Wednesday July 18, 2018
We are writing to you from our lovely home base in Santa Teresa as we sit down for our first dinner together. All of our students are here safe and sound and we are all very excited to begin our Initiative for Children program! Everyone arrived safely in San Jose and everyone was back at first base earlier than ever! Several students got to experience lunch in a Costa Rican mall while waiting for the rest of their peers to arrive.
As we headed to our secluded home-away-from-home, we admired the Costa Rican countryside (or slept) on our three-hour bus ride. We arrived home, unpacked and got to know our new roommates. We are ready for a good nights sleep listening to the sound of jungle rain and frogs. Were excited to get started with orientation tomorrow before getting into service and cultural activities starting the day after. Be on the lookout for more updates on our adventures coming soon!
Friday July 20, 2018
Welcome to our blog! Day 3 was filled with lots of laughs and learning from both the GLA students and the children. We started the day out with a quick breakfast and then headed off to three different schools. Once we arrived we were greeted with huge smiles and lots of hugs. While in the classroom, we incorporated learning English into the fun activities. As some students played with the children, others got to work in the beautiful gardens. One group even got to play with a parrot! After hugging goodbye, we got on the bus and headed back for lunch. After lunch the afternoon was filled with bracelet making fun! We also discovered our true colors in mentor groups. Soon after, we had an intensive but interesting debate about children’s rights. Finishing the night off the chefs cooked us a traditional Costa Rican meal.
Francesca, Daley, Stella
Saturday July 21, 2018
Today was the fourth day of our Costa Rica Adventure. We started off our morning by eating a late breakfast which then transitioned to boarding the bus to the pineapple farm. There we saw first-hand the background of farming and finding a perfect pineapple. We were able to pick and taste our own pineapples! After that we enjoyed some delicious piña coladas and pineapple jam. All of us students then took our first visit to the local supermarket to stock up on snacks and necessities for future trips. Once we returned we enjoyed a game of mafia and a few hours of free time. We then enjoyed a bonding leadership activity which improved our friendships with one another and finished our day with a nice meal and a cake to celebrate Rosie’s birthday.
Your leaders of the day,
Brandon, Grace, and Viviana
Sunday July 22, 2018
Today we went on a tropical river safari. We saw many animals including howler monkeys, sloths, iguanas, crocodiles, and many more! Many groups got into a water war. After the tour we made chocolate drinks with fresh cocoa beans. We also ate handmade tortillas with “queso blanco” and plantains. When we got back to home base we enjoyed a lively game of charades. We also learned about coffee culture in Costa Rica from Alfredo. Before dinner, we had a lesson in Español to enhance our knowledge. Some of us learned pronunciation and others practiced conversations.
Maggie & Lucy 🙂
Monday July 23, 2018
Hey guys! Today was an action-packed day filled with rewarding service and a trip to the luxurious hot springs.
At school, we weeded and planted a garden. We taught some kids the alphabet, days of the week, and helped them with the upcoming spelling bee. With the remaining time we played soccer, hot potato, and picked beans in the garden.
At the hot springs, we relaxed in the warm water. After floating around various pools, we bought ice cream and chips at a snack shack.
Lots of love
Maggie, Elizabeth, Lucy, & Daley 🙂
Tuesday July 24, 2018
Today we woke up and had the usual breakfast of pancakes and pineapples. We had a little time to get ready for our day of service. Our day at the schools consisted of learning about the national holiday occurring tomorrow, the annexation of Costa Rica. (Consequently, the students have the day off tomorrow.) They showed us a presentation of traditional Costa Rican dances in costume along with homemade food. We also had time to work in the gardens and start growing some more vegetables.
Around noon, we came back to Home Base for a scenic hike around Alfredo’s property. We saw cows and walked around his lake, or Lago Santa Teresa. Since it was on the hot side today, we had time to swim in the lake. Then, we met with our mentor groups to check in with how the GLA program is going so far. In addition, we had a leadership activity that taught us the importance of accepting other cultures. Afterwards, we ate an All-American dinner of hamburgers and coke and had time to ourselves.
Julia M., Eunice, and Christina
Wednesday July 25, 2018
Hi everyone! Today was yet another jam-packed day filled with community work, lots of rain, and ice cream! We started the day off with pancakes and headed out to work at the schools. The students at the schools didn’t attend because of the national holiday, but we took this time to tend to the garden and clean the sidewalks! One group’s work was spotted by a local farmer who gave us four pineapples, free of charge! After hours of working, we ate a delicious lunch and topped it off with fun group activities. Later, we loaded into buses and rode to a cafe which included souvenirs, ice cream, and WIFI! After making lots of phone calls and checking on social media, we returned to home base. We had dinner and concluded the night with a traditional (student-made) Brazilian dessert.
Lots of Love,
Stella and Parker
Thursday July 26, 2018
Today concludes our ninth day of our GLA trip. We headed out after eating breakfast to continue working on our service projects at the local schools. Students worked on picking weeds, harvesting beans and mess from the school gardens. While another group worked on continuing a mural and teaching English to the Spanish speaking children. Today was our fifth day working with the schools and it has allowed our GLA and local students to connect more personally on a broader spectrum. After lunch we headed down to a dairy farm to experience first hand on how locals integrate their culture into work. It was definitely an eye-opening experience. Everyone took something away from the dairy farm and was able to see how locals work together to provide locally and internationally. We headed back to home base and concluded the day with a leadership activity and finished with a bonfire. Until tomorrow!
Jimena, Julia, Alex
Friday July 27, 2018
Today is day 10 of the GLA trip. We had a fun filled day, starting with an early morning at the schools. There we worked on projects around the school, gardening and helping the students with various subjects. Afterwards, we came back to home base and took part in cooking and dancing classes. We learned how to cook empanadas and vegan burgers and the dancing class taught us how to bachata dance and the Costa Rican swing criollo. To end the day we watched Freaky Friday outside while enjoying a delicious desert cooked by our GLA cooking staff.
Grace and Megan
Saturday July 28, 2018
Hi everyone! This morning we woke up bright and early to a rainy sky and breakfast at 7AM. At 9 o´clock we boarded the buses for a two hour bus ride to a small river boat ride close to the boarder of Nicaragua. On the boat ride we saw lots of animals including monkeys, iguanas, and sloths. On the bus ride back, lots of us napped and listened to Latino music. When we arrived back at home base, we had our lunch for the day. We got a really great lunch of steak, corn, rice and beans. During free time today, we had the option of going to the lake, hanging around home base, or getting ice cream down the road. After ice cream we were able to play soccer games with the local kids who attend a school next to the field. After free time (and getting creamed at soccer by the locals) we had mentor groups, and did some group activities. Finally we ended the day with dinner and cake for Julia´s birthday (Happy Birthday Julia!!!).
Tiffany, Eunice and Sophie!!!!!!!
Today is Sunday, July 29, and it was a very fun packed day. We woke up at 6 AM and ate breakfast and then loaded into the buses at 6:45. We split into two groups; one group went horse back riding and the other zip lining. We enjoyed 15 zip lines and a beautiful trail ride up the volcano on the horses. We also went to a souvenir shop in the town of la Fortuna. We headed back to the home base around 6 where we enjoyed a traditional Costa Rican stew. We ended off the day with a big thunder and lightening storm. We are all excited for our last day of service tomorrow!
Rachel, Eva, and Morgan