Written Collectively by the Costa Rica Students
Hola desde Costa Rica!
Our trip started with orientation in the rainforest outside of the remote town of Brujo. After our two hour hike from civilization into the picturesque rainforest, we arrived at an ecolodge run by a generous and loving family, who have lived there for over twenty years. This would be our home for the next five days. On the first day we climbed a tree near the lodge. Courageous Lizzy was the first up the tree and everyone followed, proving that we could reach any goal that we set. Everyone challenged themselves and learned how to work together. The next day, we spent part of the morning zip lining and had a blast. We spent the hottest part of the day in the river, which is the cleanest river in Costa Rica. The next morning we rappelled down a waterfall. Allie had the most fun, rappelling like a pro. It was a fun experience and something that not all the groups get to do at the lodge. One afternoon, we took a walk and gathered different foods that grow in the rainforest. That night, almost all of our dinner consisted of foods that we found in the forest. We ate plantain chips, a plantain and cheese dish, malanga chips, greens, hearts of palm, tortillas and chocolate covered bananas (we made the chocolate ourselves!) – all of which we made with the help of Mama Rosa. Elana struggled at first making the tortillas, which led to a cultural lesson about the importance of knowing how to make tortillas and getting married.
Each afternoon after a big lunch and activities, we took a siesta, or nap. Other activities included nature walks, salsa lessons (Emily was a natural!) and nighttime hikes (Blair found her calling, searching for sparkly spider eyes). This was also used as our orientation, so everyday we would have a meeting with our leader Genoveva (known as Puraveva by the family for her loving spirit and relaxed personality) about host communities, fears and goals, and school environment. We feel prepared to take on the next few months and all the challenges that it will present to us. On the hike back, Emma taught our guide and friend Wilson a few key english phrases, practicing for our upcoming role in the schools.
Now we are back in San Isidro, and anxious to find out where we will call home for the next few months. ¡Pura Vida!
3/22/12 UPDATE: Check out this video we made during orientation: