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- We typically receive 2-3 blog posts per week here at GLA Headquarters from our program staff and students, so please don’t be alarmed if you don’t see a blog post daily – that’s totally normal.
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-The Global Leadership Adventures HQ Team
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BLOG POST FOR APRIL 9
This is the blog for our Costa Rica: Spring Break Service Adventure! Session 3 (last one!)
This will be a way for us to share our daily experiences, learnings and adventures! We hope that you enjoy using this blog as a way to experience this journey alongside us throughout the next week.
Our group has safely arrived and is getting comfortable in their new home on the beach of Junquillal, Costa Rica. We got 14 students in the afternoon shuttle and 2 students in evening shuttle and 2 in a night shuttle.
First group got to Junquillal, checked-in to our rooms and made our way to the beach for sunset circle, our daily gathering to enjoy the beautiful sunset colors and reflect on the day’s experiences. We explained about the responsibilities of the Leaders of the Day and had three volunteers for the Leaders of the day tomorrow, exciting!
The earlier arrivals ate a traditional Costa Rican dinner called Casado (rice, beans, salad and chicken or veggies for non-meat eaters). The second group of students arrived a bit later and got settled for the night, getting some much needed sleep before we start our first full day in Costa Rica tomorrow!
There’s so much excitement from students to start working with our local partners and support turtle conservation project and trees and water related projects. Everyone is also looking forward to many great adventures ahead of us.
This group is so ready to use the opportunities for cultural immersion we’ll have. They’re so excited to learn from the locals here, and work on our Spanish.
Stay tuned! Pura vida!!!
GLA staff team Mag, Joselin, Juanca and Thomas
BLOG POST FOR APRIL 10
Hi, it’s Tess, Ciara, and Zaria and we would like to tell you about our second day in Costa Rica! We started off with an accidental early morning. As the leaders we were supposed to wake everyone up at 7:30 am but accidentally disturbed everyone’s slumbers at 6 am sharp. We had a relaxing early morning. We ate breakfast, and did orientation. We played name games, listened to staff introduction’s, talked about the code of conduct, and much more fun activities.
Then we ate lunch and some people bought some delicious homemade smoothies. Following a yummy lunch which was fried rice we enjoyed 30 minutes of tech time to talk to our loved ones. Then we quickly got ready to take the swim test. Thankfully everyone passed because soon after we entered the ocean and played in the waves. Everyone had fun flipping around and getting playfully trampled by the waves. We then played kickball, buddy-buddy, and bonded on the beach. We had 40 minutes to shower and get ready for a super cool presentation about the Costa Rican culture.
Then we as the leaders lead sunset circle. This sunset was particularly special because the sky turned purple and we all noticed a big heart shaped cloud. Our question of the day was “What made you smile today?”. We followed the question by playing ninja. Now we are preparing for a delicious dinner and the new leaders will brief us on tomorrow’s adventures.
Chao parents and loved ones. Pura Vida!
BLOG POST FOR APRIL 11
Hola it’s Omar, Jordy, and Jonah. We started off at the correct time today and woke everyone up at 6:30 am. We all got up and went to get breakfast, which was fabulous because pancakes were included within the meal with orange/apple juice. We then left the home base for service at 8 am sharp to start our first service day! The turtle group went to the beach nearby where the turtle project hatchery is sit and proceeded to learn about the different types of tracks that sea turtles make and how to find a sea turtle nest. We also did exercises to find and dig up turtle eggs.
After that we made a line and changed sand in two nests, passing down buckets of dirty sand and then after refilling them with clean sand. We also got buckets of water to solidify the sand in the nests. Meanwhile the general service group went to the Guanacaste Water Center to work with Marcia. This group worked with plants, clearing leaves, and preparing Guanacaste seeds for planting.
All groups came back to the home base at 12.pm to eat lunch. After the great meal we all got into the pool for some chill time. After this break both groups left at 2.pm to go back and do some more service. The general service group went back to the Guanacaste Water Centre while the sea turtle group went to clean up trash in two different mangroves. We picked up garbage while trying to navigate through the tangled branches, and it was a lot of fun.
After service we all showered and had a speech from Marcia about how water circulates in the ecosystems and stored here in Costa Rica along with the different climates. After learning about the geographic features of Costa Rica and how water is stored, we all went to eat dinner.
Just before dinner we all proceeded to the beach and had a sunset circle which is out tradition. We watched the sunset and all talked about one thing we enjoyed today on our first day of service! We even gave some shout ousts to students and mentors who stood out today. We are about to have a night activity which is about our identities and then have a meeting in our mentor groups.
Us leaders of the day are passing the mic to the next group of leaders on tomorrow’s adventure.
Chao parents and loved ones. Pura Vida!
BLOG POST FOR APRIL 12
Hola! It’s Liam, Salma, and Daniel. The leaders of the day woke up early at 5:15 and made sure that everyone was up and ready to leave by 6:00. We started our day off with some breakfast burritos and a two hour-long transit to the national park. When we arrived, we quickly got ready and walked down a trail to a waterfall, which we swam in. The water was really cold but it was refreshing. To add, we also saw some capuchin monkeys on our way, which was a sight to see.
After the quick swim, we walked back to the meeting area where we got ready to go tubing. Once we arrived we floated down a river with 25 rapids for 3 miles. We all enjoyed socializing and messing around a bit in our tubes. Shortly after tubing, we took a bus back to the main area where we had a buffet style l-unch. Everyone enjoyed the food and the dessert. After lunch, we went to start our zip lining which contained nine zip lines, and beautiful scenery throughout the excursion. Once we finished we headed back to the bus for a 2 hour-transit back to home base.
While everyone was asleep on the bus, we were woken up with a song at max volume, which was eventful to say the least. We showered once we came back and enjoyed the sunset on the beach and shared a core memory from the day. We enjoyed our dinner after some beach time and had our nighttime activities. We are passing our roles as leaders to our next three friends who will be just as effective and passionate leaders.
BLOG POST FOR APRIL 13
Hola! It’s Maya, Kiran, and Aoibhe.
We started off our day with a nice breakfast before splitting up into our service groups to head to our sites for the day. The general service group went to a plantation where they watered 250 trees in less than 2.5 hours. This was very tedious work, which helped us learn the importance of perseverance and helping to motivate each other to reach a common goal. In the afternoon, following some lunch, tech time, and very refreshing pool time, they went back to the water centre, where we were taught a lot about the significance of composting as well as the trees and why the water reserve starts these impactful projects.
Meanwhile, the turtle track started off their day in the hatchery releasing 6 baby turtles into the ocean as well as continuing to clean out 4 of the old turtle nests. During this time they got to examine the eggs that didn’t hatch while learning about the different stages of the embryos. They continued their work in the afternoon going to the white mangroves cleaning up trash that had come in during tide changes. During this, they made their way to the side of the road, still picking up trash. While in the mangroves they got to see a howler monkey, an anteater, and a few bats.
Following all of our very rewarding service, we met up in the pool and moved to the ocean to play in the waves. We then transitioned into sunset circle where we discussed the most valuable lessons that we have each learned yet far in our trip, some of the ones that stood out were perseverance, being present, and that our lives do not revolve around technology. Following dinner and our night activity, the turtle track will go out on their night patrol journey to attempt to find the mother turtles coming to shore to lay their eggs.
Overall, it was a very inspiring day and we are all very exited to get a good nights’ sleep before embarking on our next journey. Pura vida!
BLOG POST FOR APRIL 14
Hola! It’s Hallie, Lucas, and Lawrence.
This morning the different service tracks woke up at different times because the Sea Turtle track found 73 baby sea turtles, which they released, on the night patrol the night prior, earning them an extra two hours of sleep. After sleeping in the Sea Turtle track started service, cleaning nests and releasing four new baby sea turtles.
For morning service, general track went to a local primary school and prepared the gardens for planting. They prepared one big bed, three smaller beds, and a flowerbed. The volunteering work included cleaning the garden of litter and breaking sticks to place into the garden beds to allow the air to flow through the soil and promote micro-organism growth.
After service, general track visited sea turtle track at Verdiazul to purchase souvenirs that support their cause. Soon after, both tracks returned to home base to eat lunch and enjoy some well-deserved pool time. Then we got ready to head over to Heidi’s house to make authentic costa rican cuisine consisting of homemade corn tortillas, bunuelos which are yummy corn , cheese, cream balls, atol de maiz and pozol which are drinks made from purple corn. Then we headed across the street to play some traditional games with our instructor Sabrina. We played soccer and then went back home to eat some delicious stir-fry for dinner. Right after dinner we all participated in reflection circle (we didn’t make it for sunset) and then went into our mentor groups. Toady we are leaving with mixed feeling because it is our last day of service, but we also got to partake in a lot of fun activities.
Overall, today was again an amazing day in Costa Rica and we are all excited for our last day activities tomorrow. Adios! Pura vida!
BLOG POST FOR APRIL 15
Hola tod@s! It’s Audrey, Sara and Sadie. Today we started off by waking up at 6:30 to get on the bus at 7 to go Tamarindo. We then boarded the catamaran and set off to explore the underwater world of Costa Rica. Because of the early wakeup call everyone rested under the sun on the way to snorkeling. After getting geared up for snorkeling we all saw puffer fish, octopus and many other beautiful sea creatures. Once we boarded the boat again we had a delicious lunch including burritos, fruits and much more.
After everyone recharged and jumped off the boat, we started back to shore with great music and lots of dancing. We all had a great time and it was a good way to bond at the end of our trip. The bus ride back contained lots of singing which led into pool time. Then we had time to pack for everyone’s departure.
We had an appreciation circle to acknowledge everything our peers have done for us. Keeping the spirits high we had a dance class with our friends Leo and Sophia. We had our last sunset circle, which was bittersweet and followed that with some delicious burgers made by our hosts and the kitchen staff. We wrapped up the night with an activity called one meaningful goal and our last mentor groups. This trip was definitely one that we will all remember forever and we thank our mentors and parents for making this trip possible. Pura Vida!
P.S. See you at home!