Sorry for the delay on our first post! There were a lot of delays and flight changes. Nonetheless, we are here and ready to work.
Wake up was at 6:45 with a 7 o’clock breakfast. Breakfast was bacon, eggs, and toast. After that we broke up into two groups. The first group went to cement the road, and with their hard work they broke a service record for most road paved in one day. The second group went to mix a fertilizer known as bukashi. They were able to finish mixing it so quickly that had to move to a new job that consisted of making Eco-bricks. After both groups had finished they met for lunch in town. Lunch today was pasta with with an assortment of veggies and this really awesome strawberry jello. After that we returned to our tents for 2 hours of free time. We then broke off in to too groups for leadership and team building activities. Jonathan then engaged us in a very interesting discussion regarding Eco/local tourism and how it benefits the community. After that we ate dinner and returned to our tents ending another fantastic day in Costa Rica.
– Written by Ben and Jasmin
Today in Providencia we headed out on our overnight beach excursion. After an early wake up call, we were ready for our 5 hour journey to Dominical, a cozy beach town located on the pacific coast. On the way, we stopped at a local restaurant where we were able to swim while we dined. After arriving in Dominical, we spent the afternoon shopping, going to the beach, and swimming at the pool. Our eventful day was brought to an end by dinner at a beachfront restaurant accompanied by rounds of pool as a thunderstorm brewed During our free time after dinner we enjoyed each other’s company and took advantage of a chance to strengthen our friendships.
Written by Zayn and Rebecca
It was one of the funnest days of the trip so far. We started with breakfast at the hotel, complete with birthday cake in celebration of Anna’s 18th birthday. Then we had a little bit of free time for last minute shopping before we headed to the beach for surfing lessons. After practicing on land to get the hang of it, everyone went surfing in the water and had a great time trying to catch some waves with the instructors. We ate lunch on the bus and headed to Manuel Antonio National Park to see many of Costa Rica’s native wildlife. The tour was amazing because we had guides that pointed out all the animals and we were able to see them through a telescope. After the tour was over, we got in the water in the private beach of the national park. Then we began our five hour journey back to Providencia on the bus and we got back at 10 o clock to eat a late dinner of chicken soup. Everyone was so tired but we all had a great time and loved seeing the rest of Costa Rica!
Written by Anna and Eliza
Today was a day full of activities. We started off with a filling breakfast of grilled cheese sandwiches. Next, we walked up a small hill to Flora and Francisco’s farm and watched oxen turn sugar cane into liquid sugar which Francisco then turned into sugar cane water. Then, the thirty of us split into two groups, one continuing the work on cementing the road, and the other going into the reserve to clear trails. This is an important job because the path will allow scientists to come and observe the wildlife.
After lunch, we had a fun and competitive soccer game with the Ticos. Then we met up in our Spanish classes and practiced our final presentations for the graduation. And to wrap up the fantastic day, we had a fun barbecue with the community at Juan’s restaurant. We had a great time eating delicious food and dancing to amazing music. We went to bed tired but excited for a new day.
Written by Kelly and Anna
Hola todos!! This morning all of us woke up bright eyed and ready for the fun day of exploring Jonathan’s Extreme Adventure Park! Soon after breakfast we were split into 3 groups and began. The 5 courses of the adventure park included the tarzan swing, the money bridge, jungle fly, zip-line, and the ficcus tree. The ficcus tree was 90 feet tall that had been overtaken by strangling vines and 500 years later formed a hollowed out tree that is perfect for climbing through. The fastest time by any volunteer was made today. The time was 1:12 and goes to the one and only Mrs. Eliza! When everyone had been through all 5 courses we were all brought back to Tami and ate lunch which was followed by a little bit of free time. To follow was our last discussion/debrief with Jonathan explaining the ways we are all going to help out our own communities. After enjoying a delicious cup of the organic coffee from Green Communities we were all sent off to Tami to improve the way we looked for our Farwell BBQ that night. The BBQ included all GLA students, mentors and Providencia locals to be dressed to the 9’s and ready for a night of good food, great company, and some awesome entertainment! After dinner we had the performances titled “Australian Doctors” and “The Bucatchi Band.” Can we say that they were hands down the best in the entire country of Costa Rica?! A slide-show made by the directors and students was a great success, with a few tears shed. This was followed by many shout-outs to everyone who helped make this trip amazing, ending the night with a taste of satisfaction and completion.
Leaders of the day: Raychel, Teddy, and Robert L.
As the picture may suggest, mission accomplished!
Yesterday was about goodbyes. Leaving Providencia proved difficult for the community and volunteers alike. Albeit three weeks, volunteers formed such strong bonds that they will carry with themselves throughout their life-long journey.
In three weeks, GLA volunteers have managed to fertilize organic farms, cement roads, clear paths for scientific research in a forest reserve, visit homes in the community, play two soccer games, go rafting down one of the most beautiful rivers, learn to surf, go zip lining, hike, swim in two different oceans and a river, learn about sustainable development, and grow as leaders.
To the volunteers:
While saying goodbye always comes with feelings of sadness, you guys are going home with a heightened level of awareness as to how your decisions-both personal and collective-affect yourselves, others, and your planet.Use everything you learned about yourselves as leaders to start to spread the message that the status-quo isn’t cutting it. Be excited about the opportunity you now have to be agents of change. And don’t start tomorrow, next week, or next month: START NOW!
Remember to keep in touch with each other. Soon you will be receiving an invitation to join the GLA SSA 3 2015 Group. Let’s use some positive peer pressure to our benefit. And keep in touch!
A final shout out to Kelly, Maggie, Sophia, Teddy for being nominated as GLA Student Ambassadors.
Your International Director, Chris