Wow! What an experience. Two weeks in Costa Rica went by so quickly, yet it felt like we spent months getting to know each other. I can still remember seeing all of you coming out of the terminal, with a look of nervousness and excitement on your faces. Little did you all know that the next two weeks would be full of new friends, great stories and exciting adventures (not to mention the mud and cement). Two weeks in a remote town in Costa Rica really brought perspective to some of you, appreciations to others, and reflection to almost all.
Our time together here really had an impact on the community and within our group. It was amazing to see how our work really paid off after our time together. When we first got to San Pedro, the outdoor gym had half a sidewalk of cement leading to the courts. After two weeks, the sidewalk circled around the entire gym, and we completed the ramps as well. Not only were we impactful at the gym, but our work really contributed to the sustainability of ecological farms. Because of YOU all, Green Communities is able to demonstrate to the locals that ecological farming is not only possible, but that there can really be positive, long-lasting effects.
Another thing that is important to mention is how thankful the community is for your work. It’s important to remember that not all municipalities have funding for local projects. The work might’ve seemed like a small patch of cement or fertilization of some plants, but the reality is that you’ve all provided a safe means of transportation for local students, or weeks/months of hard work saved for the local farmers. They are now able to work on other projects.
Of course we can’t forget about the fun times as well. Who could forget the dance that the students at the school performed for us at the beginning of service? We also had a blast playing soccer with each other on several occasions. Personally, my favorite part was seeing how muddy you all got during the games, but how it didn’t affect you at all. Our time at the beach was also amazing. You all went all in with full energy and without any concerns of how silly you might’ve looked falling down. Lastly, we can’t forget the extreme forest park and how much screaming was involved. It was amazing seeing how brave you all were. Even for us who needed to close our eyes to jump off the Tarzan Swing or the Jungle Fly.
Some activities that were fun:
- Telephone dance
- Charades and Pictionary
- Captain American night
- Salsa night
- Morning boxing classes
Some impactful activities:
- Touch the shoulder (Appreciation taps)
- Daily journals
- Closing nights and appreciation notes
This was an amazing experience that I know many of you will take home and carry with you for a long time. Most of you might not realize it yet, but these two weeks will impact the way you look at your work, your habits and your lives for a long time.