Thursday July 5, 2018
All of the students arrived this afternoon after long mornings of traveling from all around the United States. When the first group arrived we settled in and had a nice lunch at the hostel which included rice with chicken, salad, and beans. We also got to try guanabana juice. After lunch we wandered around Alajuela stopping through markets and the park. Once the whole group arrived, we went over an orientation of the program and discussed the different types of leadership styles and what it means to be a leader. After that, we went to dinner at Taco a Taco and had some casados, a traditional Costa Rican meal.
After dinner we did an activity where we discussed our hopes, fears, and goals for the trip. It was interesting to learn that we all had similar feelings and ideas about the trip and we hope that everyone can achieve their goals throughout the program. We’re excited to head out tomorrow morning for Bahía Ballena! When we get there we’ll have lunch and then everyone will get to see the town on our community walking tour and later on will have our introduction to surfing lesson. The group seems nervous and excited for their Costa Rica adventure! Pura vida!
Patrick and Jen
Friday July 6, 2018
In our first day in Bodhi we learned lots of new things about Costa Rica and its culture. For one, we learned about a lot of diverse plants and wildlife, which we do not see much of at home. For instance there are over 30 different types of mangos, and many different types of citrus trees. Another thing we learned today is that over 60% of the economy is heavily relied on by tourism. Also, natives from Costa Rica are known as Ticos for men and Ticas for women.
A couple things that we found surprising were that, the weather conditions could transition from one second being scorching hot, to the next being poured on by rain. Another thing that was quite interesting to us was the different animals, the most surprising one was a sloth, super hard to spot, but when you see them it is very cool. Something that we are proud of from todays experiences was being able to practice our leadership skills, and being able to step out of our comfort zone in order to meet new people.
Someone that inspired us today was our tour guide Olham. He taught us of many different things about Costa Ricas environment, and the history of this country, and he made us interested and engaged to learn more about Costa Ricas culture. To sum it all up, today was a great experience and a lot was learned, and we are looking forward and excited to learn how to surf, and also help the community.
Wish you all the best!
Max and Nate
Saturday July 7, 2018
We woke up today at 6:00. It was terrible! Well, maybe not that bad. Then we had eggs and fruits for breakfast. I had gallo pinto (rice and beans). It was good. It tasted like rice and beans. The difference is that the rice is cooked in bean water. It’s fascinating. We’ve had rice and beans for every meal.
Then we hit the surf. It was a pilgrimage. We walked through rocks, water, mud, sand, dogs.
Then we surfed. As excited as I was to start surfing, we didn’t start surfing until an hour after we got to the beach. This was a result of becoming enlightened about the area, Costa Rica, and the whale’s tale. Surfing was exciting. It was immensely invigorating.
On the walk back we met a series of stray dogs. They were super cute. We didn’t touch them (don’t worry mom.) There we some chickens too.Lunch was magnificent. It was ham and cheese, or jamón y queso as they like to say in Costa Rica.
For service we went to an after school program. At service I bonded with Josue. He is a young, talented and intelligent man/entrepreneur. I could see it in his eyes. We played together and talked about corrupt police systems. I comforted him.
The best part of the day was getting into the air conditioned van. For dinner we had spaghetti and garlic bread. After dinner we traveled along the gravel to the yoga studio where we learned a lot about each others lives and feelings.
We hope you enjoyed this eloquently-put journey.
Sorry, we forgot to take pictures.
Were are off to read literature.
Lots of xoxo xoxo xoxo,
McKennon and Eli
Sunday July 8, 2018
We began the day by heading to breakfast for some eggs with vegetables and fruit. We mostly ate the fruit. After breakfast, we walked to the beach and met with the local high school students there. We did a group activity with them called “ninja” which they seemed to really enjoy. Then, we partnered up with the students and did a beach cleanup. It was very inspiring to all of us to see how happy and appreciative they all were. They seemed to make the best out everything we did. We also taught them how to surf and played soccer on the beach with them. Teaching the students to surf made us all very happy as we saw how excited they all were. It was eye opening to see their kindness toward all of us. Then, we were grateful to get a bus ride back from the beach as we were very tired!
We rested up for a little and then got to lunch for some very tasty rice and chicken. After lunch, we headed back down to the beach for a surf lesson. We learned how to turn and lean on the board. Although it was difficult at first, everyone seemed to have success by the end. Next, we walked back and relaxed for a little before dinner. At dinner we ate some amazing lasagna. Then, we did a group activity called the human knot. It was so much fun, but very difficult for us to undo the knot. Everyone loved the activity and are determined to do it again and have success! Finally, we had a relaxing yoga class which was a nice change from our general activities. We were all relaxed and exhausted by the end of the night.
-by Elle and Ian
Monday July 9, 2018
¿¡Que mop!? ¡Pura vida!
We started the day with eating a very filling breakfast, after that we went the park and worked with locals to help paint the park; benches, tables, and sidewalks. We also picked up trash and repaired some of the table bases. After that we played a quick game of soccer with Kelvin, a local leader and former professional soccer player, and some other locals.
After a hard game of soccer we helped the locals learn a bit of english while they taught us a bit of spanish. We then went into the pool as a group and bonded. Afterward we went surfing in the rain. We learned how to paddle out and had a competition against each other with all the stuff we have learned through the week. After a tiring surf session we swam and body-surfed in the rain. Once we got back to bodhi (out hotel) we had a little time to rest and then ate dinner. While at dinner we started our discussion about our activity for the night. We split people up into four groups, local leaders, fifa executives, Brazilian government, and a human rights group.
After dinner we started the discussions on if countries should host mega sporting events like the olympics and world cup. As the moderators it was interesting to see how people got into their roles and their views in those roles. We are now writing the blog. What surprised us the most was how well we worked together with locals even with the language barriers. What we are proud of today was how we were able to leave our mark on costa rica with helping build a park. Who inspired us today were local kids who were willing to take time away from their vacation to give back to their community. We learned that we can do a lot of work in a short amount of time if you work together.
Nayna and Aaron
Tuesday July 10, 2018
Today we stared the day with a breakfast of scrambled eggs, pinto gallo, french toast, and fruits, which everyone was very excited about. Following breakfast, we quickly got changed into swimwear and activewear and packed our backpacks with sunblock, a change of clothes, water shoes, and a beach towel and left behind electronics to head to the small town of Silencio for a white water rafting trip! The scenic ride took about 1.5 hours and was accompanied by our guides who were very knowledgeable about Costa Rican history and culture, and also a quick stop to purchase some tasty mamones/leychees.
When we finally arrived in the small town of Silencio we pre-ordered our lunch for when we returned from rafting (everyone wanted a meal of rice and chicken, french fries, and a side salad) and took some quick pictures of the beautiful palm trees and plants that surrounded the restaurant. When the rafting ride stared our group split into an adventurous group and a more mellow-riding group. Both groups learned quickly the importance of working together in order to steer and avoid falling out of the raft. Everyone in the adventurous group ended up in the water, and even some of the mellow riders fell in!
Everyone had so much fun and really enjoyed the mid-ride snack of fresh fruit, guacamole, salsa, beans, and chips, and a quick stop at a beautiful waterfall that everyone took a turn swimming under. We finished the tour exhausted, excited to look at the funny action shots that were taken during the ride, and ready for a yummy lunch! When we returned home we walked to the local market to purchase some Costa Rican goods. Following, we had a delicious dinner and finished the night by watching the sports documentary “Iverson” and a few sports clips that encouraged a discussion on sex-based segregation in sports today.
In all, we are proud of our teamwork to complete the rafting route. We also learned more about the importance of teamwork to achieve a common goal and the growing need to bring attention to pay-gaps in women and men’s sports and the affects of sex-based segregation and stereotypes on young athletes.
Mia and Sofia
Wednesday July 11, 2018
On our 7th day of our adventure we did a variety of different activities and had great experiences. It began with a nice pancake and egg breakfast that everyone enjoyed. We then went out to the beach and did our 4th surf lesson.
We learned a lot about the types of breaks in the ocean and what causes them. After that we went to a local market and bought some nice souvenirs for us and our parents (you). There were a lot of different types of foods and crafts that symbolized Costa Rica. We then ate lunch and soon after went to Forjando Alas for our service. There we played games and decorated rocks to surround the trees we planted with the kids from the local youth group.
It was very nice to see them have a great time with a smile on their faces almost every time we communicated with them. It was sad because of the fact that it was our last time seeing them but it was a great experience that none of us will forget. We then returned back to Bodhi for a peaceful yoga lesson that made everyone quite relaxed. We then ate dinner and discussed leadership skills through group skits, which was a treat for everyone. In conclusion, Today’s journey was very impactful and enjoyable for each and every one of us.
Farewell from yours truly,
Max Brazer and Eli Sherman
In our final full day at Bodhi we had a remarkable adventure. We woke up to a delightful breakfast, followed by an 8am hike. This hike was a long 7 miles, but was worth the amazing view. On the hike we saw exotic animals that we were lucky to see as we were the only group who got to see them. The animals consisted of a cute species of monkeys, toucans, sloths, frogs, and lots of small dogs. At the top of the mountain we were greeted by a kind man who treated us to freshly picked water apples, which were very delicious. On our way back from the hike we stopped at a local market and all enjoyed some ice cream and sparkling lemonade. The lunch we had consisted of delicious bean and cheese empanadas.
After this we headed out to our final surf lesson, the tide was super high which made the conditions rough, but perfect. We paddled past the white water and into the huge green waves. At first they were hard to catch but we all got the hang of it. Hannah caught some sweet action shots during our final surfing extravaganza. We then all showered and got ready for our outing to Carlitos for dinner. The meal was very delightful, soon after the dinner we shared our thoughts on who made a positive impact on each of our trips by giving that person a lollipop. This made everyone feel special in a unique different way. To sum our day up, we all went to the yoga studio and reflected on the whole trip through a series of fun activities. This day was special to everyone as it was our last day at Bodhi.
This is Nate, Elle, and Sofia signing off.