Time Capsule Letter
Hey GLAers of Soccer Beyond Borders! Can you believe so much time has passed already? For some of us it felt like we were in Costa Rica yesterday. For others, it may seem like light years away. Whichever way you feel, I hope that the memories you carry are positive because I know they are for me and the team!
CEPIA is going strong due to the dedication of locals who give their time and energy year-round. Our ability to supplement their dedication with a bit of extra support to give teachers a free hour to lesson plan, teaching English to excited young students, and providing some structured exercise time in a PE class setting or on the synthetic field was very much appreciated and added to the larger picture of what a community can accomplish together. Then a more immediately tangible efforts of picking up trash on the beach with local kids and learning about how our eco-friendly efforts can help restore mangroves, an essential piece to Costa Rican wildlife and biodiversity.
Have you done any work in your local community since we last saw one another? Have you focused your energy on being more eco-friendly and sustainable? Have you Uncovered Solutions to problems you faced? If so, amazing! If not, I encourage you to remember your O.M.G. Change does not always come in big sweeping waves.
Sometimes it is small steps in a different direction that allow us to achieve our goals and make our dreams a reality. What is stopping you? Better yet, what resources do you have that will support you? Who in your life can you reach out to? Perhaps a friend from GLA. Perhaps a teacher or friend from school. Dig deep and look for support.
Never stop reaching for the stars. Always live your best life. Bring others up with you as you grow, the company will be nice to have.
All the best and Pura Vida,
Rafa, Nina, Lauren, and Blake
Sunday June 23, 2019
A very full day of successful travel and calling parents followed by name games, icebreakers, and good food. Sure, we covered the Code of Conduct and then some Home Base specific rules, such as drinking water, showers, and keeping the communal spaces clean and safe. A quick play-by-play for our parents and family, students trickled in and then ate Subway sandwiches on the bus while our driver, Michael, got us to Home Base safely. After arriving and meeting the team, we went over the basics and a great overview of the 14 day program.
In case you did not know already, our schedule is jam packed with service-learning projects, pick up soccer games in the community, sunsets on the beach, surfing lessons, rafting, zip-lining through the jungle and, because this is Soccer Beyond Borders, training with a FIFA certified coach! We reminded students that due to being such a full 14 days, phone usage will be kept to a minimum, if at all. So, if you do not hear from them, no worries! We are filling their days with service work and adventure so we can help them develop their leadership style. As always, please give Head Quarters a call if you have any questions.
Monday June 24, 2019
The first full day and… *phew* we covered a TON of stuff! First off with a 630 AM wake up call, the student partook in the swim tests. We have a lot of water activities planned and in true GLA fashion, safety first! Then a traditional Tico breakfast of gallo pinto, ham, eggs, maduro, and fresh fruit followed by some free time and more orientation. Some used their free time to do yoga and exercise, while others used it to make new friends. Today for orientation, we uncovered more of our identities, collectively created Community Agreements focused on mutual respect and trust, and wrapped up with thoughts on service-learning.
We had a big lunch before heading over to the soccer field with Coach Warren, a former team member of the Costa Rica national team, for some diagnostic training to level our skills and prepare for future trainings. It looks like we may have our own national fútbol team in the making!
Wrapping up our day, we stopped at Brasilito Beach to watch the sunset, just before the rain started! But, before the rain arrived, we were able to get a great photo and some time in the water. Check out photos from the day at the link provided and a few highlights below.
Thursday June 27, 2019
Talk about ADVENTURE and LEADERSHIP. We have been deep in the trenches of service in the community, adventure, and training. Yesterday, we woke up early and linked up with Tenorio Adventures for an amazing time white water rafting. Many of us have been rafting once or twice, some of us multiple times, and a few of us have never been. Overcoming fear of the unknown, we jumped into our 5 person rafts and went on an adventure. While some looked for a easier ride, some of us intentionally capsized… multiple times!
Today we returned to the same organization, CEPIA, to provide exercise and games with local children ages 8-11. Many of us learned that “caballito” means “horsie” or more accurately, “I want to ride on your back while you run around!” With caballito and a few soccer and basketballs, we were able to provide some physical exercise to many local young students. Wrapping up today, we made it to the beach for some sunset beach time.
Check out a few photos below that highlight the days but then also take a look at the photo folder provided in the last blog update, where I added many more photos and some of the students “headbutting” the soccer ball in a drill that Coach Warren had us do.
Sunday June 30, 2019
Since out last blog post, we have surfed on the shores of Playa Grande, zip-lined through the forest around Volcan Arenal and bathed in it’s natural hot springs, played an intense match of pick up futbol at the neighboring barrio Potrero, and worked with young kids who have a zeal for the game who welcomed us into their practice. On Friday, we spent our late morning and early afternoon catching some waves. We had eight instructors who had many years of expertise on “tablas” or “surfboards” who showed us how stand up and ride the waves. I was not able to get too many photos because, once they hit the water, I wanted to make sure I have my life guard rescue can at the ready.
That evening we made out way to Potrero to work with some middle school students from the neighborhood until the high school kids were let out from class. Then we split into two groups and played a fast paced games with students their own age. Teenagers who not only had speed and talent, but clearly had played many years together on that field and knew the game very well.
Saturday, one of our fantastic Mentors, Nina, led a yoga class on campus that a few students were able to attend and attempt to find some zen. Then we made our way to the practice field in Santa Rosa where we led organized soccer activities for students ages 8-11. With almost a 1-to-1 ratio of GLA students and local soccer kids, we were able to split into small groups and really work with one another. With a delicious lunch and handmade donuts, we then celebrated Lily’s birthday!
That afternoon we made our way up to Volcan Arenal to bath in the Baldi hot springs! A large family oriented water park with slides, waterfalls, and hot tubs all powered by the support of the hot springs made possible by the local volcano. Then on Sunday, we made our way to the national park to fly on seven fast-paced zip lines! Even Coach Warren joined us!
Check out the link to the photo folder in the second blog and then a few fan favorites below!
As we wrap up our last evening and reflect on the past few days, a lot occurred. Cleaning beaches and playing sand soccer with local kids. Saying goodbye to the students we connected with and the friends we made on the trip. Playing a game with an official ref on the Liberia Soccer Field. Taking part in a SECOND ice cream tournament for Fút Cinco, where the winners get a classic Tico ice cream, Trit! Our cooking lessons with Veronica where we made tostones, empanadas, guacamole, and pico de gallo. Followed by some bachata and salsa dance lessons by a local dance instructor, Greddy.
Our last night, some play basket ball, some hangout and chat, some take part in an impromptu jam session at the yoga studio. Making memories. Saying goodbye.
A summer filled with early mornings, busy days of service and training, intermittent excursions, and becoming leaders.
Below are a few highlights, but the same folder mentioned in the second blog has all of the photos, plus a few more from the surfing photographer!