More than any other group this summer, this group had one lesson driven home: you can’t control mother nature!
Our first full day in Costa Rica was spent soaring over the cloud forests, while tapir, toucan and sloth sightings filled waiting time in between ziplines. The cumulative joy and excitement you all experienced was tangible, and seeing you all so fully engaged and full of anticipation for what was to come was truly a gift to all of the GLA staff. Watching the shooting stars as we rode into home base our first night gave us a beautiful reminder of how vast mother nature’s wonders really are.
Experiencing the transformation on homebase was equally as rewarding. Rising to the challenge of living without wifi, mirrors and hot water for a week was a testament to your commitment to the program and your ability to persevere in unfamiliar situations. From critters to weather, each of you confronted the day’s challenge with the strength and humility that we know will translate into your future leadership endeavors.
Mother nature had some alternative challenges in store, with heavy rain maintaining an almost daily presence. Wading through water in Parismina gave us an invaluable glimpse into the lives of Parismina’s community members, and drove home another important lesson about the importance of gratitude and rising to the challenges of adversity. Soaking wet, twelve of us were welcomed into the home of Ana, who prepared a local favorite, prestiños. The warm, sweet treat was a welcomed respite from the extreme weather outside. Because her home was flooded, Sayleen brought all of the ingredients to prepare empanadas to the ASTOP home base; another example of the generosity and hospitality we enjoyed in the tiny Caribbean village we were fortunate enough to call home for a week.
-Mentor Brittany Patangay