Today was a great day. Everyone felt great. We got to sleep in as well. It was a laid back morning including many name games. During our free time five girls who had been delayed arrived. They had little sleep overnight in the airport. Most of us introduced our selves. We had a very laid back afternoon as well. We created a full-value contract, talked about what a good leader should have skill wise and also found out what kind of leaders we are. Then at 5 we had a sports clinic with the nicest children ever. Many of them were very welcoming. During the clinic we had many different things going on. There was a heated soccer game between young locals and GLA students. When we split them up, immediately three of them grabbed me and told their coach they wanted me on their team. The locals were very nice. They live by the best lifestyle: Pura Vida.
On day three we did lots of exciting things. We started the day off with an early morning and headed to the community that we will be working at. We spilt up into 3 teams, each working on a different project. Before we started working the local school gave us a festival of music. The local kids showed off their singing, dancing and fashion skills which was all very enjoyable. After the show we started working on setting up tables at the park. The leaders of the day took control and divided the work, making sure that everyone work efficiently but with lots of breaks. Coming back from the work cite the leaders led an interesting and reflective talk about everyone’s experiences of the day. The leaders of a day learned so much about being leaders; how to communicate with your followers, how to use a kind and assertive tones and overall have fun. We ended the day with a informative ecology talk from a local ranger, which everyone thoroughly enjoyed.
Today was an action packed day!
Horseback riding was an amazing time and it was one of my favorite things we did! Everyone suited up with a helmet, mounted their horse, and then we were off! We rode through the forest on a beautiful trail and many of us raced our horses. It felt like a short ride, but I had a smile on my face the whole time! We had a fun time learning the names of the horses or making up our own. After we finished the trail, we got off and boarding the bus on the way to our adventure!!
Visiting the hot springs was quite an experience! We hiked about five minutes through the forest, and over a two-person swinging bridge to make our way down. Upon arriving to the three pools along the river, we painted our bodies with mud and took countless pictures! After letting the mud dry, we rinsed off and were able to soak in the 40 degree Celsius water. After feeling completely exfoliated, we made our way back up to the busses and continued on to our next adventure – zip lining!!
Ziplining began with full bellies and extreme nerves. First came the harnesses, then the helmets, and the gloves, and finally, the instructions. The nerves began to lessen as the zip line workers made us laugh, working the crowd with ease and confidence. As we approached the first zip line, we were confronted with quite a question; to zip line upside down or to not? Those who chose the former got to hang upside down, feeling the blood pound in their ears and adrenaline pump through their veins, their arms waving free and screams ringing loud. And this was only the beginning. As the day progressed, we got to experiment with not only differing speeds and lengths of zip lines, but also new exhilarating challenges, such as Tarzan swings and rock climbing. At one point, we were even able to “repel” which translates to being attached to a rope and dropped to a platform far below at a high speed. It was an adventure that provoked the fearful and teased the brave, but overall encouraged everyone to take risks and overcome fears.
For our last activity of day 8 we went tubing. Wow it was fun! After almost being denied the opportunity to go tubing after a day of heavy rain in the park the river finally settled down and into a new adventure we went. We hiked down a rough trail with our individual tubes on our backs and shoulders to the Costa Rican Colorado River. One by one we were sent down what was freezing cold water not to mention it was also pouring rain. But as the tubing went on we adapted and became used to the belligerently cold water. After getting used to the water the fun began… The cheers and laughters could be heard throughout the forest and memories were made, especially for myself. Personally alike many others, while flying down the rapids I took a turn for the best and flipped! Yes, at first I was scared but after quickly regaining my thoughts it was quite fun! I grabbed onto a nearby rope where I was guided by one of the local guides to my tube. This was my first time experiencing this type of tubing and I know it won’t be my last!
And for the last time we end this blog post,