Monday July 30, 2018
The first day of GLA Summer Session 3 was a success!
The day started out at the airport in Liberia, where all the students were picked up by Mentor Jordan and officially welcomed to the beautiful province of Guanacaste. The sun was shining and there was a cool breeze, and the students enjoyed a scenic bus ride back to home base after stopping to eat snacks at a local Panadería (bakery). After arriving at the home base, a beautiful Ecolodge on a sprawling property with gardens, a pool, and lovely cabins, the students were given a tour by International Director Kilee and Mentor Megan and given a chance to settle in. After unpacking a bit and introducing one another, the group ate a healthy Costa Rican dinner of rice and beans, chicken, salad, and maduros (sweet plantain dessert). Finally, the group played a fun get-to-know-you game and reviewed the Code of Conduct together. After a long day of traveling, and after completing health checks with all students, the group was allowed to shower and go to bed early, which everyone happily accepted. Tomorrow begins a new adventure, the first day of many here in Costa Rica.
Tuesday July 31, 2018
Hello. my name is Taylor. today was our 2nd day in Costa Rica. In the morning we had a nice breakfast and then we played some get to know you games. We got a mini Spanish lesson and had orientation. Along with that we did the swim test. Then Matt came to talk to our group about being a foreigner in a new place and how to build relationships with the people around us. The groups plan was to go to the beach which got pushed back by the rain. When we finally got to the beach we did a scavenger hunt, but our trip got cut short due to the rain and lightning. We stopped at a market on our way back. And then we ate dinner played some games, found out mentor groups and went to bed.
Thursday July 2, 2018
¡Hola family and friends! My name is Sarah Meredith and I am happy to be your blogger for today. Our morning commenced when the bright Costa Rican sun shined threw our windows and pulled us out of bed towards breakfast. After completing our routine “chow circle” where we shared what we were most excited for, we sat down to a nicely prepared breakfast by Maria Louisa. On our table was whole wheat toast, butter, jelly, eggs, gallo pinto, and a variety of fresh fruit. Once we finished breakfast, we hopped into our mini bus where the wonderful Caesar was eager to drive us to El Centro Verde. When we arrived, we were greeted by Marcia who lead a tour of the nursery and gave us our individual tasks to complete. Some students were filling bags with fresh soil while others were placing trees inside of those bags. A couple of girls were in charge of organizing the layout of these plants and others were responsible for transporting them back and forth on a wheel barrow. It was truly an amazing feeling to be a part of the mission that will help increase Costa Rica’s water supply in the long term. After about 4 hours of hard work, it was finally time for lunch.
Our lunch was delivered to us in containers that consisted of chicken, rice, and vegetables with a passion fruit juice on the side. Once we ate our delicious food, we drove back to the comforts of our home base and were given an hour to rest before the next activity. The next journey that we embarked on was a salsa dance lesson that was nothing less than spicy! We moved to the rhythm of the rainstorm bellowing around us and had the time of our lives. Following our fiesta de baila, we drove down the street and were welcomed into the home of Senorita Yolanda for a traditional cafecito. We were given coffee and delightful corn and honey pastries called Daniellas. The house was surrounded by dogs, chickens, and adorable children that we all enjoyed playing with. Some of us enjoyed a friendly game of soccer with the local kids while others showed them how to play games on their phones. During our 60 minute visit, we discovered a newfound appreciation for the simplicities in life such as playing soccer in the rain or petting the neighborhood dog. Finally, we returned to our home base and came together for a comforting dinner of warm chicken soup and white rice.
Friday August 3, 2018
Buenos Dias friends and families. My name is Saoudatou Barry and I will be your blogger for the day.
On the fifth day of program, all of us girls wake up enthusiastic and energetic. We all make it to breakfast at 7:00 a.m ready to work with the students. Eating a hearty meal that consisted of tortillas, scrambled eggs, rice and beans, and our choice of tea and coffee. Once breakfast was eaten, us girls were ready to start playing with the school children.
Once we got to school, the children were very welcoming and excited to see us. Maria, one of the school girls, was very nice and caring. She incorporated us in all the activities they did and tried to communicate with us even though there was a language barrier.
Before we started our activities for the day, we played a name game with the children. We stated our names, where we are from, and our favorite animals. Although our Spanish was not as good, the children had a fun time playing the ice breaker. It was nice to hear the different animals that the children liked.
We started our first activity, hosted by our lovely Marcia, by going through a PowerPoint filled with different animals. It was amusing watching how the children had a different reaction to each animal that was shown. The children were very tentative, but also had a lot to say about each animal. They would tell stories of their experiences with a specific animal shown or they would listen to Marcia as she explained what each animal was. We all watched in awe as the children talked about each animal and the facial expressions and body gestures used to describe each animal.
After looking at the Animals, the children had the option to either color or play animal bingo against each other.
In the afternoon, after a hot meal that consisted of spaghetti, red meat, and a drink, we came back to Hotel Angeles ready to paint with Ivan. Ivan is an artist who offered two hours of his work day to teach us how to sketch and outline.
After a long day of working and painting, we all went to the beach to cool off and play around in some waves. We ended the day with a dinner filled with fish, chicken, rice, and mixed vegetables. Saoudatou also put in some good moves for the African music that was playing in the background.
Saturday August 4, 2018
¡Hola familia y amigos! I’m Rachel, and I’m so excited to share our day in Costa Rica with you all. Our day started with the birds chirping and the monkeys howling. Maria Louisa prepared a breakfast spread of fruit, yogurt, and toast. We headed out early for Santa Cruz, the capital of the province of Guanacaste. The town is very small and everyone knows each other, so it is not what you would expect! Matt from Restoring Our Watershed told us all about the beautiful city, and then we went to a panadería called PPK for pastries. We enjoyed our bread, pound cake, and doughnuts on the walk back to the park for another drawing lesson from Ivan. We sat in the park and drew what we saw, and then left to explore the town. Some people shopped, some bough ice cream, and some just enjoyed the murals. We hopped on the bus to La Terraza, a beautiful open-air restaurant. The food was delicious, but we were much more entertained by the National Geographic documentary, Tiger Man of Africa.
The entire restaurant was enraptured yet disturbed as we watched Shadow and Ron court each other, and finally as Shadow gave birth to a healthy baby boy. A favorite food at the restaurant was the pineapple smoothies. After lunch, we headed off to Hojancha. Our first stop was a coffee tour at Coope Pilangosta, a coffee cooperative. We loved learning about the process and seeing all of the equipment, not to mention smelling and tasting the coffee! Our final destination was Monte Alto nature reserve, where we’re staying over for the night.
We settled in and waited for the rain to stop, but it’s the rainy season, so we headed out to a gorgeous vista on the the top of a mountain during the storm. The view of the sunset over the mountains was completely breathtaking, and we loved watching the clouds move over the landscape. We listened as Emel, the founder of the reserve, gave us an explanation of the history of the creation of Hojancha as an independent municipality and of the nature reserves. Our final activity of the night was a delicious buffet dinner. Thanks for reading!
Sunday August 5, 2018
We woke up this morning to beautiful sunny day! After a day of traveling we had all been super tired So waking up to a nice delicious breakfast was amazing! Although most of us were woken up buy a rooster at 3 o’clock in the morning and my alarm at 5:45, the morning was great! We all had gotten ready for a tour around the preserve with the founder!
After breakfast we all got our stuff and begin to walk down the dirt road to the beginning of the trail! On our way to the trail the founder and another tour guide stopped on the side of the road to grab a bunch of sapplings. He handed us the trees and our counselors told us that we’re gonna plant them on our way up the trail. The people who wanted trees were able to get them! We all named our trees! Mine was name Steven, Megan and Jordans was named Queen Willow and Brooks was named Cesar! We then began walking again ending up at the beginning of our hiking trail which was a beautiful dirt path with natural stairs made out of wood. We begin to hike, throughout the hike the founder and the other tour guide were digging holes to plant our trees. After they were planted we walked to the end of the trail which was a beautiful babbling brook that had benches. We sat at the benches for five minutes and listen to the sounds of the river. The tour guide then explain how the water was oxygenated therefore it was good for the skin and he would always wash his hands and face with the water whenever he came to this spot! After that we began to hike back it was about a 20 minute hike in total. After we got back we got in the van with Cesar. Cesar drove us back to the preserve so the counselors could get a couple things.
After that Cesar drove us to another hiking spot where we split up into two groups. One group went on a 40 minute hike and my group went on a 10 minute hike and we ended up at a waterfall and we saw a beautiful view from a little hotel/house on the top. After that we hiked back and my group waited in the van for the other group. After the other group arrived we all went up to the lodge/ little building and took another painting class with Ivan. This class we learned how to paint a human figure. We were all stoked when we got to use the nice materials and paper, the real deal watercolor paper.
After we were done painting we had the closing conversation with Ivan about the painting class and we took a picture at the top and signed the registration book. After that, we got back in the van and drove back to preserve to have lunch. For lunch we had beautiful homemade corn tortillas with rice, beans, and chicken! It was delicious! After that we got on out bathing suits and walked down to a beautiful waterfall where we were able to swim! The water was a very nice temperature and there was even a little space where four waterfalls all poured into it and it was gorgeous! After that we walked back to the preserve and changed and got all of our stuff so we could go. We then headed back to the homebase.
On our way we stop at a grocery store so we can get some snacks and some food. Some people got fried chicken from a little fried chicken place on the side of the road. Then we were on our way back when Cesar stopped the van and said we had a flat tire. So we drove into a big town to get the tire fixed. When we got there we realize that there was nothing wrong with the tire so we continued it on our way. We made it back safely and we had dinner which was delicious! After that we had our mentor groups where we made privilege wheels/diagrams. It was an amazing conversation I will remember for a long time! These past two days have been amazing at the nature preserve and we are so stoked to be working with the kids tomorrow at their school and being able to bond with them and then after that being rewarded with a trip to the beach!
Monday July 6, 2018
It seems that the days are going by pretty fast. Today was really productive, we started with our usual morning routine which was our circle and breakfast. I think what I like most about it was working and playing with the kids, we played bingo and did coloring activities. the little grade made us really happy and excited because we were not only teaching them but we were learning Spanish from them. The kids were really supportive and interactive which made everything easier. After lunch, we headed to La Playa Negro which was really fun but then it started raining and we had to go back to base camp. Although most of us are homesick, we’re making every single moment in Costa Rica counts.
Tuesday August 7, 2018
Hey friends and family, and welcome to the day you’ve all been waiting for…MY DAY TO BLOG. My name is Jayneba Dieye and that’s all I’m saying about myself because this is about everyone and their experience.
So today started off with another wonderful and fruit-filled breakfast at the home base with some coffee and water. Then we patiently waited for Cesar, the God of van driving, to go another school to teach the 3rd and 5th graders about Costa Rica’s watershed. Sadly, there was a miscommunication with the school so we planned to come back in the afternoon. Luckily, our mentors decided we take a trip to Playa Blanca because everyone wanted to go to the beach in the morning plus it was high tide and a lot of girls in the group love battling the waves (including me lol). After our trip to the beach, we headed back to the home base to eat so we could have enough energy for the school kids and the soccer game after. When we arrived at the school we split up into two groups in order to volunteer with two different grade levels. My group introduced ourselves and had the kids introduce themselves and we found a kid from Houston, TX that moved here 2 weeks ago, so that was really interesting.
During the rest of our time at the school we taught the kids about their watershed and they played all the fun games we had setup for them. While we were setting up for some of the games, a group of kids started playing soccer and the ball ended up on the roof, so they decided to grab a broom and knock it down, instead they broke a wasp’s nest lol. But that didn’t postpone the fun we had planned for the students so we continued on with the games. After playing with the students, we made our way to the soccer field to play soccer. One of the soccer dads, Fran, divided up his players among a group of three of us and we began playing. Most of the kids playing were actually good and kinda intimidating (at least to me). Some of the girls got really competitive and attempted to win the entire game by themselves (Brooke and Megan). We finished the soccer game and my team unofficially won lol. We ended our day back at home base and ate unnecessarily large portions of spaghetti, then all the girls gathered in Cabin #5 and gossiped the night away. Well I hope you guys enjoyed this blog.
Side note: Dad, does this blog meet your expectations? Mom, is my grammar okay? Love and miss you guys!
Wednesday August 8, 2018
So I started out this morning by waking up extra early when Jayneba accidentally locked herself out of our room when she went to the bathroom in the wee hours of dawn. After we all got dressed and ready, we walked down to the main area while Maya blessed us with a chirpy, never ending morning song. Fantabulous. 😂
After another delicious breakfast of rice and beans we loaded onto the bus, riding over bumpy rural roads to an adorable elementary school filled with even more adorable third graders. Yay!
We got to know the kids, talked with them about animals native to costa rica, and then had a coloring session and an animal bingo game.
Scene cut to us eating some more rice, but with chicken this time instead of beans. Hold on, more food is coming… is that maduros? (Im literally writing this as I wait for food). So maduros are basically chopped, baked (fried?) plaintains. They are probably my favorite dish here besides picadillo (some sort of potato cheese thing). Anyways, time to eat.
After lunch we had a dance lesson taught by Angela, a native of Costa Rica. We learned two dances, none of which I can remember (much less spell) the names of, but thats okay because by the end of it we were a bunch of sweaty, happy kids. Cool.
We went to the beach, watched a presentation that was all about sea turtles, and then the people who put on the presentation led us to a spot on the beach where they had recreated 5 turtle nests. They put us into pairs and told us that the group who found all the eggs first while using the proper procedure would win the game; of course we turned into savages, digging through sand like a pot of gold was hidden at the bottom. JayJay emerged victorious and totally covered in sand, which was absolutely hilarious to witness.
We went home to some bean soup (ooo, switching it up a little) and, you guessed it, rice. But it was still delicious. We still have to do mentor groups for about an hour and then its straight to bed for me!
-by Elizabeth Hastings
Thursday August 9, 2018
¡Hola! My name is Brooke Fiedler and I’ll be taking you through our fun filled day today! We had the traditional morning: waking up at 5:30 to howler monkeys screaming, birds pelting small seeds at the window, and realizing we’ve ran out of toilet paper. At breakfast there’s the look of exhaustion but excitement on everyone’s face. We had our classic toast and fresh fruit.
Today we changed it up at the schools and did a recycling project! We drove to a school where littering frequently occurs. We split up into two groups, some painted the bins, and others painted signs. On the bins we painted 4 separate recycling methods: plastic; paper; aluminum: glass. It was amazing to see what an impact the recycling signs and bins had on the kids so quickly. A girl came up and asked where to throw out her trash.
When we got back to home base, we had some time to relax and clean our cabins because we had cabin checks. Living in a cabin with no AC in a humid climate, and 3 girls (one cabin has 4…) causes it to get really dirty, really quickly. Aside from the dirt, it also tends to smell really bad. So we cleaned everything top to bottom with brooms and mops.
Soon after we headed to dinner, but not before stopping by the local corner store to stock up on snacks and food. There’s only so much rice and beans someone can eat. Before dinner we stopped by our favorite beach, Juinquillal, and watched the lightening strike on the water. We made our way to dinner at a beautiful open restaurant where we were going to eat pizza. (Coming from New York I have pretty high expectations when it comes to pizza, my expectations were surpassed) Everyone ate at least 3 slices, and drank a delicious tropical fruit drink.
It was another amazing day here at Costa Rica, and we were able to come back to the beautiful Angels Lodge where we once again had our nightly talks in cabin #7.
Friday August 10, 2018
Today started off with a great breakfast of toast and peanut butter that we had bought from the market. After that we loaded up the bus and headed to Casa del Sol. A sustainable women’s farm the focused on cooking things with the sun and going against the use of gmos. There we had a great lunch with the best dessert. We came back to the home base and chilled out until we had the snake show. I was not a fan of the snakes and it didn’t calm my fears. It was interesting. We all enjoyed a dinner of sandwiches and milkshakes. Then it was off to be and ready for Tamarindo tomorrow.
Saturday August 11, 2018
Today we woke up and had pancakes for breakfast! They were amazing and were nice to have. Then we left for Tamarindo and what there around nine. We went to a wicked cool farmer’s market which had a lot of local food and jewelry. There were a lot of nice people and interesting things to try. Then we got to walk around by ourselves. We and to some cute shops and then standing there was a very familiar face. It was Mateo and we stood there for a minute and then talked to him for a while about his job and what he does. Then we went to a nice little restaurant where we had breakfast.
After we went to a lot of shops that sold T-Shirts and other things like, mugs, paintings, signs, hats, and jewelry. We got shave ice and walked some more. We then to a ceramic shop where all these products were hand made there. After we walked on the beach and got a fresh coconut from one of the people selling them. Then, we got banana bread from Dawn Patrol and walked back to the meeting spot. There were also many taxis and offers for food. There were a lot of shops and things to do. The beach is extremely pretty and seems to go on forever. All in all it was a really fun and exciting day!
Sunday August 12, 2018
Hello! I am Sarah Meredith and I will be your blogger again for today. Our morning started an hour later than usual, so everyone arrived at breakfast with some extra sleep. Maria Louisa had cheese and bean empanadas prepared for us which were definitely a delicious surprise. Following breakfast, we piled into our beloved minibus and enjoyed a scenic ride to a new beach that we hadn’t been to yet. We were not told the name of the beach or what we would be doing there because our counselors wanted to surprise us. How exciting?! After about an hour drive on some roller coaster dirt roads, we finally arrived at Playa San Juanillo. At the beach, we were able to explore the coves and rock formations, relax in the shade, tan in the sun, and swim in the crystal clear water. We spent about 2 hours having fun and taking in the beautiful views. Next, we packed up into the minibus and just like that, we were on the road again! Back at homebase, we had about an hour of free time before lunch. Some girls spent their time at the pool while other chose to write in their journals or read. Lunch consisted of garbanzo beans, rice, and mixed vegetables.
After lunch, we had a couple hours of rest and then we all gathered together in the common area for a group activity called “Story of Self”. Basically, we sat in a circle and told our life stories one by one. Each person was allowed to say as little or as much as they felt comfortable with while everyone else listened and absorbed the new information. It was really amazing to learn more about each other and develop stronger connections. For our next adventure, we rushed into the van and set forth to Juinquillal to have an evening swim and watch the breathtaking Costa Rican sunset. On the way back to homebase, we stopped at the market and picked up some snacks for the rest of the week. Dinner was flavorful meat patties with rice, beans, pica dillo, and salad. For dessert, we played a fun game of GLA Jeopardy between the three different cabins. It was a close call but in the end, cabin 5 came out victorious with 2,000 points. Congratulations to Souadatou, Madashley, Sophie, and Taylor!
Monday August 13, 2018
Buenos Dias friends and family, Saoudatou Barry writing again. Today was an action packed filled adventure. In the morning we ate a healthy meal that consisted of scrambled eggs, toast with butter or jam, rice and beans, and apples. After breakfast we were all ready to go to Paraiso to teach the school children about water and how to use less water in order to protect the environment. Just like any other day, the school children were really happy to see us. Many coming up to give us hugs and ask about our weekend.
After a long morning of working with the children, we had lunch, thanks to Dalia, by the beach. We then went back to base camp to rest our growing bodies for a little bit. In the afternoon we all went to La Playa Negra to have fun in the waves and take long walks across the sand. After about two hours at the beach it was time to go back to base camp to rest and get ready for dinner.
Tuesday August 14, 2018
Hola family and friends. It’s Rachel, writing the blog again! Today started off with some nice conversations over a breakfast of gallo pinto, toast, and fruit. We headed off soon after that to El Centro Verde, the plant nursery. After getting acquainted with the Costa Rican high school kids that were also there to volunteer, we got to work planting, mulching, and weeding. It was hard work, but we had so much fun getting to know each other that the time went by quickly. The locals got a chance to practice their English and we had the opportunity to learn some more Spanish! After a few hours, lots of sweat, and 5 bug spray reapplications, we played a game that our mentor Jordan made up. We had a lot of fun playing the game and eating gummies. By the end we were begging to hang out more, but for the Costa Ricans, it was time to hop on the bus and go home.
After lunch and a few hours to rest and wait out the rain, we headed out to Las Delicias to play soccer. The rain was still coming down, but we decided to play fútbol on the field outside. Cesar, (our van driver/ the man), told us that it’s refreshing to play in the rain, so he played with us. After some warm ups, the game was on! We had so much fun playing with the kids that we’ve gotten to know over the past few weeks as well as some new kids. We slipped around and got soaked, but this soccer game was definitely a highlight of the program. We left for Yolanda’s house for cafecitos after a while, and some of the kids that we had played soccer with came with us. We had some delicious food and juice, and we painted with the kids. Our paintings looked quite interesting, but the kids had no problems keeping them for us. We also got to play with the chicks, dogs, and cats on the property. We said goodbyes to the kids, and headed back to home base for dinner.
After dinner, we had a very educational and relaxing mentor group where we talked about our future and who we want to be as people when we’re older. Mentor groups are always guaranteed to foster fascinating, thought-provoking conversations. Thanks for reading!
Wednesday August 15, 2018
This morning I woke up at 5:00 to my alarm blaring letting me know it was time to workout! Except today I was too lazy (sorry mom and dad) so I hit snooze not realizing I set my alarm for every 10 minutes. I then turned them all off after it went off 4 more times! I ended up waking up at 6:45; 5 minutes before we had to be down for breakfast! I scrambled out of bed and let Lizzy and Jay Jay know that they need to wake me up next time! Then I got dressed, threw my hair in to a bun and put my on and “calmly walked” (ran) down to breakfast.
As soon as I got down to breakfast I made sure that everyone was present because I was leader of the day. As soon as everyone was here, I started chow circle. In the morning we say what we are excited for; I said that I was excited for the barbecue and the recycling center, which is what most people said they were excited for. After chow circle we ate breakfast which consisted of tortillas, rice & beans (gallo pinto), and fruit. I played some upbeat music and Megan sang along to the song Ignition by R Kelly. After breakfast we got all of our stuff and waited for Cesar to pick us up from the recycling center.
Cesar came and we had a short 5 – 10 minute drive to the school. There were no kids there because it was Costa Rican Mothers Day! As soon as we got the school, we got to work making signs and painting garbage cans. We even made a knew friend, a cute brown stray dog that I really wanted to name Lady! We gave her food and water. After we made a couple of signs and got a little loopy from the paint and paint thinner fumes we took a break. Rachel, Brooke, Sophie, Taylor, and I walked down to the little pulpuria next to the school to find some ice cream, but we ended up not being able to find any. Then we went to the little pulpuria across the street where they only had fruit pops. We were very disappointed! But Elizabeth ended up getting a fruit pop. We also saw two horses that were being trained for a parade.
After we finally finished making the recycling signs we walked over to the soccer field to plant some trees. It was so hot! After planting our trees, Rachel, Sarah, and I walked back to the school to take a break. Once we got there, we found the gate to the school locked tight. We had to figure out what key fit into the lock on the door. It took us about 10 minutes because Marcia handed us a ring of micalaneous keys and told us she didn’t know which one fit!
After everyone got back from planting the trees we ate lunch made by Dahlia; also known as Dahlia express. It was chicken, rice, and vegetables. It was delicious. After we ate, we cleaned up and put everything in the van. We then put our leftover food on the soccer field behind the school so the stray dogs could eat it because they needed it more than us! Then we got into the van and Cesar drove us over to the farm across the street from the ecolodge to plant some trees.
Our drive to the spot where the trees were to be planted was very “interesting.” I ended up calling it a safari. We saw cows, an iguana, and horses! We finally ended up at the place where we were to plant the trees. It was sweltering! We got to work planting the trees while I blasted Beyoncè. After a little while we heard Maddy and Lizzy scream! They ran down to us and said they had saw a huge white spider! Taylor later told us it was called a banana spider; they get up on their hind legs and spray venom at you when they’re in attack mode.
After the farm we drove back to home base to get ready for the barbecue. A lot of us showered and Marcia even gave us a white clay facemask do which was super fun and refreshing; my skin needed it! After we were all ready for the beach we hopped into the van.
As soon as we arrived at the beach it was high tide. When I said high tide, I mean really high tide; it was a swell, which means the water comes up really high! Then to our suprise we saw our friend Jayden from the elementary school in Paraiso along with his little sister and friend! They were all very happy to see us! We were as equally happy to see them. We smelled the delicious cooking and the fire on the beach that was cooking our dinner.
After a little while of playing with the kids in the ocean we begin to eat! We ate chicken and onion kebabs, chicken breasts and legs and we had caramelized pineapple and sweet plantains. It was all delicious! Even Mateo brought us Coca-Cola, Fresca, Fanta, and water. He also brought his two kids and his wife! They were super nice. Today was amazing and we enjoyed the delicious dinner and dessert. Also happy Costa Rican Mothers Day to all the Mothers out there!
Thursday August 16, 2018
Hi guys it’s me, Madashley, again, last time I gave you a brief summary of what we did mainly because my charger broke and my phone was on 8 percent but today, it’ll be a little bit longer because I really enjoyed it. Instead of having our normal alarm back in the USA, we always have monkey in trees next to our cabin to do that for us.
For. 3. Hours. Straight
So that was cool I guess
But not really
We soon forgot about that when we were served pancakes for breakfast though, then we headed straight for service.
Service was a little long today, we went to Los Pargos Escuela to set up recycle,
Plastic and trash bins. It took long but seeing the kids running around coming up to me and coming up to me to touch and compliment my hair was my highlight of the day. After service, we went to Playa Negra to eat which was amazing because after that we went to the restaurant next to it and brought deserts.
As we go into the day, We were really tired but we had to keep going. We went to a farm and planted about 50-60 trees and through every tree we planted, I thought we were dying of the sun heat , mainly because of the requirement to wear pants in the heat.
But, hey no one is complaining right?
After, 30 min to an hour, we hike up a forest to learn about Mother Nature and how Costa Rican’s fight beside her. Plus the view was totally worth it. We had the pleasure of having Jordan as our tour guide which was great even though I can’t count on my fingers he number of times he almost got us lost in the middle of the forest.
But it’s fine cause we love him. Finally, after a long day of service we went back to home base for refreshment and had a movie night.
I can’t wait for tomorrow mainly because of the zip lining but also because we’ll get to go home sooner and I really miss it back home.
I had a great time writing to you guys
Friday August 17, 2018
Welcome family and friends to another action packed blog by yours truly, Jayneba Dieye.
Anyway, the day started off with me violently waking up because my roommate forgot breakfast was at 7:30am instead of 7:00am so I started my day earlier than expected. We made our way down to enjoy another amazing breakfast of toast, fruit, eggs, and coffee. After breakfast, we got ready for zip lining next door and made our way over. When we got there everyone was so excited and eager to begin our safari adventure. We got strapped into our harnesses and took a truck up to the first zip line. Our guide gave us a quick demonstration and then a few people got a little nervous but all turned out well because the view was amazing. A couple people, including me, enjoyed the view so much we decided to experience it upside down when zip lining. We ended our adventures and cooled down with some fresh fruit and water, and walked back to home base.
Maria Luisa, our amazing hostess, prepared a meal of fish, platacones, and salad which was AMAZING! When lunch was over, everyone made their way back to their rooms, so they could clean and pack. After we finished cleaning and packing, we participated in a yoga and meditation lesson by our former dance instructor, who seems to be able to do anything and everything. We finished up with our meditation, it really turned into nap time (no tea, no shade); then we got ready to go to the beach to watch the sunsets with the teenagers from Tuesday. When we got ready to leave, it became known to us that there wasn’t enough room for everyone to fit so Cesar had to make two trips leaving Maya, Kilee, Meagan, Jordan, and I behind but all turned out well. When we all arrived to the beach everyone hopped into the ocean to take on the day’s wave battling fiasco.
After we watched the sunset, we all said our final goodbyes and rode back to home base to rinse off and eat dinner. We enjoyed a delicious dinner of pasta, soda, and salad, then started on an activity Jordan and Meagan prepared. The activity required each of us to make an envelope with our names on it and everyone would write a note to any else they wanted to and put in their envelope. So we all sat at the table and wrote each other heartfelt notes or in my case my snapchat name and maybe a note that says “You’re grrrrrreeeeeaaatttt!”
Afterwards, we all went to our separate rooms and packed some more, showered, and relaxed until we all fell asleep (after a specific person fell off a bed trying to kill a spider *cough* Elizabeth *cough*).
Side note: Birth-giver and birthing-counterpart (aka parents), don’t worry, I bought you all some presents (also some for my big-headed sister) luv ya!
So. Last day, not counting leaving day. We are going whitewater rafting today! I’ve been looking forward to this since I first heard about it, I literally can’t sit still. That could be because I just drank the world’s supply of coffee, but we’re gonna ignore that fact for now. 😊
We got to the river and separated into two rafts; Taylor, Sophie, Brooke, and Sarah were on one boat while me, Jayneba, and Maya were in the other. The rapids started out easy, just a few bumps here and there, but it slowly got larger and larger until we were sitting in front of a twelve foot drop! Half the girls wanted to flip the boat over the waterfall, so we put the girls who wanted to flip over in one boat and the girls who didnt in another.
After we all get through the rapids, my tour guide decides to start switching people. Like, he’d slide up to another boat, start a conversation, and then pop a girl onto our boat! We did this about three times until we completely switched up who was in what raft all the way to the end of the excursion.
Cesar then drove us to an animal rehabilitaion center. They take in wild animals that get hurt and/or abandoned and fix them up to try to release them into the jungle. The tour lady took us and showed us all the animals that couldn’t be released (due to physical limitations or just being used to humans), and introduced us to all of them. At one point an ocelote flew through its cage, giving us all quite the jump scare.
So then we went to the best hotel I’ve seen here, it’s absolutely amazing! Air conditioning, no screaming monkeys, no bugs? Absolute heaven.
We grabbed dinner at a random looking buffet. It was camouflaged between all the fried chicken places, but it turned out to have some really good food! Now we’re gonna try to get a good nights rest for the plane ride tomorrow. 😊