We are sitting in the San Jose airport waiting for our flight to Houston. So far everything is on time, and everybody is excited to come home. Below are the flight details:
UA1447 SJO-IAH 1:23PM - 6:15PM
UA1963 IAH-DEN 8:00PM - 9:36PM
See you soon!
The day began with an amazing walk to the church that we would be painting for the next few days. It was interesting how so many people in the community participated in the painting project. We all really enjoyed the experience to work with everybody.
I woke up and went to the church, which was fun. We painted for 30 minutes. Then I got bored. After we painted, we all got our swimsuits and went to the Eco Lodge. We ate some food then we went swimming. That was really fun. It was my first time because I forgot my swimsuit the first 2 times. There was a swing and it was so fun. After that we went to eat some plants and that was fun and special, so overall it was pretty fun day.
This is Kaya. We woke up and had the best breakfast! We had fried tortillas and bread with jam. It was so yummy! We walked to the church with our family and when we got to the church all the Boulder kids practiced doing an interview with Daniel, the farmer from earlier in the week. Then we went to paint the curch. The families also had a choice to help. We started with painting the blue inside and painted it yellow, then we went to the outside and painted it a sort of ugly brown. After that, we dropped off the families that helped and rode off to the Eco-Lodge. We had a great spaghetti lunch and went to the natural swimming pool in the river. It was really fun because we got to swing into the water from a swing hanging off the branch. We then went off to an ethnobotany tour. We started the tour by looking at a really cool plant that curled when you touched it. Then we went to a place and sat down while he showed us different plants. One of them got rid of headaches. Another one made your mouth numb and tingly. Ryan was laughing at our reaction so we made him eat a whole leaf. In the end he brought out homemade ice cream. It was banana and vanilla. It was so good! We got on the bus next and headed home. Today was a super fun day and it was a great adventure.
Happy birthday! Thank you so much for everything you do for me. You not only take care of me but you also teach me so much every single day. I love you so much and thank you for being the best mom in the world. I hope you have a great birthday! Hi Dad.
Happy early birthday, hope you are having a great time back home! I’m having a finnnnne time here in Costa Rica, Love you. Dad.
Yesterday was packed with work in the community and a chocolate tour in the afternoon. We did not have time to pull out the computer for two of the girls to blog about their experiences so far but will do our best over the next few days to get Mia and Maddy, our leaders of the day yesterday, to write a few reflections of the programs so far.
The girls spent a second day at the school painting/placing rocks and landscaping to protect newly painted fruit trees. They also had a few chances to play games with their Costa Rican counterparts, many of whom they know from their homestay. For lunch, we went back to Chilamate Eco Resort and took a swim in the Sarapiqui River afterwards.
After some reflections about the program so far and individual check-ins, we took off for the chocolate tour. Thankfully, it was in the late afternoon because we all ate a TON of chocolate. Needless to say, the bus ride home was a few decibels louder than the bus ride to the Chilamate. We dropped all of the girls off at their homes before dinner with their instructions for today's activities, ziplining and hiking.
Hi everyone! Costa Rica has been a great experience, my host family has been very welcoming and the food is amazing, they made this pasta dish with tomato sauce and it was amazing. The adventures we have been on have been great, one day we swam in a really small pond on the side of the river but today was my favorite because we cleaned and painted rocks for the school and then we did a farm tour and saw three day old puppies, a kitten and a baby pig. It was so cool to see everything but I think the coolest thing at the farm was how they had set up a forest to be like Madagascar to grow vanilla but then right next to it was a place like California to grow peppercorn which is the best I’ve ever had, it has such a good flavor and I’ll be sure to bring some home with me. I’ve been getting a little home sick at nights but I know that I’ll be having so much fun this trip will fly. Miss you tons Mom and Dad and can’t wait to see you and hear about your adventures. Hope everyone is having a great time.
iHola! Costa Rica has been so much fun and we have learned lots already. Leela and my host families have been very kind and welcoming even though there is a language barrier. We have tried tons of yummy new foods like mangostan, yucca, plantains, black peppercorns/pimienta negra, and many more! Today we went to the school for the first time and got to meet a lot of the students. We painted rocks and played games while we were there. After that we went to an all organic farm owned by Daniel. He had a very interesting story to tell that led to him farming. We learned to pick peppers, know when to pick vanilla and we learned what motivates Daniel to keep working. Before I go I just wanted to tell my parents that I love them and miss them and hope you are having a blast!
The girls sent the majority of their days with their homestay families. Most were playing UNO when we went around to check in on them. Leela and Ava's family was completing a neat jigsaw puzzle of the Flatirons, and Maddy and Mia's family had just finished harvesting some pineapple and were playing soccer. The group met up at 2PM to catch up with each other and talk about their first night in the homestay, and everybody was in good spirits.
Below are a few notes that some of the girls wanted to pass along and photos with their homestay families.
Costa Rica is so much fun so far. My host family is so nice and they loved the tea and football. Costa Rica is also so hot! I LOVE IT! Everyone here is super nice and we all hang out. Thank you for sending me! I love you and miss you.
I miss you soooooo much! Give Beans oodles of kisses!! I can't wait to come home, and I can't wait to see you!
Hey Mom and Dad! + Tucker,
Miss me? It is cool to be in this place and very different.
Dear Mom and Dad,
Hi, how's it going? Costa Rica's great! I have a ton of pictures! I miss you guys sooo much, but don't worry because I'm having a blast and being SUPER safe! I love you so much and have fun at home! Say hi to Ginny for me! BYE!
Where is my battery for the camera?
Thank you! Bye!
Clo, I'm reading your notes! Luv ya and miss you!
Mom and Dad,
Me and Coco are staying with a really nice host family. It is really fun here and we have lots of animals. I'm reading all your letters!
I love my homestay family and house!
I miss you Dawson(?), Mom and Dad!
Doing alright here! Everything is great!
Yesterday was the perfect beginning to the program in Costa Rica. We took our time waking in the morning and were greeted with a massive Costa Rican breakfast of rice, beans, yuca hash browns, fruit, yogurt, and sweet breads.
After breakfast, we went into the town of La Guaria to join the Saturday soccer camp run for youth in town by Chino. After a couple of drills, it was game time. Our group of girls was mixed in with their Costa Rican counterparts and played two games back-to-back. It was awesome to see how well they played together and meshed with the Costa Rican players. By the end of the first game, they were alternating between yelling, "Here!" and "Aqui!".
The second game was probably enough for the afternoon sun, so we took a trip back to Chilamate for a lunch of rice, beans, salad, and empanadas. A few of the girls went for a quick swim and the rest took the opportunity to relax in hammocks and play foosball.
In the afternoon, we discussed our Group Values, Fears, and Goals for the program and spent a good bit of time talking about the next few days immersed in the community of El Paraiso. Everybody was feeling a little bit nervous about meeting their homestay but there was plenty of excitement, too. We dropped the girls off at the homestay in time for some games before dinner with their host families and went back later on in the evening to check in on everybody. Everybody was doing well last night, some were feeling the effects of the language barrier and others had already found new soccer buddies.
Today, the girls will spend the majority of the day with their host families. We will meet up the girls this afternoon as a group and have another update for the blog.
Hello family and friends of the WLS-Boulder Costa Rica program,
The group made it to Chilamate Rainforest Eco-Retreat safe and sound after a long day of travel! Everyone is tired but happy, healthy, and excited to get started on activities tomorrow. They will update the blog tomorrow with more details after a good night's sleep.
Thank you for your continued trust and support! Feel free to call the WLS office at 303-679-3412 with any questions or concerns.
The WLS team