a local Costa Rican dance. Than at 11:30 we had an early, very fast lunch and soon after entered the vans, which—an hour later—arrived at the Mangroves. We kayaked there for about two hours, and than made the long drive back. We learned about the various types of Mangroves and saw monkeys and a sloth! When coming back we had about an hour of free time, following with a delicious dinner. At 7 o’clock we had a classic Talk With Travis about water bottles and what we can do to be more efficient about our usage. Overall, today was a draining yet awesome day. Looking forward to what tomorrow has in store!
-Elena & Alvin
We woke up at 5:00 am and had breakfast at 5:30am. We had to wait to leave due to the very heavy storm that took place at night, since the Corcovado boat tour guides were not sure if there would be storms. We got into the boats and we navigated until we got off at Corcovado. On our way there, we saw dolphins and about ten humpback whales. When we got to the beautiful island of Corcovado we met our guides and they took us around hiking. The most impressive moment of the hike is when we got to swim in the waterfall. Afterwards the waterfall we went back and we had an amazing lunch, which consisted of rice, salad, and a great variety of fresh fruit. We then rested in the base camp for around an hour. We were supposed to swim there but since a crocodile was near shore, swimming was cancelled. We then got back into the boats and made our way back to Bahia Uvita. Before getting there, we stopped near Whale Rock Island and took a swim in the open ocean. We were very lucky since we swam surrounded by whales! It was an amazing experience. We then got back to Uvita and made our way back to Hotel Canto de Ballenas. When we got there we had a talk with lovely Pilar and we then ended our day having dinner. It was a great day full of amazing new experiences.
Gordon & Naome
It was an early and rainy morning wake up in anticipation for surfing. The morning activity was split into two groups; service and surfing. The service consisted of planting mangrove saplings along the shores of the coast and picking up trash on the beach. We were treated with a mid-morning snack of fresh coconut and chiky cookies. The group received an excellent surfing review from the instructor. Lunch was at 1:00 at home base. Our afternoon activity was service at the tree nursery. Students created wooden guards for young trees, signs encouraging environmental responsibility, and finished painting previously made shelves. The group all jumped in the in the pool in the rain until lightning hit. In the pouring rain we played cards until dinner and more games including ‘what are the odds’ and more cards. Buenos Noches!
Olivia & Gray
At 6:30 in the morning the three modules were beginning to buzz with activity as everyone began to wake up and start the day. We had our usual breakfast and then we headed out for a walk in the Marine National Park Forest and a swim at the Whale’s Tail. On the way back, the group was allowed to stop at the local shops and purchase food and souvenirs. We then had lunch at 12 and headed out for our service activity at Forjando Alas, a center for the youth of Uvita. During our time at there, we played several games with the kids including four corners, musical chairs, sharks and minnows, soccer, and a scavenger hunt. After we said our goodbyes to the amazing kids, we headed back to home base for some much needed relaxation before dinner. We are very excited for our boat tour of Corcovado tomorrow! Adios!
Brittany & Connor
Today we woke up at 6:30 and had a pancake breakfast at 7:00. At 8:00 Amy from geoporter came over and we analyzed our water testing data collected on day 4. We mapped the data on laptops and we talked about how we can use this tool in our community. We came up with many ideas including mapping where streak violence has occurred. After that we had a service workshop with Travis where we talked about the meaning of service, we made refuse, reuse, recycle signs to give out at the whale festival and we wrote a letter to the officials explaining why the mangroves should stay protected. At 12;00 we had a wonderful lunch at the hotel. After lunch we loaded into the taxis and drove to Forjando Alas. At Forjando Alas we were working on serveral landscaping jobs including, making a gutter down the street, building a ramp and cleaning up the property.
At 4:00 we loaded back into the taxis and headed to a local soccer field were we played an intense game of soccer with the locals: we were amazed by the skills of everyone! After an hour and a half we walked to the store and stalked up our snacks, lots of watermelons were bought! We then headed back to home base. At 7:00 we all sat around the table for dinner. We are all getting excided for to zipline and have more new and exciting experiences tomorrow! Hasta Mañana!
Abby & Jessica
Waking up at 6am, we had an early start to our day. Breakfast was at 6:30 followed by a 20 minute drive to Osa Canopy for zip lining. One short and bumpy ride later we started our canopy adventure on top a mountain. After 9 zip lines, 2 tree repels, and a Tarzan swing we took a snack break and headed home arriving just in time for lunch. Everyone thought our afternoon service would be at the local school but we ended up back at the tree nursery. Service consisted of building and painting signs, sanding and painting iron frames to hold the boxes of baby trees and some more snacks. At 5 we went back to base and took a quick dip in the pool where we held a cannonball/belly flop contest. Pilar joined us at the restaurant to show us informative videos about the dangers/effects of plastic and trash on our environment. We enjoyed ourselves eating tacos then spent the rest of the night playing card games and talking amongst ourselves.
Kelsey & Lulu
We woke up at 6:30 am to have breakfast at 7:00. After breakfast we began our hike/walk to a waterfall in Uvita. We hiked to a small restaurant at the top of a waterfall. We swam in a pool at the bottom of the waterfall; jumping off rocks and sliding down a natural waterslide. After a few hours, we dried off and had delicious smoothies at the restaurant. We then began our walk downtown to a bakery and a souvenir shop. We then went to a café in the pouring rain followed by a trip to the supermarket. We arrived back at the hotel at 1:00 and enjoyed our free time until 3:00. At this time we began our cooking lesson with the hotel chefs – making empanadas. While some were cooking, others were working on projects to present to Pilar and Travis about recycling. We then had a presentation of these ideas before team bonding activities. After these activities, we ate the dinner we prepared and enjoyed the rest of the night.
Mari and Emma