Hey Allan, Alex, Cole, Eili, Ethan, Griffin, Haley, Henry, Jake, Lauren, Margo, Nick, Sam, Sam, Stryder
By the time you are reading this, you will all probably be back at school, your memories of surfing, playing sports, and doing service in Bahía Ballena, Costa Rica a fond yet distant memory. As your leaders, we too have wonderful memories of our time spent together.
Those of us who live in Bahía Ballena see the evidence of your hard work and dedication each time we observe the beautiful garbage platforms and signs around the neighborhood.
We also are reminded of the fun times we had working with the local kids like Edson, Jaffet, and Matthew when we pass them in the street and they want to give us a high five and reminisce about the fun times they had this summer.
Our aim was to help teach you how to surf, and during your five surf lessons in the Marino Ballena National Park, you guys impressed with your great listening, tenacity, and constant ability to smile and have fun. Your surf skills developed greatly during your ten days with us and we sincerely hope that you will be able to take that skill forward with you in your lives.
More than anything, we were so stoked that you all began to understand why it’s so important for surfers and anyone who spends a lot of time in or near the ocean to work together to keep the marine environment clean, healthy, and beautiful. We learned that everything ends up in the sea, so we can all do our part regardless of where we live by cutting back on plastic use, reducing our consumption, and preserving energy and water. All of these actions will help to protect our wonderful Planet Earth — the place that we call home — as well as the world’s oceans.
Your aim this summer was to help create a space where the local kids could practice and perfect their sporting abilities, and you guys were oh-so-successful in this mission. Through these camps, our program made a very positive impact on the local kids in the community of Bahía Ballena this summer by showing kids from all walks of life that sports are fun and can bring people together. You guys worked a lot, learned a lot, and we hope also had a lot of fun.
Some of our sweetest memories with y’all:
-Stopping on the side of the road when Wali spotted a sloth
-Your positive attitude during our rainy community walking tour. Your attitude made it fun despite the weather!
-Watching you demonstrate your soccer skills and have fun with the locals in Esteban’s family’s indoor soccer field
-Our epic rafting trip down the Savegre River with Cristobal, Luís, and Ronny
-Having fun pointing out the “similarities” in landscape between Kansas and Costa Rica
For us, it was a blast and even better because we got to share it with all of you — our fourth GLA Surf, Sports, and Service Adventure group of the summer!
Thank you so much for your dedication and overall positivity this summer! We wish you all the best of luck in the future. Remember to always follow your hearts. Please reach out if ever you need anything.
~Dave, Adrianne, Jenny, and Gibran
Surf, Sports, & Service Adventure 2017, Costa Rica