Saturday, June 18, 2016

Reflections

As we had our final dinner and got ready to say our goodbyes, we realized that it is the non-tangible items that we are packing that are going to make the strongest impact in our lives. From patience, love, and joy to appreciation, hope, and perspective, we all gathered together to reflect on what this trip has done for us individually and as a group during the candle-light ceremony. Las Ventanas has been our home for the past four nights and introduced us to Rocio and Carlos y sus hijos, Brian and Jafeth. These four people prepared our meals every night and day, cleaned our rooms, and welcomed us with open arms. We asked them to join us for our final dinner in Costa Rica and Jafeth even joined us during our candle light ceremony. Every single on of us was teary-eyed as we gave our gift to Rocio to thank her for all she has done for us. Jafeth spoke on behalf of his family to say that we are special and unlike any other group he has ever met.It is the people in Costa Rica that have made this trip so memorable through their simple happy ways.

While the goodbye was bittersweet, this trip to Costa Rica has instilled memories for a lifetime and a new appreciation for the world around us. Costa Rica is 5% of the worlds bio-diversity and 2.5% of that is in the Osa Peninsula, which is where we spent most of our time. This statistic stuck with us on our trip as we got to experience it first-hand through our strenuous hikes and endless encounters with the wild-life. Sticking with the simplicity theme, small numbers can still have large impacts, this remained visible and will forever continue to be prominent. It was hard to say goodbye to the children and of course, Walter and Sarita, the two leaders who will never stop receiving our gratitude and love. The Trinity Hall students and faculty who have been lucky enough to experience this can attest to the fact that this trip gives a new appreciation to everything around them.

Thanks for reading and look out for some funny but priceless footage coming your way!

PURA VIDA!

- Trinity Hall - Costa Rica 2016! 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Day 7 Pictures










Day 7- Los Delfines y Los Ninos


We woke up at 530am giving us only 10hra of sleep (because we go to bed at 7pm). Of course, we ate another amazing breakfast from Rocio and then boarded the vans and headed to Puerto Jimenez for the dolphin tour. We were lucky enough to see a lot of dolphins (bottle nose and pacific spotted). We snorkeled on the reef and gave Mdme Lehman a wet willy while she was sleeping. Don't worry parents we wore a lot of sunscreen. We also ate an exotic lunch of PB&Js followed by  Costa Rican ice cream. We went to a souvenir shop and picked up some local artesania for our family and friends ;)

We returned to las Ventanas to get ready for a fiesta with the children of Dos Brazos. There we enjoyed making bracelets, playing Futbol, participating in the piñata fun and enjoying Costa Rican snow cones (kind of).


We will see you all in a little more than 24hrs. Wish us luck with our 4am wake-up!! Ahh!


OXOX,


Gina, Reilly and Brigid


Today's (Day 7) Leaders... Uh-oh!

Melissa, Anne-Sophie & Dana

Ready for the boat ride!


Day 6 Pictures from Alex, Madison & Gillian

Day 6 Leaders/Bloggers












Thursday, June 16, 2016

Day 6 - Creating New Paths


After an early breakfast we headed to the local school, el Brazos de Rio Tigre. Here we set up and ran four different stations, bead jewelry, "monster" fortune tellers, bubbles, and a general station where we played hang man, pictionary, tic TAC toe, and card games. Bubbles were definitely a favorite. After every child went to each station, we played a large community, girls vs. boys soccer game. The boys won in a last minute goal, 1-0. All the children were energetic and extremely welcoming. We did our best to communicate in Spanish, the language barrier did not stop the children or us from having a fun time. After a few hours at the school we walked to our host family's houses, where our host mamas gave us a fantastic meal and even taught us a few recipes. Right after we finished, we went straight to our hike to the waterfall. We walked right along, and through, the Rio Tigre. Along our way we were fortunate enough to see scarlet macaws, a snake, and a few lizards. The waterfall, the "jacuzzi" and la naturaleza were beyond breath taking. After swimming in the water and taking on the powerful currents, some of the girls crated a devious plan to steal Walter's shirt and shoes. The plan was to scream and yell about a pecorie to divert his attention away from his belongings, while Sophia and Jacqueline stole his stuff. The plan went off with out a hitch. He made us all laugh when he was spinning around looking in confusion for his lost items. He'll be relieved when he sends us off in a plane at Puerto Jimenez. We ventured back on the same root. During our trek it started to rain. Lucky for us we made it to the local cafe, just in time for the heavy down pour. While in the cafe we had a classic "soda" experience. A "soda" is a small cafe where you have a soda and a snack. At this soda many of us found our new favorite snacks, "tropical te frio" y "Chokis". During the day's activities we learned many times that the town is in a transition period. The town once a gold mine area, is now in transition to become a tourist hotspot. This is all is in hopes to preserve the diverse natural wildlife. By taking part in the local community's tourist activities, such as going to the waterfall and having a soda, we are helping to create a new path for this town, just as playing with the students today is helping to create a new path for the children. As we finish out the day, we are bummed *insert British accent here* because the end of our trip is quickly approaching, but we are doing our best to make the moments last.

Besos y abrazos,
Alex, Madison, y Gillian

P.S.
Hi mom, dad, y Bill! Costa Rica is awesome. I hope you had/have a good time in Italy. Dad I don't think you're gonna want your backpack back. I hope the boys are having a good last week and are having fun with Dara. I can't wait to see you all! Love you!
 - Alex

P.P.S
Hi mom, dad, Joe, y Treble. I can't wait to show you all the pictures I have been taking. I hope you have the air freshener handy when I get home.
Love,
Madison

¡Hola mama, papa, Aidan, y Brendan! No quiero irme de Costa Rica porque la naturaleza es hermosa y la comida es fantastica. But I also want to come back so I can make all of you a traditional Costa Rican meal. My new host mama taught me how to make it. See you soon y los quiero!
Love,
Gillian





Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Day 5 Pictures from Anna, Gina & Kate

Day 5 Leaders/Bloggers







Day 5 - Canopy aka Ziplining

On Day 5...

12 itchy bug bites
11 howling monkeys
10 pairs of dirty socks
9 ugly fruits
8 French braids
7 different zip lines
6 home stay families
5 super chaperones
4 perfect tortillas (out of 15)
3 types of cocoa beans
2 Brazos...
1 Rio Tigre

Hola familias y amigos,

We have now been out in the jungle for five days. Despite our lack of wifi we are surpassing all expectations to survive and having a great time! After a late start this morning and sleeping in till 6:45 we had a wonderful breakfast! Our breakfast consisted of the usual deliciousness with a special treat of Frosted Flakes prepared by our new friend Rocio. We then braided our hair, applied our sunscreen and bug spray, and began all of the necessary preparations (both mental and physical) for one of the best days yet.  We loaded the two vans and headed out to our extravagant zip line adventure. Upon our arrival we were aghast at the beautiful view which stood before us. The first group suited up and followed our friends Marvin y su primo up 120 feet. There were a total of 6 different zip lines with varying speeds and lengths. After finishing the exhilarating expedition, we were gifted with fruit platters and Costa Rican soda. We then boarded the vans once again and headed home to the community where we met our home stay families. In groups of three, we went off to the different houses where we enjoyed delicious lunches cooked by our home stay mothers. Personally, the three of us enjoyed some arroz, ensalada, pescado, fruta(papaya y mango), y ensalada de pasta. In our opinion, we just met some of the happiest people on earth. We can't wait until tomorrow when we get to spend more time with our new best friend and home stay brother, Jordan.   After that we received cooking lessons from members of the community and played games with the local kids. This experience taught us just how much we take for granted in our lifestyle and that it doesn't take much to have fun and be happy.

Pura Vida,
Katita, Ginita, y Anita(Kate, Gina, and Anna)

To our wonderful parents,
Te amo com locura y pasión apache. We miss you dearly and can't wait to see you in a few days. We're having a lot of fun and can't wait to share all our wonderful stories when we return. Thank you so much for this incredible opportunity.

We love you to the moon and back,
Anna, Gina, and Kate


Day 4 Pictures from Brigid, Kailin & Reilly

Day 4 Leaders/Bloggers










Day 4 - Chocoholic Monarchs

Hola familias y amigos!

Today our alarm clock was the sound of a massive rainstorm, prohibiting us from going to see the turtle eggs on the beach. But we didn't let this put a damper on our mood as we moved on to a delicious breakfast of eggs and TOAST WITH JAM!!! It was so good, oh how we missed bread! We said our farewells to those at the Piro Research Station and boarded Reilly's favorite truck to go to the chocolate tour. There we toured the whole farm and sampled many fruits such as white pineapple, square banana, starfruit, and sugarcane (Mom, I am expecting some white pineapple on the table when I get home -Reilly).

We also saw a Achiote tree and we rubbed the fruit on our lips giving us a bright red-orange lipstick, which even Walter wore. Adding to the all natural makeover (Happy mom? -Brigid) we did a 100% Cacao facial where we rubbed ground cacao beans all over our face and were left with smoother skin! After our makeovers we went back to the cafeteria and had a wonderful chocolate buffet with watermelon, pineapple, bananas, cake, and of course, 90% cacao fondue. Then we left to go to our new home for the next 4 days, Las Ventanas, and we think we can handle this one (we had some serious bug problems- just us three who are not accustomed to 6 inch spiders living outside of our room- in our previous room, resulting us to move out and share the bunk beds with Kate, Gina, and Anna, thanks guys). We continued having fun and bonding with each other, especially when us three and Emily helped the cook Rocio make our dinner (pasta!!!!!! And garlic bread!!!! Not rice!!!). She didn't speak any English, and Kailin and Emily don't speak any Spanish, so Reilly and Brigid led the way, though it was a bumpy ride.  We are looking forward to resting up tonight before our self-designated 8:30 bed time. Tomorrow we hit the zip lines and we are psyched.

Sooo goodnight xoxo,

Reilly, Kailin, and Brigid. Love ya!!

p.s. We finally did some laundry but be prepared to open up the smelliest luggage ever when we return!

Some pictures in the meantime!


Missing Reilly :(

First Group Ready


Missing Two :(

Adventure-Ready

Monday, June 13, 2016

Day 3 Pictures from McKayla, Kathryn & Hailey

Ajo Tree












Ajo Tree




















Water Analysis





Collecting Macroinvertibrates


Lunch


Lunch

Today's Leaders/Bloggers



Day 3- Piro Station

¡Pura Vida! Today we went adventuring in the rain forest again. We began the day, after a quick breakfast, with a presentation about the conditions of rivers, and what we can do to keep them healthy and clean. After the presentation we took a short hike to experience river conditions first-hand. We put our chemistry knowledge to the test by measuring things such as; oxygen levels, Ph levels, and temperature. Our Spanish skills were also put to the test, as the directions on how to test the water needed to be translated from Spanish to English. After finding that the river was clean and healthy for organisms to live, we split into two teams and had a small competition  to see which team could find the most organisms. The teams' findings consisted of crawfish, shrimp, spiders, snails, and even a small fish, named Pecetito, was found by, yours truly, Kathryn Murray and Hailey Hartnett. We came back to the camp and were greeted by a vender selling jewelry and and other accessories (parents and siblings, we hear that there might be some gifts on the way *wink* *wink*). We had some delisious lunch followed by a journaling session and improve games. Our next adventure started with another presentation, this time, about wild animals that live within the rainforest near our camp. Following the presentation, we went again on a long hike, filled with uphills, mud, spider webs, and most of all adventure. We hiked to change and collect the SD card from camera traps that are located in the forest. Once we traveled back to the camp we watch the animal activity that the camera captured. Believe it or not there was a puma in the same spot that we were standing less than 12 hours before us! We had a period of rest before we all participated in an activity where we listed our concerns and expectations. Afterward we enjoyed our dinner and we are now looking forward to a good night sleep for the long and exciting day ahead. We all miss you and hope your lives aren't too boring with out us! 
- Hailey Hartnett
"Hey family of mine!! I'm looking at a spider right now and not crying THIS IS PROGRESS. I'm having a grad Ol time here!! I miss home a ton but I am very grateful for being here. Hope Hannah is having fun at school. LOVE U GUYS!"

- McKayla Quinn-Steineke
"Hi Mom and Dad, I miss you! I hope your week goes well and you don't miss me too much. And Tighe I hope you're having a great time at school!! I love you all!"
 
-Hi mom and dad! Having a blast here in Costa and learning so many new and interesting facts! This trip is very high adventure haha. Love and miss you guys so much. See you Saturday:-) 

¡PURA VIDA!




Sunday, June 12, 2016

Days 1-2 Pictures from Jacqueline, Emily & Sophia

Trinity Hall Chaperones Anne-Sophie, Dana & Melissa with Instructors Sarah and Walter from World Leadership School:


The pick-up truck:

Today's leaders/bloggers:




















And the swing...

video