Time Capsule Letter
We hope that this letter finds you happy, healthy, and helping the environment!
It feels like just yesterday that we were dancing in Tami Lodge dancing salsa, bachata, and merengue, doesn’t it? That was such a great day learning more about the culture of coffee farming and the differences between conventional, ecological, and organic farming.
If I close my eyes, I could still hear the sound of the waterfall and river running through Providencia putting us fast to sleep. One thing we’ll never forget is when some of y’all climbed that waterfall and jumped into that icy water. That was after a day of literally swinging through the bosque lluvioso at the Extreme Adventure Park.
You know what else we did? We fertilized so many ecological coffee plants. Remember that at first we were so grossed out with the compost? But a few days in, we all accepted that it was just dirt… with a few cockroaches. We shed blood, sweat, and tears constructing part of
Providencia’s main road.
We bonded over delicious pinto gallo, ensalada, huevos, gallo, pasta, carne made by Juan and Johanna. Who misses Jonny and Gustavo? Cause we do! Is anyone breaking “rule 8” and petting furry, fuzzy, feathered friends over there? …and rule 6? Any wedding bells ringing between y’all? If so, we better be invited!
I mean, all of us have an undeniable life-long bond having spent those 14 days in the beautiful rain forest of Costa Rica. Part of me actually misses hanging up and hanging out. Wasn’t it nice to be disconnected the way we were? It felt so peaceful literally out there in the clouds.
Speaking of the cool people we met in Providencia, who has kept in contact with David?! I can’t believe how much we learned from that man in 14 days!
Anyway, until next time, maes!! PURA VIDA!!!
Abrazos from your mentors,
Brian, Christina, and Ferney
Tuesday July 9, 2019
That is what you hear everywhere in Costa Rica and that is one of the first things that our team is learning, not only to say it very often but also to understand it by actually living it.
Pura Vida means ¡hola! / ¿cómo estás? / ¡muy bien! / ¡Gracias! And many more things. At the same time it means – “yes, I’m tired but I’m loving it” ; it means – “I had a loooong day, but it was definitely worth it” and it also means “I’m excited about this trip and enjoying it since day one”.
Parents, our team is safe and happy! Here is proof of it! 😎
¡PURA VIDA! (Here it means, ¡adiós!)
Wednesday July 10 through Sunday July 14, 2019
It has been officially five days since we have arrived in Costa Rica and to be honest, it has felt like weeks! But I say that in the best way possible since we have done so much already and all of us have gotten so close.
Since arriving to the BEAUTIFUL Tamí Lodge here in Providencia, we have experienced multiple gorgeous sunrises, crazy daily torrential downpours, and incredible clear night skies. Thankfully it’s not too hot or humid here, and if anything we are colder than expected!
Our first morning of service consisted of scooping compost fertilizer into bags and packaging them for transport, after having a lesson about ecological farming techniques vs. conventional farming techniques. It was so amazing to be up in the mountains, see the incredible views and work on the farm. After our delicious lunch cooked by local moms, we had some free time to shower and chill with each other.
That afternoon we had our first Spanish class with Esteban and Diego which was super fun! Juan, the incredible chef and owner of Tamí lodge cooked us dinner. Each night we do something different. The first night we had our mentor groups where we talked about some real world issues. The next couple of nights we played games: card games, charades, etc.
Each day follows the same schedule for the most part. One memorable moment was when we were working in the coffee plantation on day two and it started down pouring. Because everything was so muddy and the hill was steep, people were slipping and falling all over the place. We got drenched, super dirty but had the best time.
Today also we had a great, once in a lifetime experience called “adopt a gringo”. This is where a group of two or three of us went to a local family’s home and conversed with them in Spanish for a couple of hours. It was incredible to learn about their life and to simply be in their homes and spend time with them.
We are all so excited to do it again next week!
-By Olivia Licata
Wednesday July 17, 2019
These past few days have been unforgettable. On Sunday, we worked on the coffee plantation once again, to help fertilize the plants. That night, we had a dance party! We sang along and danced to our favorite hits. We all had so much fun; it really was a night to remember.
The next morning, we all woke up early to begin the three-hour bus trip to Dominical. We arrived at the beach just in time for our surf lessons! We all had a blast learning how to ride the waves in the warm Pacific water. We enjoyed fresh pineapple on the beach following our lessons.
After rinsing off, we walked along the beach to pick up some souvenirs, including unique handmade bracelets, art, and wooden sculptures. We came across an adorable puppy during our souvenir searching- only two months old! After eating a delicious lunch, we went to a gorgeous waterfall. We swung on a rope swing into the water, and cooled off under the waterfall. Soon after, we left for the hotel. There, some of us enjoyed the gorgeous pool.
Yesterday, we went to Manuel Antonio Park, where we came across dozens of exotic creatures. We saw helmet lizards, a huge grasshopper, an iguana, and the single most venomous snake in all of Costa Rica. My personal favorites: we saw five sloths and a whole troupe of monkeys. It was so surreal to see these beautiful animals in their natural habitats. It was an incredible experience.
After seeing all the animals, we cooled off in the ocean. We had a ton of fun in the clear blue water and enjoyed the Costa Rican sun. We shopped for more souvenirs before returning to the hotel. It was wonderful to take a mini-vacation from our “vacation.”
We’ve all become closer during these past few days of exploring, surfing, and swimming. This morning, we returned to Providencia. Though we were sad to leave the beautiful Dominical, it’s great being back in the mountains. We’ll be back in a few days for our next entry! Adios!
These past few days have been what I would say our best, most fun, and exciting days.
We started off Friday with our last day of service. We finished off the gutter with concrete and had a powerful talk about water consumption. Following our wonderful experience, we graduated spanish class with a salsa lesson led by one group and a song presented by the other. Lastly, we had our second take of “Adopte un Gringo” which went extremely well. Everyone came back wanting more!
We got to sleep in Saturday morning and headed off to the adventure park for a fun filled day. Many of us tried the very special 120 ft tree climb and repel followed by a Tarzan swing, zipline, two slackline type activities, and lastly my favorite, the flying squirrel. Everyone had fun and tried something new! The afternoon was much quieter and we had time to relax while also visiting a waterfall with a fun cliff jumping site. Many of our own tried this and faced their fears and we couldn’t be prouder! We ended the night with two hours dedicated solely to working on our capstone presentations and posters.
We all woke up sad on Sunday knowing it was our last day, but it was definitely one we won’t forget. We started the morning off with a coffee tour and tasting that really highlighted the differences between ecological and conventional coffee and put all of our work into perspective in regards to the world and economy. Following this, we were given the opportunity to spend time with locals. During this time, we had a delicious lunch, played soccer and capture the flag, and ended the afternoon with a dance class that got everyone laughing and out of their comfort zones.
We finished the evening off with our capstone presentations that allowed us to really think deeply about our actions and how we want to return home as different and better people. Lastly, we had a fantastic dinner made by Juan and his family and a closing program. I just want to say thank you to everyone for being their most authentic selves on this program and allowing everyone to grow and learn from each other. We will all cherish the bonds and friendships made here and we wish the best of luck to everyone in their future endeavors.
Have a safe flight home and good luck for the individuals who will be doing the homestay. Thank you to all the staff who made this trip possible and most importantly, Brian, Christina, Ferney, and David. I can’t wait to see how all of you inspiring individuals change the world one step at a time.