Tuesday July 9, 2019
Bienvenidos a Costa Rica! Today we welcomed 25 very excited students, most of which are visiting Costa Rica for the first time and some of them leaving the country without their parents for the first time. While we ran into some flight troubles, all of them did arrive safely to Home Base. We gave them some classic Subway sandwiches on the bus ride to satiate a bit of hunger before we had a delicious pasta dinner made by our head chef Veronica.
Upon arrival, we got to know other students and staff around the room and prepared for our first day of service tomorrow. During our free time, some started a pick up game of basketball, while others played Knockout on the court or peppered a volleyball outside. In our gym, a few students did some lifting and core workouts while others took part in a wind down yoga session led by one of our mentors, Nina.
All in all, tons of laughter, new friendships, and good food. Check out a couple highlights below and then this link for more photos!
All of the photos we take will be uploaded here: Photo Folder
Wednesday July 10, 2019
Today, we jumped right in and began taking steps to being more active leaders. With a morning wake up call at 7am to begin service in the local community at 8am. This week, classes are not in session, so GLA is partnering with CEPIA, a local organization that provides after/before school programming for students from low socio-economic backgrounds, but this week we are supporting their educational outreach by taking part in a camp. We split up unto groups to play soccer on the synthetic field, playground games in the town plaza, and organized activities in the local basketball gym. As a team, we worked together to create organization in the chaos of working with over 40 students from the ages of 5 to 14! Then the CEPIA team invited us to share in some Tamarindo jugo while the kids sang karaoke in Spanish.
After a delicious lunch, we made our way to practice on the field with FIFA certified Coach Warren. It was a scorcher today, so thankfully we finished practice with our swim tests and went over water safety. Wrapping up orientation, we put together the GLA puzzle and went over the Code of Conduct, so everyone is very well aware of what type of behavior is acceptable while serving on a GLA trip.
Starting and ending the day with smiles, I think we can all agree a full nights rest will benefit us in preparation for another very full day. Check out the link in the first blog for photos and below for few highlights.
Saturday July 13, 2019
After Wednesday through Friday of jam-packed service and training, it was time for these students to take a break and go on some excursions! First we left the beach and heading towards the mountains. Volcano Arenal was calling our names and beckoning us to the Baldi Hot Springs. After a four hour drive with a large chunk of windy roads involved, we arrived to our destination with new knowledge of how Lake Arenal was formed, by the community deciding to find new energy efficient ways to provide for the local community by tapping into the water and wind resources readily available.
While the rain was cold that night, the hot springs powered by the volcano were great to soak in. And the slides were tons of fun as well! The next day after a big breakfast, everyone was all smiles when we zipped through the canopy around the volcano on seven different zip lines. We saw wildlife, waterfalls, and amazing views. Then at the bottom before we ate a big lunch, we met with a local tribe that has existed in the area for hundreds of years that shared a local juice with us and showed us some of their amazing art.
After a long bus ride back to home base, students enjoyed the Moonlight Market in Play Flamingo and took part in some local foods, music, and more art. Check the first blog post for the photo folder but also peek at some highlights below!
Friday July 19, 2019
GOOOOOLLLL!!! Today we played inside the Liberia Stadium where the team trains and plays at and we brought some of the local kids from Potrero along with us for a friendly 11 v 11 game with a certified referee. Our ref had to make some tough calls, but all in all a 8-6 game was well played by all of our players.
We finished up our work with CEPIA today as well, saying goodbye to the “orange shirts” and the local kids who we have been working with for the past two weeks. Tomorrow is our last service opportunity and we will be working with the young Santa Rosa futbol team.
This week we after ziplining and hot springs, we surfed, trained, and worked in the local community of Huacas with CEPIA. Plus, we did a very short hike to the top of the hill that we are living on to watch a beautiful sunset and had an amazing cooking lesson with our chef, Veronica! Many of these photos have been updated in the folder provided in the first blog! Check out a few highlights below.
Our last day was a fun-filled adventure rafting the Tenorio River. Fast rapids and major waterfalls, we overcame fears, got soaked, and had many laughs. After a two hour bus ride back to Home Base, they FINALLY got the Wi-Fi and immediately jumped on their phones to start Snap Chatting and Instagramming their experience. Along with reintroduction to the internet, they spent time having a dance party on porch of the dorms blasting music and singing at the top of their lungs.
Our appreciation circle was a chance for people to reflect on their experiences and share with others how we have impacted one another over the past two weeks. sharing laughter and shedding tears of joy, we said what was on our hearts. Then making a One Meaningful Goal and sharing that OMG, we ended our night saying our goodbyes.
Checkout the link in the first blog post of the session for photos and a couple of highlights below.