Sunday, March 9, 2014

Day 10 by Presley

      Today was the first day we didn't go the the Linda Vista School in a while. The morning was very bittersweet, saying goodbye to my host family made me realize how close we had grown in only a few days. My host family had been so accommodating from the start till the end, but Graycen and I had also had some much fun with them despite the language barrier. Our last walk past the school we could all see different it looked, how our work had payed off.
      Our activity of the day was white water rafting, which was a great way to end our trip because it was amazing! Other than the rowing we spent most of our time swimming, splashing each other with paddles, and racing. The Rio Sarapiqui was very beautiful, during the whole trip there was so much to look at. The white water rafting trip will be one of the most memorable because we got to have onefinal  and beautiful view of Costa Rica and try to make it through the river as a team. 

P.S. Mom please bring the dogs to the airport so I can actually pet a dog without it being surprised or mad.

Day 8 by Mikayla

  Yesterday began as the other days with our host family had: a great traditional breakfast and a nice walk to the work site. As we arrived at the school, we continued to work on improving the school. Those of us that painted the playground rushed to fill in our designs and the backgrounds in an effort to make the area more vibrant than before. The fact that we chose tropical, playful colors certainly helped with that. As the end of the morning rolled in, and the members of the community and children began to play on the recently dried playground, we found that we had leftover paint. We used that to paint everything we could, even rocks, making the school the place we had planned and imagined it to be.
  Nearly exhausted from working in the heat for the morning, we found we were surrounded by the community to celebrate our achievement. Many of the villagers brought food, including cake and other things. The teacher of the school thanked us for what we had done, and we returned the thanks for letting us do so. The celebrations continued with dancing and a piƱata for the kids. 
  Afterwards we headed towards a swimming spot in the river we had not previously visited. The water was a nice refresher for the long walks and humid weather. Later, we were given a chance to reflect on our trip as it came to a close; last night was the last night with our other families.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Day 7 by Yasir

        Yesterday we started by working at the school at 8. Everybody had different jobs, It was my job to paint inside one of the rooms of the school. We used dark blue for the bottom and the light blue for the top.  three other students and I did that job while the others drew pictures on the playground or work out on the field to clean the soccer field. We worked for about 3 hours until it was time for lunch, But we didnt have lunch ready for us, we had to make it ourself. We all prepared our meal in different stations.
When we were done we finally got to eat.
After lunch, we started our last activity. We were all divided into groups of 4 and were told to think of a problem we see in Costa Rica and U.S. We all thought of different types of problems and were told to go around to the other groups and see what we thought of the problem they chose, and what ideas we had for them. We went to all of the groups, but didn't finish the activity because we were all very tired and decided to finish the activity tomorrow.


Friday, March 7, 2014

Day 6 by Waverlee

     Yesterday we began day six of our service project. I worked on the playground, painting the play scales with primer and penciling in designs. It was really fun working while the little kids ran around us, sometimes engaging us in conversations. I regret the fact that I can't speak any Spanish, but never the less, I was able to communicate using gestures and a handful of words. 
     Later, we helped the kids to make crafts. The little girl I worked with was really adorable and on responsible. She knew what was up. I helped her make a pig and it ended up looking... Not that terrible. After, we played soccer and tag with them. Bad news about our soccer game though... We lost. Still, the girl who played as our goalie was amazingly good.
     One of the great perks about being here is the great places to swim. We swam outside of the Eco Retreat in an area of the river that was so beautiful. In the mornings, the smell of the river and the rich earth is very refreshing.
     Staying with the host families isn't that bad either. Mia is having fun talking to them in Spanish and asking questions. Every day, I also learn more Spanish.
     To my family, I'm bringing you back some interesting things. I'll try to look for more, but there aren't a lot of places to shop, so don't be sad if the gifts seem small, because they're rich in flavor! To my mother, thanks for the pants. They're very cool (temperature) and I've already gotten several compliments on them. To my brothers, if I come back and find out you've been sleeping in my bed (Meku)... I will not be happy. Please bring a coat and gloves to the airport... And my phone! 

Day 6 by Grayson

Carson and I woke up at around 5:30 in the morning. We have been going to bed early every night, as we have been working very hard. Last night, however, was a really exciting night. Last night was the preliminary soccer match for the World Cup between Costa Rica and Paraguay. Our host family was really excited. It was a real nail biter, but Costa Rica won! 

We continued to work on the school, of course. Afterwords, we went to Tia and Aleas host house for lunch. Today was the birthday of both Bianca, the host mother of Tia and Alea, and our teachers wife, Lucy. We celebrated with cake and warm bread pudding, which I had never had before. 

After that, we walked back to the school and helped the kiddos with an art project. We took plastic bottles and painted piggy banks, so the kids not only have a cool decoration, but a lucrative way to save their colones. My host sister, Morilla, made one as well. 

After that, we hiked over to the Eco lodge and swam in the river. And finally, we went back to our host families. It's much easier to navigate the language barrier than one might imagine. When my family talks to me , I understand most of the time. Mi familia dice me espanol es Muy bien! Before I say goodbye, I want to say hello to my mom and my sister. I'm sure you guys miss me, but I miss you even more. I am having a really fun time, so don't worry about me. My family makes me feel at home. I can't wait to give you the gifts I got you. Adios!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Day 5 by Alea

In the morning we went to the school early to play with the kids then we started to get to work. Today was the first full work day. Some people painted the playground white, some painted parts of the classroom black. After working we went to the sustainable farm and had lunch there. The man who runs the farm showed us all of his crops and projects. He is trying to get certified as a organic farmer. It was really cool to see all of the stuff he does that doesn't hurt the planet. We were going to go swimming but it was raining so we'll go tomorrow. We did an activity about building a utopia at the end of the day. Staying with the host families is getting easier. It's still really weird though because we can't communicate fully. 

Mom-can you bring me warm pants and my jacket when you pick me up at the airport? And food?
I love you mommy. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Photos! Fruit sampling, zip lining, swimming, service work and playing with the kids at the school!

Day 4 by Carson

Grayson and I woke up around 5:30 Costa Rica time, the days here start much earlier with day light breaking at 5:30. Our home stay family is very kind, they treat us as family. Grayson is doing most of the talking but I am learning quickly. Today was the first day at the service protect all of the children seem to be overjoyed with the sight of us. After we left the school we went to the chocolate tour and were able to tast all different stages of the cocoa bean until it is chocolate. When our group returned back at the homes mikayla, Lila, Mia, Waverlee, Grayson and I all gathered at a home with the family's for games. I am so far enjoying my stay here. 
P.S. Happy early birthday Rylee.
Photos from home stay!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Day 3 by Mia

Yesterday morning we woke up to a cloudy day, but was still really nice and the raindrops here and there felt really nice.  After we ate breakfast we went on a hike through the rainforest.  It was a really great experience.  The best part by far was seeing monkeys. We saw about four but they were really high up in the trees so we had to use the telescope to see them.  After the hike we got our stuff ready to go meet the host families.  They were very close to the Eco retreat.  All our homes except one live on the same long dirt road, and the scenery is great.  We are all all walking distance from the school and the Eco retreat.  We dropped off Presley and Graycen first because they live the farthest away from the school.  They have a very long walk.  After everyone meets their host families we walk to a nearby house for lunch that some of the community has prepared for us.  The food was really great and we all had a great time.  After that we walked back to the Eco retreat which was about a 40 minute walk and when we got there we were able to swim in the river.  The water was a bit cold but it was nice because of the hot weather.  After we went to the classroom to do some ciriculum where we discussed global issues and talked about the differences in our host families and what global issues they might have.  After that we walked to the house where all the chaperones are staying and did another personality test that corresponds to the Keirery test.  It was interesting to see where everyone fit. Then it was time to return to our host families.  We all walked back and had dinner and spent time with our families and played games and went to bed.  

Day 3 by Graycen

Today we went on the Chiliamate rainforest tour we saw howler monkeys tropical birds and many exotic frogs. Then we meet our host families my host family is awesome even though I don't speak Spanish it is interesting to try and play with them. We also ate luch at a host family house and it was really fun. I never realized till this trip how bad the food is in America till I got to Costa Rica. Everything is so beautiful and everyone is really nice and willing to help.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Day 2 by Lila

Yesterday we woke up in the wonderfully warm but extremely humid climate of Costa Rica. We woke up and ate a great breakfast of beans and rice looking out on San Jose. We headed out on our way to Chilimate which was about a three hour drive through the rainforest giving us plenty to look at. We took a stop in the middle and ate some different fruits of which I dont remember the names of, but they had some pretty interesting textures.
Our big activity for the day was zip lining whichever as super scary but ridiculously amazing with seven lines across the canopy. Although at some points some of us ended up stuck in the middle because we didn't weigh enough to get across... Aka me and Mia. 
Let's see... In terms of animals we've seen a cocroach, a couple of lizards (on the mirror and in beds), toads, squirrels, and toucans. And there's a lot of animals we've heard but haven't seen. 
All in all it's been amazing.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Day 1 (by Tia)

Arriving into Costa Rica was a little overwhelming to some of us. From early morning wake up to two plane rides, I can say we were all a little tired from traveling in one day. We arrived at Inn that was speechless & beautiful. I was shocked of the amazing view we had from the top. Coming into Costa Rica was like coming into a different world. Seeing mountains & dogs everywhere, which we weren't used too. This is so different than what we are used to in America. 

We've learned so much already and it's not even day two yet. We already know that their social hierarchy is way different than the social hierarchy in America. We've already met two important people for our experience, Kennedy & Irina. They truly helped us understand the Costa Rica feeling so far.

Dear Mom, 
I'm having the time of my life already. Everything is so different than Monroe. I rather stay here for a year than just a week. The plane rides here were a little crazy, but we managed to get here safely. I'm totally going out of my comfort zone & trying everything here. & by the way, the FOOD IS AMAZING!

Love, Tia 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Safe and sound and barbecue

Hello all, this is Kennedy, one of the WLS Costa Rica instructors. The group got in and is in good spirits. We had a late, delicious barbecue dinner and they went off to bed. Tomorrow to Chilamate!