We were so excited to receive this blog post from Max and Alison this afternoon.
After a long and tearful goodbye in San Antonio, the group hopped into our bus and set off for the final leg of our journey. During the ride we reminisced about the amazing connections we made, the families we loved, and the unforgettable experience of San Antonio. We stopped at a small restaurant overlooking San Isidro, had platos tipicos, and delicious fresh-fruit smoothies. When we arrived at our hotel in Uvita, the group was thrilled to see a large and inviting pool. Our students raced to change into their bathing suits and had some well earned chill time. That evening, we celebrated Jolene’s 16th birthday with hand-made pizza and a delicious dulce-de-leche cake.
The next morning Alison and Max prepared scrambled eggs and a granola bar for everyone to fuel up for a day of surfing. We met our guides at the beach and spent the rest of the morning catching waves. The surf instructors worked with small groups, and helped every student stand up and ride at least one wave. Following the lesson we ate lunch on the beach and spent another hour or so playing in the ocean. That evening our group divided into three teams to plan, prep and cook a tropical themed dinner. For appetizers, we were served a beautiful spread of guacamole, pico de gallo, and garlic bread. Our entree was fish tacos with sautéed veggies with a side of a sweet and savory salad. For desert, we were blown away by tropical ice cream floats, complete with mini umbrellas. The cooking process was rather long, but the result was well worth the wait.
July 26: Today was a truly special day. After breakfast the group walked down to the beach and sat by the water for a guided meditation. We let the calming sounds of the waves relax us as we walked through and reflected on the entire program’s journey in our minds. Just as we arrived in San Antonio, and the students began visualizing the faces of their host families and friends, we asked them to open their eyes and look behind them. Standing there, to their shock and amazement, were 30 of their friends from San Antonio who traveled all the way from the community to surprise us! It was a truly powerful experience to watch them reunite, and a joy to spend the whole day together at the beach. This felt like a true exchange of friendships that will last for years to come.
As our journey nears it’s conclusion the group feels more unified than ever. It is clear that past three and a half weeks have shown every group member new sides of themselves, and brought out 14 unique and wonderful leadership styles.Tomorrow we raft the Savegre river, and Monday begin our final trip to San Jose, and ultimately home.