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.