Time Capsule Letter – October 2016
Sweat, tears, laughter, exhaustion, fun, homesickness, hugs, new friends, and unforgettable experiences day in and day out. This is only a short list of what the last three weeks have given us during an extremely impacting stay in Providencia de Dota, Costa Rica. Anna, Fran, Sophie, Savannah, Maddie, Kai, Julia, Katrina, Che, Jay, Jake, Todd, Alex (aka Suga Bra), and Eliott made and incredible service team, completing more community service work than any of the bigger groups did. What an accomplishment!
Together we made 100 eco-bricks, cemented 70 feet of road, and worked on Juan, Orlando, and Gerardo’s ecological coffee farms, building terraces to prevent erosion and fertilizing over 500 coffee plants. We spent hours every day shoveling hundreds of pounds of brosa into large woven sacks….mmmmm brosaaaaa….I’m sure none of us will ever forget the lovely scent of fermented coffee fruit skins, but hey, the coffee plants appreciate the organic food! Passing buckets full of brosa through human assembly lines was definitely one of the best parts of service, thanks to Jake’s smorgasbord of entertaining music. You really set the bar high for future volunteers. and for that you should all be very proud.
Excursions were by far a necessary break from all the hard work we were doing at service. Remember seeing all the awesome animals and plants of Manuel Antonio? And how about surfing in Dominical Beach!? Everyone got up at least by their second or third try, and some of you on your first wave! Such naturals. Then we were in the pool for hours – basically 70% of our time at the beach was spent in water. And to continue the water theme, white water rafting in Turrialba was an epic choice. We laughed so much and have the photos to prove it! And our lunch stop for burritos and fruit in the middle of our trek was incredible. Nothing like taking your lunch with you in a big waterproof barrel on a raft and rummaging through white water just to have lunch in the jungle. To top off water excursions, our waterfall hike really hit the spot. How beautiful was that place?! None of us will ever forget the boys screaming when they jumped in the freezing water! Hahaha! The girls did however make up for it with their blood curdling screams at the adventure park. Climbing inside a 90 foot ficus tree, hanging midair at the mercy of your peers and their decision to pull the cord to send you flying through the canopy of the forest, launching from the Tarzan Swing platform…how much better could it get?! Maybe a monkey bridge dual contest? ϑ
After all was said and done, dance parties and reflections were had, and hugs and new friendships found, we are all so lucky to have spent 3 short weeks together in Providencia. May you all remember this trip forever and what you learned about sustainable development and ecological farming, and may you take those lessons learned to be strong leaders and positive change agents who will continue to strive for world peace and saving our planet! <3
– Suga bra’s musical talent with his wooden whistle.
– Jake’s ability to keep everyone laughing constantly.
– Jumping in waterfalls at Tamí.
– Covering each other with cement and paint during service.
– Singing while rafting.
– Juan’s delicious food!
– Johnny and Gustavo’s giggles while playing.
– The soccer tournament when we had 15 people on the field all at once.
Summer Blog Posts
June 17, 2016
Everyone arrived safe and sound to San José! Providencia here we come!
The last couple of days have been really great. We’ve been putting all of our efforts into helping the farmers by fertilizing the coffee plants with recycled coffee shells. We also went to an awesome waterfall and have been having Spanish classes while learning all kinds of different things. We have all bonded and become really close in the time of 4 short days. Along with all of that, the people here have been very helpful and nice.
Today, I went to Manuel Antonio National Park. I saw a variety of animals, including sloths, monkeys, deer, and lizards. The monkeys were the highlight of my day because they are always so fun to watch. After hiking through the park, we stopped at the hotel and hung out at the beach for a little while. This day was really fun, and I can’t wait for surfing tomorrow.
After four days of busy service, we headed to the National Park and beach today. We hiked in the national park, spotting all kinds of animals along the way: monkeys, butteflies, and sloths. I feel my life not constrained anymore; instead, it became as free as all the various lives in the park. Bathing in the sun. Swimming in the pool. Running in the pouring rain. I feel myself coalesced with nature in a way that I’ve never experienced before.
Today we woke up to the beautiful sounds of the boys screaming, ate a delicious breakfast, got on Omar’s bus, and headed to Cartago. Once we arrived in Cartago we ate lunch at a café with happiness in the air. Some of the girls bought cappuccinos with impressive designs in them. Then we went off to our next activity, a city tour. We started with a trip to the market, where we were set free to immerse ourselves into the everyday Tico lifestyle. The market had everything all in one; the butcher, fruit stand, bakery, shoe and clothes store, hair dresser, and even a natural pharmacy. We met up after our exploration and continued our city tour where we saw and learned of places like las ruinas de Cartago and la Basilica. we were told the stories behind these important buildings and their importance. Las Ruinas was uniquely beautiful because of its contrast between the buildings ruins and its perfectly out of place plant life. The cathedral was special because of its architecture and its magical story of the girl and the statue. We wrapped up the tour and went to the hotel. The hotel has a mind blowing view all the way around. on one side we can all sit and lounge while over looking the valley between us and a volcano, another way you look and you see the city Turrialba, and another way you see a forrest. We are all having a really great time and cant wait to go rafting tomorrow!
Today was the second day of our two-day excursion to Cartago and Turrialba. We went whitewater rafting and it was amazing. The forceful rapids and beautiful views combined to form an incredible experience. My guide was pretty funny cause he kept convincing the girls that they would die or get attacked by various animals. The river consisted of many rapids, some that were huge and some that weren’t so big. personally, I preferred the bigger ones, but the majority of my raft preferred the smaller ones cause they were scared. About halfway through the tour, we stopped for lunch and made our own burritos. after lunch, my friends and I decided to swim in the river. Turns out that was an awful idea because we all got stuck in a current and couldn’t get back to where our rafts were. When we finally swam out, we got back in our rafts and continued downstream. Eventually, we got to a pretty big rapid called, “Superman.” Our guide explained it was called this because people commonly go flying out of the front of the raft. I was almost one of those people, but I luckily landed in the raft. At the end of that rapid was a long stretch of still water, so everyone got out to swim. We swam through a small canyon and it was beautiful. There were trees everywhere, waterfalls, and a small wooden bridge that went over us. once we got back in the rafts, we went through a few more small rapids before our tour ended. Whitewater rafting was one of the most-fun things we’ve done in Costa Rica so far.