Sunday July 8, 2018
Pura vida, mae!
We made it to Costa Rica on this beautiful sunny day! Even though we are super tired from our long flights, we managed to make the most of our day in San Jose. We got to do a walking tour through the capital of this amazing country and learned all about the buildings.
While we briefly visited the nation’s most important historical buildings, what really caught our eye was the sunset and parakeets!!! Tomorrow we are heading to our homebase and stopping for a coffee mill tour on the way! We won’t have internet at our homebase, but don’t worry, we will be busy having fun making new friends, practicing our Spanish and serving the San Pedro community!
Tuesday July 10, 2018
Yesterday we woke up pretty early so that we could head to home base. It was about a 2.5 hour
drive, but we stopped on the way to do a coffee tour at La Pira de Dota. We learned about how
coffee is produced and the many steps that are involved in that process. We also got to taste
their homemade coffee and fresh lemonade. After we got to home base we ate a delicious
lunch of fish and fruit salad. We did some team building activities in the afternoon along with
some intense card games. Our leadership roles were chosen and then we ended the night with
Today was an early morning as well. After eating breakfast, we drove to the town of San Pedro
to start our service projects. We shoveled compost into bags so that it can be transported to
the coffee fields that need it. After we worked for a couple of hours, the women from the
community made us lunch which consisted of rice, beans, and chicken. We came back from our
service site and started Spanish. While some of the group was doing interviews in Spanish, the
rest of us played interesting games. We ate dinner and then got our Spanish placement results.
We ended the night with a bonfire which lead us to becoming a closer group.
Wednesday July 11, 2018
We had another early morning today to begin working on building a sidewalk for the community of San Pedro, so the children can walk safely to school. We divided up into three groups, with two groups mixing cement and the other group leveling the ground and laying down the cement. Unfortunetly we had to stop construction about half an hour early due to rain. After service we had lunch made by the local mothers of pasta with vegetables and meat. Following lunch we returned back to home base.
Back at home base, we had some free time that we could use to shower, as we were very dirty from building the sidewalk. Then we began our first day of Spanish classes in our groups. We worked on lessons in our different level groups, as well as activities all together. After Spanish lessons, we had some more free time. Then we had dinner at home base of pasta, cream sauce, and bread.
After dinner, we had an evening activity where we watched a video about all the processes the things we buy go through from when they are made to after we throw them away. It made us all more aware about the impact the products we consume have on ourselves and the environment. After the video we finished the day with a movie night.
Saturday July 14, 2018
Yesterday we worked on the sidewalk that runs from the school to the town. We were covered in cement when we left, but it was all worth it. For lunch we had rice and salad that was made by the local women. After lunch, we took Spanish class and then had a discussion about smart tourism before going to the beach.
Today we woke up around five to leave for the beach. We rode on the bus for about an hour and then we got on an outdoor Jeep. It was an amazing experience to see the mountains and the unique variety of fauna. After driving, we arrived at Manuel Antonio National Park. We took a tour there and saw toucans, sloths, monkeys, raccoon, and a lot other animals. We went swimming at the beach, and then went to relax at the hotel.
Tuesday July 17, 2018
Papa Tom (Tommy) and Emma here. Today we had our first experience tending to a coffee
farm. Prior to service, we discussed the differences between conventional and organic
agriculture. We also visited both types of farms. After learning the importance of our service for
the organic coffee plantation, we went to work. We spilt up into groups with some people
shoveling and others participating in an assembly line to spread compost throughout the fields.
We only lasted about 20 minutes before a group of warrior ants interrupted our work. The
shoveling was postponed for a while, but we were able to see the impressive ecological wonder
of thousands of ants migrating in a flowing line. After the ants finished their crusade, we went
back to our jobs. Later, we enjoyed a homemade meal cooked by the wonderful mothers in the
community. Once we returned to home base, it was time for Spanish class! We had a surprise
addition to our class: a Spanish cooking lesson lead by our chef Memo. We learned to make
arepas con queso. We ended the night with a delicious dinner and a fun dance class lead by the
mentors. We learned bachata, salsa and even had a demonstration of the worm. Tomorrow we
have another day of service and fun, so for now hasta luego and buenas noches!
Today was a bittersweet day for everyone. We celebrated our last ‘real’ day in CR with a visit to the Extreme Forest Adventure Park. We swang from trees, ziplines and even climbed a hollow tree! After our outdoor adventure, we ate lunch at the other GLA base located in CR. We completed our day of adventure with a short walk to a natural pond and waterfall where we braved the cold waters for a quick swim. We then headed to the local fair in Santa Maria.
There we had the exciting opportunity to be in the presence of CR’s president! After we came home, the afternoon was spent packing and enjoying time with our friends. After a delicious dinner, we completed the night with a talent show (congrats to Vincent and Bella for receiving 1st place!). Our last activity was an appreciation game full of love and laughter. While many of us are ready to head back home, everyone can agree that the memories we made here will stay with us forever.
Nos vemos y Pura Vida!