Saturday, April 23, 2016

Last Day in Costa Rica

Its hard to believe we are sitting in the airport waiting to board our flight home. Last night we had a great dinner up in the mountains overlooking the city of San Jose. We then got to see a great dance show where some of the students got to participate. Here is our last group photo with our amazing tour guide Jose.

Our view of San Jose from dinner!

Student reflections 

Hola all you chilies out there! This week was a very fun, eventful, and also a great bonding experience for all of mas amigos y yo. With all of the fun activities that we have done my favorite would have been everything. I am so happy that we were fortunate enough to go on such an amazing trip with such amazing people.  We have had some very funny moments! Tonight (our final night) we had a lot of fun at this very traditional restaurant with people dancing and playing music from their culture. Within the dancing the people brought some of the students up to dance with them. Sadly I wasn't one of them, but it was fun to watch. Early today when we went zip lining Hannah, Abby, Julianna, Isabella (not me), Owen, and Katie all got stuck. Oh no! While Hannah got the record of being stuck three times Owen got hat hair. We also did a flip into the zip lines and got a lot of souvenirs! I will miss Costa Rica but I will especially miss the nice people and the fun cliff diving experience.

See you guys all tomorrow!

-Bella Naumann

Julianna N

Today we had a lot of fun. We went zip lining in the jungle. First there was a few practice ones, then there were a lot of big ones that were really exciting. Izzy was really funny she had a dream the night before, that we were on the zip line and we all fell and died. It came But she over came her dream and had a lot of fun.  There were 15 lines 5 practice that were really short, but scary at first. On the 5 one it was really big and people were getting stuck so the guy went down with me and we were going and her started spinning me and Mrs. Aiello said my feet were flying everywhere and Ms. Mahoney said I looked like one of those spinning, wind up fairies. A lot of us got stuck and did flips and 360s. Then on the car ride home we had a sing along and got yelled at by Mr. Walsh many times. Later we want to dinner, listened to Katie's stories and watched people dance. We are all really sad to go home and had so much fun on the trip.

Tyler H

This vacation in total was the best. From white water rafting to zip lining to my personal favorite the hot springs. There were many things that we were able to experience in terms of food culture and economy. Like eating beans, rice, tacos and so much more. Even seeing all of the types of animals like monkeys and sloths or being able to go through the wilderness like when we went zip lining through the jungle down a mountain. Everyone got very close together and I believe that we have taken many of the wonders of Costa Rica along with its past and its present  and remember it along with all of our fun adventures.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Heading out to our last dinner in Costa Rica!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Isabella S

 On the way to the beach we saw a baby sloth and two big sloths, the were adorable! Then we saw a few monkeys and one jumped from one tree to another. When we got to the beach I had a ton of bug bites. But the sand was really soft and the water was clear and warm, I didn't want to leave. Also on the bus ride we sang the song no by Meghan trainor that I'm so sick of it by now, lol. *

*Ms. Mahoney is also sick of it too ;)

Kind of hard to see but the sloth is the thing right in the middle that looks like a coconut. 

Sorry for the lack of pictures. The wifi is not cooperating tonight! I will try and get some good shots while we go zip lining tomorrow! 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Wednesday Adventures

Owen L

Today was quite a relaxing day. It began early in the morning when we had our final breakfast at the sketchy hotel. We then packed our suitcases and headed out on a four hour drive to Playa Jacó. The car ride was filled with bumps, sing alongs, and jokes. After about three hours into the car ride we stopped at a crocodile infested river. We saw at least 25 crocodiles. Miss. Mahoney scared me and I almost fell in the crocodile infested river. (No he didn't) We then reached the new hotel and had a nice lunch. I had chicken and rice. We then had a really weird jello'ish thing for desert. We got our room keys and settled down, but we couldn't get to comfortable because in about thirty minutes we were going to head into town. On the bus towards town we made up a nickname for Miss Mahoney. We called her Señorita Tortuga which means Miss Tortoise.  We called her this because during horseback riding her horse was really slow. Once in town we went shopping. I got a gray bag and a white and black hat, that said pura vida. Finally to end the long day we went swimming and some people practiced their synchronized swimming dance. Then we ate dinner at a fish taco place. Over all It was a really fun day.

Student Reflection for Tuesday

Katie K

Today, we went to a school and met a bunch of Costa Rican kids. We met the kids and built raised planters. The raised planters were built to put dirt and plants in so the kids could have food. Once we finished building, a couple of kids showed us some traditional Costa Rican dances. During the trip to the school we also played soccer, jump rope and played with chalk. After that, we made tortillas and had some other delicious food. When we were done with our food, we went horseback riding. It was so much fun!  I've never risen a horse faster than walking and we actually got to gallop!  After we went horse back riding, we went to a hot springs pool. It was so cool because there were so many pools and the majority of them very connected. Today was so much fun!  Love and miss you Mom, Dad, Ally and Patty!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Adventures from Monday

Monday we visited a farm where the kids got a chance to milk Margarita the cow. They also visited the Arenal volcano. Sadly, it was very foggy out so we were not able to see it.

(Katie had fun, we swear)

The Owen pose 

Student Reflection for Tuesday

Abby A

Today was an amazing day. We went to a school and met the kids that go there. As soon as we got out of the bus the kids all came to the door and took us inside the school. We helped make garden boxes for the school. After we went back inside and watched some of the kids singing and the dancing. After we went outside and and played soccer with the kids and used the new soccer balls we got for them. After we went and talked to the kids. I brought my Polaroid camera and took my first picture John. John was very good at speaking English. We took two pictures so each of us could keep one. After John showed his friends the picture and everyone wanted one. I felt bad because I didn't have enough film to take pictures with everyone. After we left the school we learned how to horse back ride through the rain forest. After horse back riding we went to hot springs and swam around for about two hours. We then went out to an amazing restaurant and went home to get out stuff packed in order to switch hotels for tomorrow morning.

Where we ended our day today! 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Student reflections

Unfortunately the wifi at this hotel is pretty slow so it is hard to post pictures. Let's hope for better luck in the morning!

Andrew S

Today was filled with interesting events like almost throwing up in the back of a bus, buying chips for a stray dog whom we named Scruffy, and driving through clouds for about an hour.  We visited a craft store which had many birds, lizards, frogs etc. carved into wood.  It was amazing to see these works of art carved from a simple block of wood.  We bonded over feeding and naming a stray dog (Scruffy).  It was sad to see him go, we were attached after only 10 minutes.  On the dairy farm we learned how to milk cows and we picked strawberries.  This trip has been filled with amazing experiences and we can't wait to experience even more as a group.

Mac W

Today we went to a farm, but instead of just looking at the animals we did something different. First things first Mac found her son today on the farm. Her son's name is ruffle and was a dog. Ruffle was so happy that he found his mom. But we a also milked cows, which was weird. The cow that the kids milked name is Margarita. Mac aka Margarita met a cow who shared the same name as her. Also we learned how they made cheese and we got to try some of it. In the end it was fun. For Macayla it was very sad because she had to leave her son behind.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

White Water Rafting

Today we woke up bright and early again to head out to our White Water rafting adventure 2.5 hours away on the Sarapiqui River! It was quite the ride. We saw a lot of coffee plantations and beautiful scenery. Here's (most) of the group next to the La Paz waterfall. It was beautiful!

Everyone had a blast white water rafting! You're going to hear a lot of fun stories. So far, it is the highlight of the trip. 

Here is Hannah's blog about the day. 

Reflection Hannah S

    Today was so fun! We went white water rafting and then ate some delicious sugar cane products. During white water rafting I was in a raft with Ms.Mahoney. She fell out of the raft and it was really funny, because our guide kept on calling her big fish  And because she loss Ms. Brehauts water shoe She then tried to get in the raft and couldn't. Twice.
     While Ms. Mahoney was struggling to get in we all laughed at her. After that my guide also fell in the water, we all jumped in. Andrew S and I got in the raft easily but Katie, Julianna and miss Mahoney struggled.while trying to get in the raft Julianna grabbed the plug the inflated the raft and almost un inflated our raft. Personally I almost fell out of the raft more the 5 times. We also got stuck on rocks a lot We all got very wet which was funny .
    We stopped during white water rafting and had some water melon and pineapple. While at our fruit eating area we pet cows and cliff dived.Mac W and I enjoyed petting a tan and brown cow while it drank water and ate our food.
   After rafting we went to Lunch and I had some really good rice.while there we were given a lesson in sugar cane. We drank sugar cane drinks while our chaperones  enjoyed something else. (Sugar cane sticks) Today was awesome!

Making sugar cane juice! 

The day really wore everyone out, even Hannah, who fell asleep shortly after writing this reflection. 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

After a nice breakfast from Denny's, we set out to explore the city of San Jose!

Our first stop was the Musuem of Contemporary Art.

Then, we were able to explore the city on foot with the help of our guide Jose. We visited the Gold Musuem where we learned a bit about Costa Rica's history.

We were able to purchase school supplies to bring to a local school later this week. 

And also rode public transportation like Costa Rican residents!

We've arrived safely in our hotel after a slight delay!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Acting shady in Houston! 😎

Ready to board!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Final Group Photos and Thank you to our guide Carlos

Here are some final group photos from Friday evening before we began our journey home. We were blessed with a truly wonderful group:

And finally, a big thank you to our guide Carlos, who worked tirelessly throughout the week to ensure that our students had a fantastic experience. His love for the country of Costa Rica and his passion for sharing his vast knowledge enriched our experience throughout the week. Muchas gracias Carlos!

A few more photos from Friday, our last day

Here are a few photos from Friday, our last day in Costa Rica.

The day began with some more beach time at Jaco:

We then began our drive back to San Jose. Along the way, we stopped at the Tarcoles River to see some of the crocodiles that live there:

In the afternoon we stopped in the artisan's town of Sarchi to buy souvenirs:

While there we saw the water wheel that has powered their woodworking tools for the past 90 years: