Our Final Week
While we are experiencing our final week here in Costa Rica, our days are jam packed with fun-filled activities that enable all of us to experience this beautiful place as well as we can in the time that we have.
With a wake up call at 6:30 in the morning, followed by a delicious breakfast, we were all off to each of our service sites in order to continue to work on specific projects at our schools. It’s extremely exciting to see how far we have come in our projects, showing us that we truly have made a difference!
After service, half of us went to Spanish class and the rest of us went shopping. Spanish class involved traveling to a green house and learning about Costa Rican plants, as well as taking a trip to the super market. Shopping in Playas Del Coco is always a great time, especially when buying souvenirs to take home in hopes to also bring some Costa Rican life home with you.
After dinner, a man came and talked to all of us about the Peace Corps. We all saw the discussion as extremely beneficial and interesting.
It’s very bittersweet to know we will soon be leaving all we’ve known for the last couple weeks!
An adventure into the mountains! It all started with a chance to sleep in, followed by breakfast and a scenic bus ride into the secondary forests of Guanacaste. We had a picnic lunch on a soccer field with beautiful views. Once we arrived at our fellow GLA home base in the mountains we explored the rain forests, natural springs and played with newborn puppies. We spent the rest of the night playing cards, had fuse ball tournament, hung out and ate lots of bananas.
After a rainy night in the cabins, we woke up early and went for a long hike up a volcano. We saw breathe taking views and made our journey back down. Following lunch, we watched Costa Rica triumph over Greece in an intense soccer game. Once we got back to our home base we did laundry and rested up for our big day coming up.
-Remy, Emma & Anna
Back to Work
After an exciting weekend, it was time to get back to work. We shoveled rocks, mixed cement, and put in our best effort at service. Then we split up into our Spanish groups. Group A worked on their Spanish in the classroom and then went to a local nursery to learn about the plants associated with Costa Rica. Group B headed out to shop till they dropped downtown. Afterwards, we all came back together and went to the beach to relax after another great day. Although we all miss home, we’re ready for another week here in Costa Rica!
p.s. To all the Moms out there: we really did lose wifi– we’re not actually just ignoring you!!!
-Katie L & Caroline
Another Week Down!
We made it through another week of service! Although we have one more week of hard work ahead of us, today was the last day we were able to see the kids, as they leave for a two week vacation. We were greeted at the service sites by streamers and balloons and had a fun day celebrating with the kids. Despite our fun times with the students, we finally said our goodbyes.
In the afternoon we took our second dance lesson. Hips were moving in the Salsa and feet were kicking during the Cumbia! We look forward to the adventures we are about to embark on in our second and final weekend in the mountains.
Hola & Hasta Luego
Today was another long but fulfilling day of service and games. All service sites continued with the concrete projects, and we also had time to play and teach English with the students we’ve been working with. After a delicious lunch, we broke off into our two Spanish groups.
Group 1 stayed and had Spanish class on-site, while Group 2 went snorkeling and visited a private beach for their day’s expedition. We saw stingrays, turtles, monkeys and some incredibly exotic fish. A good time was had by all. After a mentor led group activity we are heading off to bed to prepare for another day of work and play.
Service, Working, Leading
Another day of service learning, working, and leading. We started off the day by splitting up into our service groups and going to our three separate schools to continue projects as usual. At Santa Cruz we made major progress by officially laying our first layer if cement for the schools patio. Playa Hermosa finished two cement panels and Obandito finished cementing for their bike rack.
When we first arrived at the schools this morning, all if the kids were wearing red white and blue and painting each other’s faces. This was all because of the big World Cup game between Costa Rica and England! The game ended in a tie but Costa Rica still advanced, which everyone was excited about.
After service and lunch (which was delicious as always), half of us went to Spanish class and half went to an art store to make pottery and shop for handmade souvenirs.
In Spanish, we learned the difference between por and para and reviewed the articles. Then we put our language to use at a super mercado- where we were given a list if foods in Spanish and we has to find all of the items on the list and bring them back to our teacher. She checked to make sure we had the right things, and then brought all of the items to a creperie! The woman at the creperie used these foods to make delicious crepes!
After these fun activities, we all met back at homebase for a low key night. Some people event swimming, others to the beach, and even though we were not doing much we are all enjoying each other’s company.
After this funfilled day we are dinner (delicious once again). A group of people attempted to so a flash mob while we were eating, which was very interesting, but dinner was great because we all are together and reflected on our days so far. It may only be day 11, but we are a family.
We finished the night by watching a movie called The Way Way Back where half of ya fell asleep and cuddled with those around them.
Personally, going into this experience I didn’t expect to get so close to so many people so fast, yet it happened and I couldn’t be enjoying it anymore. So as you parents continue to wonder about (and envy) your teens lives full of snorkeling, surfing and hiking, just remember they are constantly surrounded by people they love who make their experiences even better. (Don’t worry though, we miss you guys too!)
Continuing the Adventures…
Hello parents, families, and friends! We are alive! We have made it through week one of our wonderful life adventures! We have picked axed, cemented, shoveled, sifted, sweated, bled, bruised, cried, laughed, hiked, camped, surfed, dodged crabs, and most importantly made countless memories. While we may have bruises, scrapes, and soon to be scars, we wear them with the pride and honor that we are giving service to a community and happiness to the local Ticos. Now to answer some questions, yes moms we are eating great food and are maintaining a healthy diet. Yes, we are making the most of our times and volunteering for everything and approaching this adventure with an open mind. Yes, we are chillin like villains and making the most of our cultural experiences. Yes, we are making tons of friends, memories, and taking plenty of pictures. Okay I am switching off to the other journalist of the day. Love you ma
Today we all went back to work at the schools. Though some groups encountered some speed bumps such as not having any cement or being understaffed, lots of progress was made. We are working to make a bike rack at one school, building a sports court at another, and lastly evening out cement for a courtyard. While we are working hard, we are also making priceless bonds with the children at the schools. Each of us is working to our up-most potential and trying to make sure everyone has enough fluids and is healthy.
We also continue to immerse ourselves in the culture of Costa Rica through daily excursions. While one group went to a Costa Rican art studio, another took a journey to a super market where they practiced their Spanish. At the art studio, an artisan taught us the basics of pottery, demonstrating a whistle making technique, and allowing us to look at a variety of artwork. Meanwhile, another group of us went to a local supermarket, taking a look at the local fruits of Costa Rica, and learning the names of various products in Spanish.
-Sam, Aaron and Caitlyn
An Amazing Weekend!
Monstrous crabs, gnarly waves, boiling baths, mouth-dropping scenery, this weekend was one we will never forget. Saturday morning we all woke up bright and early for the well anticipated weekend excursions. We were split into two groups with one heading to the volcanic hike, hot springs, and mud baths; while the other group headed to an secluded beach for one on one surfing lessons. After an exhausting yet incredible day, both groups met up at the camp site on the most gorgeous beach also known as Playa Naranjo. We were greeted with open arms and smiley faces. The amazing camp staff set up tents and cooked dinner for all of us hungry children. As the sun started setting the terrifying crabs, Mosquitos, and ants immersed from their hiding places. After dinner we attempted in group games of Mafia but failed because Sam did not like the rules. Nonetheless the search for turtles on the beach sounded way more intriguing. Sadly we failed, we did not find a single turtle but millions of petrifying orange and purple crabs. After disappointment we went back to camp for bed. The sun came up and we were all alive and well. We switched activities and accomplished our amazing weekend of new experiences and life long memories. This weekend was amazing.
by My, Caitie and KayKay
A Big Day in Costa Rica
Service in all of the schools is going great and relationships between both the students and the children we serve is on the rise. For the past couple of days, we have cooked tamales and empanadas as well as improving our Spanish skills out on the town by talking with street vendors and ticos (locals).
We have participated in a variety of activities at Eco Playa as well. We have done a shout-out circle, which is used to pinpoint good deeds and otherwise compliments about peers. We had a guest speaker come in and speak about folklore as well as a park ranger who spoke about the ecology of Costa Rica.
We’ve had some intensive discussions and group debates with everyone as well as our mentor groups about keeping an open mind and an open heart during new experiences.
In other news, today was a big day for Costa Rica! We ended our service early to watch the Costa Rica versus Italy soccer game at a local restaurant. Costa Rica won with an astounding 1-0 lead, advancing them into the next round of the Mundial. We cheered with locals as we passed through Playa del coco!
We have had several visits to beaches, experimented with slack lining and beach soccer, and even witnessed local wildlife , like owls, puffer fish and jelly fish!
Starting tomorrow, we will be going on a variety of adventures including surfing, hiking, going into a mud bath and rinsing off in natural hot springs. We’re having a great time and can’t wait to experience more things!
– Tamera, Mariana and Tait
Learning! Love! Labor!
Today was our first service day in Costa Rica. We split up into 3 different groups; each was assigned different schools to improve both physically and socially.
We went the purpose of structurally improving the schools, but we left so much more. Together we helped each other communicate with the children and build relationships/things. Although we were introduced to an unfamiliar place just hours ago, with left knowing more about not only ourselves but the people and world around us that we impacted.
Later in the day we immersed ourselves in an exotic dancing experience. Our instructor taught us dances originating in many Latin American countries. Together we felt more connected to our new Costa Rican neighbors
Hey all! Thought you’d like a photo of our awesome group. We’re having a great time and will keep you posted!
All students have arrived safe and sound, despite some delays. We have not taken a group photo together yet, but it is on our to-do list for tomorrow. We will pass one along as soon as we get a chance!