Tuesday July 2, 2019
Greetings from San Carlos, Costa Rica!
Today we had an eventful first day at the airport. Students arrived at all different hours and from all different parts of the world. For some it’s their first time out of the country, while others have more experience. Everyone is looking forward to the next two weeks in Costa Rica. We arrived at our home base in San Carlos in time for our first meal together where our local director, Alfredo, was waiting for us with plenty of spaghetti and garlic bread. We got acquainted with roommates, explored home base a bit and some had time for a nice game of pool. Everyone is ready for a good night’s rest and a great first full day together tomorrow.
Sofia, Nicole and Susan
*Not pictured in group photo Lalie Montagnier (she went to bed early after a long day of travel)
Wednesday July 3, 2019
¡Hola a todos!
Today was a first full day here at the Casa de Alfredo. We went through many different orientation activities which allowed everyone to get to know each other and learn more about our hopes and expectations during these next few weeks. Some fun activities included: learning one another’s hopes and fears, a turn and talk, a scavenger hunt and community agreements.
We also had time at the lake where people swam and got to use the kayaks. Since the students here in Costa Rica are currently on holiday, we have the opportunity to create a summer camp on Alfredo’s property. We started planning a variety of activities and games for the students so that we are prepared for their arrival on Friday. Tomorrow we will be visiting a nearby school, Chacón, where we will continue the work of the first Initiative for Children session- refurbishing school desks and chairs. Now it is time to get some rest.
Sofia, Nicole and Susan
Thursday July 4, 2019
Hola desde Costa Rica and happy Fourth of July for all celebrating!
Today was packed with fun-filled action. Some began the day with yoga; others woke up just in time for coffee and locally grown pineapple. We then went to one of the schools in the area to refurbish the desks and help out in the gardens. Our group came home to a delicious lunch, followed by a two hour long bachata and salsa lesson. After a small break and some lake time we had a mentor group activity discussing regional commerce and planned the summer camp activities for tomorrow. Finally, we had burritos for dinner and then a bonfire as an ode to Independence Day in the United States!
Con amor, Gadea and Christian :>)
Friday July 5, 2019
Good day to all!
Today was the first day of summer camp! We had many different activities with local children. We played soccer, kickball and tag. We also had the wonderful opportunity to teach English through games such as animal charades, dancing or bracelet making. Also, we all learned a great amount of Spanish by simply hanging out with them and during lunch.
After lunch, we relaxed at the lake for an hour after a tiring morning with our new Costa Rican friends! We then got the opportunity to learn about the history of coffee in Costa Rica and about coffee making and quality, thanks to Alfredo whose family has been making coffee for nearly two hundred years. After a long albeit fruitful day, we were able to relax once again by the lake and admire the clear and beautiful sky!
Saturday July 6, 2019
Hola a todos y pura vida!
We started the day off with going to a raft tour through the San Carlos river. We saw different animals like crocodiles, monkeys, beautiful birds, sloths and also many different kinds of trees. It was very hot but very interesting to learn about the fauna and flora of Costa Rica. When the tour ended, we tried some typical Costa Rican food, and it tasted delicious. When we came back to the house we began to share our “Stories of Self” in order to get to know each other better. After a long day, we had time to relax and have fajitas for dinner together.
-Leti and Olivia <3
Sunday July 7, 2019
We started the day by splitting into two groups for our two main activities. These activities were horseback riding and zip-lining. Horseback riding was thrilling because the guides took us up mountains to see part of the volcano and the amazing view. We also got to run through the field with the horses which gave us all an adrenaline rush. Secondly was zip-lining and it was breathtaking. The views from the treetops were one a kind. Rain or shine we all had such an amazing day, only to end it with a party! We celebrated Hannah’s sweet sixteenth birthday with cake and candy (sugar overload)!
-Lauren & Lily 🙂
Monday July 8, 2019
Hola amigos y familia!
Today marked the halfway point in our GLA adventure, and it was a fun one! However many times the rain got in the way, it was still one impactful day! We started it off with a great breakfast and then a trip to the school we had visited earlier in the week to continue our service. We left off having prepped the desks for painting which we completed today. All was well until it started pouring down rain in the middle of our work which made us relocate to the gymnasium. We came back to home base covered in blue from our hard work.
Then we changed into swimsuits and headed out to the hot springs, which is a naturally heated pool of water. We had to for the rain to calm until we could get in, but once we did it was very relaxing. We even found a water slide where many races to the bottom took place. We had chicken, french fries, rice and beans for dinner. Overall a wonderful first half to the trip.
Maggie y Zoe
Tuesday July 9, 2019
Another beautiful day with the kids, and more working at Chacón, the bigger school. It was a rainy morning here in Costa Rica, and we were worried that none of the kids would be able to come. Thankfully, we ended up having more than expected!
To start off our wonderful day, we began with drawing and friendship bracelet making. Next, we played freeze dance, tag, and an intense game of soccer. To finish off our incredible day, we ate a fantastic lunch. During the second half of the day, a second group of us went and completed service at Chacón. We continued to paint the children’s desks.
After our meaningful work was done, we all met back at Home Base, and got ready to go to a dairy farm close by. There, we got to milk the cows and learn how cheese was made. Later that night, we got a cooking class from the chefs. We made homemade empanadas and veggie burgers for dinner: they were delightful. At the end of the night, we all gathered in a judgement free zone, and listened to our fellow GLA members, share their amazing life stories.
Hannah and Willie
Wednesday July 10, 2019
Hello, this is Amanda and Abigail. We are your blog narrators today!! Today was pretty snazzy – we painted many desks and chairs at the school we have been working at, Chacon. While we were at Chacon, our group discovered a craving for chicken nuggets. Nicole, Susan and Sophia, being the true ballers that they are, finagled a trip to Ciudad Quesada so we could go to McDonald’s and get chicken nuggets.
We also went to Walmart which was very fancy and got more snacks for us all. We ate a traditional Costa Rican din din called “ollacarne” and it was very smack. Our day overall was pretty fantabulous!!!! We are so excited to spend more time at the school to help renovate and play with the coolest kids ever. Amanda and Abigail out!!!!!!
PS… Hey mom what’s poppin’ in Apex??
Thursday July 11, 2019
Good day to all!
Today sadly was our last day at the Chacón school. As such, we were all extremely motivated to get as much work done as possible in the short amount of time that we had. We managed to finish painting all of the desks, chairs and benches in a beautiful combination of blue and gray. We were all very euphoric at the idea that Costa Rican children would now be able to learn in a better environment.
After lunch, we all went to visit a pineapple plantation about an hour away from home base. We all got to taste delicious fresh organic pineapples as well as other foods made of pineapples such as empanadas or piña coladas (non alcoholic, of course). Michael, our legendary tour guide made the experience miles better with his dark albeit sarcastic sense of humour.
After a long day, we were able to devour Alfredo’s delicious hamburgers in preparation for our last day with the kids tomorrow!
And how many other people can say that, mom? (Melo)
-by Karl & Melo
Friday July 12, 2019
Good day to all! Today was our last day with the children from Santa Teresa. We started off by playing soccer and making bracelets. We then started a game of musical chairs and did some face painting. The moment finally arrived after lunch when we had to say goodbye to all of the Costa Rican children, considering it was the last time we would see them on this trip.
Many people were quite emotional after having spent a couple of days with these very nice kids who perfectly integrated into the group. We spent the next couple of hours in doing yoga taught my own very own mentor Nicole, swimming in the lake, and even some napping after a very eventful week. We then ate a delicious spaghetti dinner to end a satisfying day.
Howdy. This morning started off with a wonderful coffee chat (Jonas @the.fam.jonas and Sela @selakeating are the creators) followed by an equally as wonderful cuddle puddle. Unfortunately, the cuddle puddle came to an end when we went on a hike – we all survived (the heat). After returning to home base and dousing ourselves in water, we had a delicious lunch prepared by our bestie Alfredo.
Then, the cuddle puddles continued until it was time to leave for the zoo. It was pretty rad except for the deer that followed us around. On the way home, we bussed down to Disney music and stopped at the souvenir shop. ‘Twas lit fam. We split into mentor groups and learned about how to apply the knowledge we acquired in Costa Rica to our lives back home. We also started an a capella group. In summary: dummie lit. Time to hit the hay!!
Sela Keating and Jonas Lippert
P.S. Hey Laura
Sunday July 14, 2019
Tonight is not a night for sadness. Tonight is a night of gratitude. We have all been in close quarters for two weeks and bonded seemingly on the first day. We are grateful for those of us who are a shoulder to cry on, whether it be in hoots or in wails. We are grateful for those who make us remember why we love the children, whether they themselves are children or not.
We are grateful for the lack of judgement, allowing for our true selves to peak out behind our masks. Tonight cannot be a night for sadness, because the only thing sadder than leaving these amazing students, these selfless staff members, and these caring mentors would be to mope our last hours together away rather than living the pura vida. Tears will be shed, that is inevitable, yet more importantly smiles will be shared.
I want to thank you all for being so invested in us and making this all possible. Without you, I (Jack Healy) would not have been able to meet some of the best people I’ve ever met in my life. All of us came together in some odd mixture of chaos and openness, and out sprouted a family tree. We have gone through thick and thin, been there for each other, and realized how big of an impact we can make.
I feel as though I am a new man, and I’m ready to take what I’ve learned here and make the best out of what’s around at home. As this is a night of gratitude, I want to thank you again for making me and many others feel the happiest they’ve ever been. I am currently getting eaten by bugs, and I need to get out of this chair. Jack is signing off, and goodnight.