Good morning parents. Mrs. Fairchild and I decided we would write the last blog. We have enjoyed waking your children at 4 am or earlier many days. They are a very moody morning group but definitely an energetic evening group. Just know they can actually be packed and ready within 30 minutes with one shower among 8 of them now so no more excuses for you.
They are coming back to you with a few gifts that we thought we would let you know about. Some are actually presents but the rest well… There are loads of smelly, disgustingly wet, sealed in ziplocs clothing for you to wash. The girls have many bug bites, sorry Mr. and Mrs. O’Kelly, and apparently the Puerto Jimenez mosquitoes enjoyed the essential oils Mrs. Clifford. Despite Ms. Whelan’s instance on sunscreen and reapplying some, even Mrs. Fairchild, didn’t listen. They are coming home with many great memories and stories although you may have to wait for them to finish laughing before they can get most of the words out.
There may need to be some deprogramming. If they yell “Walter” it is because they have seen a bug and they expect that someone will come into their room and remove the offending bug from their sight. They may look expectantly at their plate and wait for you to add the rice and beans to it even for breakfast. It will be hard to have each meal sin frijoles and arroz. They may not respond to their alarm clocks but might be waiting for howler monkeys, roosters or other wildlife to awaken them each morning. You may also need to remind them that they do not need to wear socks and rubber boots with their bathing suits. They may want to AMP before you leave the house for any adventure. Reminding them of different hair styles besides braids may also take some time.
You may want to remind them of some lessons they learned in Costa Rica. For example, they can shower in under 5 minutes with no hot water and not only survive but laugh about it. This is especially true if you place a crab in the shower or remind them it could be hiding in the drain. They can carry their own luggage for a good distance and load and unload it from a variety of different vehicles many times. They can wake up early every day although we haven’t really trained them to go to bed as early as we hoped, remember they are definitely energetic evening types. Their phones are not an essential part of their lives and the same can be said for TV, the internet, Snapchat, Netflix etc. They can try new foods and find out they even like or love some of them or realize they really didn’t like them at all. Some of those foods they can even make although not really up to the standards of the mothers of Dos Brazos.
We hope that you have enjoyed reading our blog. There are many more pictures that we will be sharing with the students through a google folder as soon as they can be uploaded. We have really enjoyed sharing this amazing opportunity with your daughters. They made us laugh and most of all they made us proud with their willingness to try new things, serve others and be leaders. We are happy to return them to you changed.
PS. Having internet connections was a challenge for this blog but we persevered and everything just got posted on Costa Rican time (Tico time) and according to Plan B!
It was a bittersweet ending to an amazing trip. We all got up around 5:30 to go eat breakfast before our boat ride. We walked to the boat and saw some more Scarlet Macaws. After our short walk we boarded the boat and we were on our way on a dolphin and whale-watching adventure. After about 40 minutes of boating around we saw a huge pod of dolphins. They jumped around in and out of the water and it was an amazing sight. Then we stopped the boat and got to go for a short swim. We all enjoyed this opportunity to cool off and take a nice swim in the gulf. Some people snorkeled and others dove down but we all really enjoyed ourselves. Soon, we boarded the plane taking us back to San Jose. On the plane ride over, the pilot interestingly enough opened the window while in the air! After a short (and exciting) plane ride back to San Jose, we headed back to the hostel. We then ended the night with our last dinner in Costa Rica and closing activities to finish the trip off right! We went through a mental slide show of all our favorite moments from the trip. Then we spoke about what we are going to take from the trip and what we are going to leave behind in our lives. Now our day has ended and we are getting ready to go to sleep. Can’t wait to see you all tomorrow!
Kelsey, Anna, and Caroline
P.S.- So excited to see you guys when I come home. I have a quote book, a journal and tons of pictures filled with memories that I can’t wait to show you guys. It couldn’t be any home stretchy-er Love you bunches. –Anna
Can’t wait to see you all and tell you all about our adventures in Costa Rica! You’ll be glad to hear I’ve been “roughing it” this past week! Love you sooooooo much!! –Caroline
Hope you guys haven’t missed me too much but, I know you won’t once you get a whiff of how bad I smell! -Kelsey
Although our day ended with rain, it started off with clear skies. While waiting for breakfast, we spotted a toucan right by where we were sitting. Don’t worry we got some great pictures to show you. Today we woke up bright and early and headed to a canopy zip lining tour. There we spent over an hour flying high over and through the Costa Rican Jungle. The views were breath taking!! We were able to look out to the gulf while zipping through the canopies. Everyone was so excited to start the tour. Even though some of us were a little scared or uneasy to start, we all had a blast once we got going. After the zip lining, we headed into town for some shopping. The shop sold handmade jewelry along with some delicious ice cream. We took a break after shopping and had a learning session where we discussed our leadership story. We walked into town for dinner were we ate right on the beach. We couldn’t see the beach because it was already dark out, but it was storming. When the sky lit up from the lighting the beach and sky turned purple! We all had a great day and don’t want this amazing trip to be over so soon.
Riley, Hannah, and Sam
P.S. Miss you mom and dad! Love you and can’t wait to see you in two days!- Hannah
Miss you so so much dad can’t wait to see you. Thank you for allowing me to experience this trip! – Sam
Love and miss you both and I can’t wait t see you in only a few days! -Riley
Hola! Today was another wonderful day here in Costa Rica. We woke up to a sunny, beautiful, but hot, day in Dos Brazos. We had our last breakfast as Las Ventanas and said adios to Rocio and her family. Then, we went to the school and finished up painting and made string bracelets, played soccer, and gave them tattoos. After we completed all the work up at the school, the community invited us for a goodbye celebration lunch at the community center with everyone, where we presented them with the air conditioner we bought for the school. We were able to say goodbye and give our gifts to our host family at the celebration. After we did all that fun stuff, we got onto a bus and went to the finca kobo, cocoa plantation, and took a tour. We were fortunate enough to try all the amazing and exotic fruits the plantation grew: white pineapple, jack fruit, and star fruit. After we finished the tour and saw how the cocoa was picked, dried, grinded, and made into chocolate, we ate chocolate cake and chocolate fondue with fruits. Once we were done with that super cool experience, we headed back to the hotel to take showers and then headed to dinner in the town, Puerto Jimenez. We ate a delicious dinner and headed back to the hotel for a group discussion and a nice ANCHOR talk before bed. We are really excited for tomorrow’s adventure and can’t wait to share our experiences with you tomorrow.
From your group leaders, Morgan, Molly, and Whitney!
Messages to Family:
Whitney: Hi Mom, Dad, Jack, and Grandparents! I miss and love you guys bunches and can’t wait to see you and share all my stories when I get home. I am having such an amazing experience and love all these cool views in Costa Rica! Miss you all, but I’ll see you soon! PS. Jack, Happy 17th birthday! I love you so much and hope you have an amazing day!
Molly: Hola familia! I am having so so so much fun in Costa Rica, even with all of the bugs here. I miss you all very much and can’t wait to tell you all about what we have been doing here. Even though I am having a great time and I do not want to leave, I am so excited to see you on Friday. I love you so much!! Xoxo
Morgan: Hi Mom, Dad, Ty, and Cam! I miss you guys VERY much, but I am having a good experience out here in Costa Rica. I cannot wait to hug you all when I get back, and tell you all the crazy stories we have collected over this trip! I miss you beyond words can say and cannot wait to see you on Friday.
Hola padres. Today we had a very eventful day with lots of activities. First we went to the school de Dos Brazos, and finished painting the class rooms and started painting outside and sidewalk. Then we gave the computers to the teacher to give to the kids and they couldn’t be happier. The kids were at school today so we were able to play and teach them. We played tag, soccer, and made oobleck. If you don’t know what that is, it is cornstarch and water and makes a fluid-solid almost slime-like. In the earlier part of the day (9-10) we played with kindergarteners and the 1st graders. They were adorable and we think we made new friends. After we finished working and playing at the school we went to our homestay families for our last individual lunch with them. In order to burn off the calories from our meal our leaders, Walter and Rey planned an “Amazing Race” for us to do around the community. It included milking a cow and running through the pouring rain. The events were learning how to salsa and learning how to make tortillas and getting to then eat them. We were also given questions in English and we then had to ask them in Spanish. The next station was milking the cow. The last station was balancing rocks by the river. By the time we were done we were dripping from all the rain and puddles, we decided to go back to our rooms to dry off and get ready for dinner. Since it was our last night in Las Ventanas we celebrated by having ice cream which was a good reminder of home. J
Hi Mom, Dad, Peyton, Conor, Tenley and Milly, I miss you all so much! I am having a great time and it is a lot of fun. I’m excited to come home in a few days but I am sad to leave this beautiful place. I hope you don’t miss me too much. I love you so much and happy belated Father’s Day DAD! Love, Maddie
Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear mom, happy birthday to you! I hope you had an amazing birthday and I am so sorry that I wasn’t there to celebrate with you, but I will be home soon!! Also happy belated Father’s day dad! I love and miss you all so so much and I can’t wait to see everyone! Give my love to Connor and Liam J See you soon! Happy birthday again mom!! Love, Maggie
Hi mom, dad, and my siblings, I miss you guys so much and hope you are having a lot of fun. I am as well. I hope all is well. Happy belated Father’s Day dad. Miss you and love you. I’ll be back by Friday, I know you all love me the most. Your favorite, Alessandra.
What a busy day. Instead of waking up at 4:00 like we had done the last three days, we were, thankfully, able to sleep in until 6:30. We started our day off right wth a delicious first breakfast in Ventanas, then we got right to work painting the local school. Because of a rain delay, during our break some of the locals introduced us to some new foods. There was heart of palm from a coconut tree and mangos fresh off the trees. In honor of a worker’s birthday, we sang “Happy Birthday” (In Spanish of course!) and in return, we received an entire coconut palm. Kelsey was especially happy being given her new faorite food. After flling up on the yummy foods, we split up into our groups and went to meet our host families for lunch. We then met back up at the scool and watched a wood carving demonstration by one of the locals. He showed us how to carve a dophin using only a block of wood and a machete. Following the demonstartion, of course, we were hungry again so we moved into the school’s kitchen and we made empanadas with the help of some of the town moms. We had to work off all the food we had eaten, so we decided to join some of the local children in a game of pickup soccer. Not to mention, there had just been a serious downpour so be prepared for some nasty laundry upon our return. We headed back to Ventanas for some cold showers and warm food. We’re sure everybody will sleep well tonight until our personal alarms clocks wake us up (aka Roosters, Frogs and Howler Monkeys).
Love from Costa Rica
P.S. Hope you enjoyed our Father’s Day vdeo.
Dear Mom and Dad,
HI! I love and miss you both so much! Tell Alec, Victor, and Sophia I also said hi. I am having so much fun, and creating so many memories, I can not wait to tell you all about it when I come home!
Lots of Love,
Olivia (Ps tell Alec there are no cheetahs, but plenty of monkeys, pumas, and jaguars!)
Hi Mom, Dad , and Terry.
I miss you guys so much!!! I can’t wait to tell you about everything we’ve done here when I get back. I’m having so much fun and embarked on so many new adventures that I’ll remember forever and gotten closer with so many people. Happy to say Brett made a special appearance.
Hi! I love Costa Rica. It is the best experience that I will remember forever! Hope all is well. Love and miss you!
See you soon,
4:00 am was our wake-up call… via monkeys. We then had the chance to hike to the beach. We got there around 5 am and the sun was peeking up over the rainforest and turning the clouds around it pink. We were then taught about the different turtles on the beach, there are four different types in Osa. After we learned a little, we were able to walk the beach and take off our amazing rain boots to look for a nest. We learned about the turtle tracks and how we can tell which species made them. After looking, we found a nest at the end of a trail of turtle tracks. The nest had 102 eggs inside and we picked up each of them to transfer them to the hatchery. The eggs felt like soft, deflated, ping pong balls. We then buried them back into the sand in the hatchery. We the had a small learning session about the different zones like your Danger Zone, Comfort Zone and your Stretch Zone .Sadly, then it was time to leave the Conservation center. We rode again on the truck that brought us there, but before we left, Pablo gave us a small gift of Oso temporary tattoos. We rode another bumpy journey until it started to pour buckets; however, we managed to keep singing along the way! Finally, we arrived at Dos Brazos, and settled into our rooms at Las Ventanas! After doing a few learning sessions, we set out to meet our lovely host families! The host families served us delicious food and gave us the opportunity to practice our Spanish skills and learn more about the Costa Rican culture! When we arrived back to Las Ventanas, we had a few more learning sessions in which we talked about our fears and ways in which we can work together as a collaborative theme. To finish off the night, we enjoyed some dinner and celebrated Alessandra’s birthday with some chocolate cake and some fun games. We have only been here for three days but it feels like a lifetime!
Caroline, Anna, and Kelsey
P.S. Sorry for not being there but HAPPY FATHER’S DAY too all of our padres.