Wow, how time flies by. It seems like just yesterday that we were waking up to Veronica’s delicious food and sweet smile every morning. Gallo pinto and platanos have not compared ever since.
As you are most likely back in school, we want you to know that you are still on our minds. The impact that you all made this summer, on the Costa Rica communities and us, are unforgettable. I am so proud that you all came in with an open mind set and flexibility when it came to community service. You were able to jump into a project that was started by the last GLA group and follow it through completion. What an incredible opportunity it was to be with the Brasilito community representatives as they sincerely thanked you for all of your hard work to refurbish their outdoor sports facility. I know how rewarding it felt to remove the tape from the lines and to score a bucket on the new rims. And your reaction when we drove by the basketball court at night was true, sincere excitement. My heart fluttered when you all shouted, “They’re playing on our court. People are playing on the court!” And yes, people will continue to play on that court for years to come.
You all worked so hard together and played even harder. We will forever share a special bond over the memories that we have created. Some special moments from our trip include:
– Bus ride sing-a-longs
– Hosting a soccer clinic for the adorable kids and future futbol stars from the Santa Rosa community
– White water rafting in the Tenorio River, dropping down a 12-foot waterfall and flipping over in the water (home to too many massive spiders!)
– Soccer practices with Coach Danielle and Coach Moreira
– Fut-sal soccer 5 tournaments
– Playa futbol
– Baldi Hot Springs and its crazy fast water slide
– Zip lining in the pouring rain and disappearing into thick fog
– Surfing lessons and catching waves on our own
– Bachata, salsa and merengue dance lessons with Geddy – “Pura vida!”
– Beaches, beaches and more beaches
– Playing musical chairs and other games with local school kids
– And, of course, Veronica! (I hope you remember how to make empanadas, patacones and guacamole!)
You should all know that you left Costa Rica a better place. In fact, you have all left a legacy. What is a legacy? It is planting seeds in a garden you don’t get to see. The Brasilito court will continue to be a meeting place for sports, fun and engagement for the children, community and future generations. Young futbol stars will continue to build on the skills and techniques you practiced with them and they will always remember your cheering, high fives and team tunnel.
And, just as important, the knowledge and experience you gained on this trip will serve you and the communities you will continue to impact the rest of your lives. Like I mentioned before, I am honored to have watched you grow and learn over the two weeks you spent becoming better leaders and ambassadors. I am excited for you to continue planting your seeds of legacy around the world, to help make it a better place and to impact numerous lives, just as you have impacted mine. Thank you for making our summer in Costa Rica so incredibly fun and rewarding. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors. Until we meet again, pura vida!
All the best,