Letters to You from Your GLA Staff Members
June 24 – July 14, 2015
Hola Initiative for Children Amigos!
Guys! I hope that this letter finds you all well, happy, healthy and rocking it out in the new school year. I cannot believe the summer is over, can you? I miss you all so much, and think of you each day in some way. From the lessons you taught me, to the conversations we had, to all of the hard work we put into beautifying Nosara and the schools, know that you are with me always, and that you definitely impacted the community in Nosara.
After you left, we had a few days of rest before the next group came, and it was sad to be in Hotel Playa Garza without all of you lovelies around. One of my favorite memories from our time was simply spending time in the hotel together. The energy you all brought to Costa Rica was palpable. I loved how hard this group was willing to work, and how much you supported one another each and every day. Can you believe all of the amazing service work we were able to complete in the short time we were there?! From the Nosara Animal Care house and trail, to the amazing mural in the center of town, to the beautiful play structure. I hope you know that the next group had the opportunity to see our work, and were so impressed. I am so proud of each of you for how you showed up to service. We talked so much about not making yourselves small in life, and I have confidence that all of you will go out into the world and make it a brighter place, just by being you. Always remember how deeply we believe in you, and believe in yourself with the same fierce conviction!
So, I can’t really talk about the service work if I don’t mention the adventures we had! From surfing to SUPing, ziplining to white-water rafting. You all did such an incredible job soaking in every moment that you could. I remember the first adventure weekend we had, how excited and happy everyone felt after that memorable day. Sitting on the beach at Playa Guiones with you all, taking photos, and sharing stories from the day was one of my favorite memories, and something I will never forget. I think beach time with this crew made me the happiest of all. On one of our last day, I sat on Playa Pelada, watching you all take photos together, frolicking in the ocean waves and thought to myself, “ this is really what it’s all about. Look at how happy they are, and what we all got to be a part of!”. I knew in that moment, how truly special GLA would be to me, to you all , and that I would never forget you. How could I? !
Last and certainly not least, I really hope that you all felt the shift and change within you, in the same way that I did. I believe that the seeds we all sprouted together will only grow- more wildly, and beautiful as the years pass. I wish you all the best in everything, everything you choose to do, and wish I could be along for the ride. Know that you are riding along in my heart… always.
I hope to hear from you all as the year continues, as your adventures unfold, and maybe we can even meet up someday. Until then… keep pura vida alive.
July 18 – August 7, 2015
Greetings GLA Nosara Alumni,
I hope all of you are having a great year and that the adjustment back from “Tico time” wasn’t too bad. As I am writing this I am feeling a bit nostalgic because I just finished unpacking my boxes in my new apartment in Seattle and I am reflecting on the amazing experiences that I had with you all this summer. As we all discussed, our time in Nosara was an opportunity for us to take a step back and reevaluate our lives in order to become fully realized representations of ourselves. I am so glad that we were able to experience this trip together because all of your courage, compassion, and resilience definitely encouraged me to persevere through any moments of doubt that I had in my ability to embark on this journey.
As I prepare for the next step in my life (grad school…arrrgh!) I find myself coming back to conversations that we had about self-care in the face of a society that compels us to sacrifice so much of what makes us human for the promise of success. I am definitely approaching my experience here in Seattle with one foot in the classroom and the other in the sand…well, I guess trail would be more accurate here. My intention isn’t to slack off, by any means, but I am going to be sure that I take time for myself and find a balance that makes me appreciate both my work and my leisure time that much more. I hope you are all remembering to do that as well as you head into final years in high school. Life is way too short not to have a little fun:) Speaking of fun, to all of my fellow early morning beach runners (don’t think I forgot about you): I signed up for a marathon in November!! I thought running 26.2 miles through Seattle would be a nice way to do a little sightseeing and to get to know the city that I now call home. I think I was inspired by how much of a challenge that a few of you gave me during our little jogs to step up my game.
In closing, I just want to say that I am so proud of all of you! We did some pretty amazing work, didn’t we. I hope that you stay in touch so that I can see all of the amazing work that you continue to do in the future!
Some of my favorite moments of the summer:
-Beba’s story about how she ended up with high heels instead of hiking shoes in her suitcase.
-Micaela’s music at the work site: one of the only times I’ve allowed myself to go back to my country roots:) I also loved hearing the stories about your family.
-Erin and Alyssa’s impromptu comedy jam session. Wow…just wow.
-Ellie’s self-description during the first feedback session…YOU KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!
-Anthony’s little slip. Just walk it off…
-Kevin speaking in his grandpa’s voice. Gotta watch out for the chancla dude!
-Jordan singing with me 🙂