Soccer Camp, Family Lunches, and Ethno-Botanist

By Dylan

Today we had a lot of fun in soccer camp, having lunch and chatting with local families, and having an ethno-botanist do a presentation. First, at the soccer camp we had our warm-ups and let a group of girls practice their cheerleading. Then, it was game-time. I was the goalie, and where the line should have been there was a large puddle, and under that puddle was a large mud pit. I’ll leave you to guess how that went. At the end of the first half I had touched the ball once, and we were up 1-0. Then in the second half they got themselves together and finished regulation 2-2 putting us in a shootout. There were 11 PKs, but everyone was focused on the goalie, putting a lot of pressure on me. At the end we won on PKs 7-3, and apparently we were the first team to come from another country to beat the Costa Rica team. Overall we had a lot of fun and made great friends!

 

By Kate

 

After we played the soccer game we road back to the eco retreat on the bus. We spent about 10 minutes. Then we walked into the neighborhood down the street to eat lunch. We split up into groups. My chaperone was Mrs. Wilmoth. My group members were Addison, Lillis, Jackson Gant, and Hudson. We went to Dona Digna’s house. We had rice, beans, and chicken for lunch with additional salad and guacamole. After we finished, we went out to see her five cows, one pig, and two bunnies. We then went to her neighbor’s house that also happened to be her family, to play soccer. At 2:30 we walked back to the Eco Retreat and had a quick turnaround. We then walked to the botanist, which was about fifteen minute walk. The botanist was really fun. We got to try a lot of plants, which were mostly really good. My favorites were the coconut, star fruit, lime, Anesthesia (which is pretty self explanatory), and the lipstick plant which when you open up and squish the seeds a red lipstick consistency. Overall I tried a lot of new things and learned so many things I otherwise wouldn’t have.

Last Day at the School and the Great Costa Rican Race

By Jackson, Benjamin, Dylan, and Gavin

Benjamin woke everyone up with a drum at 6:30 in the morning, and then Mr. Blythe did his morning ritual (this time with a mariachi band). In the morning we went to the Chilamate School and played with the kindergarteners. We whacked down a piñata with them, and they were really energetic.

We did a project where we painted a quote or saying on a metal slab. Then we hung the metal plates on a fence. Shortly after, we took a picture with the 4th graders.

Then, we played a name game with the 4th graders. We passed a football and a soccer ball around in a circle and when someone got the ball, they said their name. We also hit a piñata with the 4th graders.

We came back to the lodge and ate lunch. Then, we prepared for the adventure race. The adventure race is a challenge where you have a map, and you have to try to find your way around Costa Rica. The challenge was around our lodge. We all started the race in our teams and were on to the first station when it started to pour rain. We rushed back and waited for an hour. The delay was over, and we went back to work. We did five stations. There was dancing, rock stacking, milking a cow, an interview, and cooking. They were all amazing and delicious! We had a great time. In total Ms. Forb’s team won with the most rubber bands. Last we ended the day with our ANCHOR session. The Costa Rica race really was an adventure today.

School and Ziplining!

By Elowyn, Griffin, & Taylor

Morning-

Every person staying in the Chilamate Eco Retreat woke up the beautiful noise of Mr. Blythe yelling “GOOD MORNING, COSTA RICA!” We had breakfast at the usual time, (7:30AM), and after that we immediately grabbed our bags and headed over to Chilamate Elementary School to complete the day’s work. When we arrived, we had the wonderful opportunity to play with the kindergarteners (Kiara included ). We also got to choose where we wanted to work. Some swept, some cleaned the playground, and some worked outside building a garden. When we were finished with that, we went back to the Eco Retreat to have lunch. Some of us chose to shower, and we changed into clothes to go ziplining! Then, we got in the van to go to the ziplining place, Pozo De Azul. Our experience concluded us ziplining through a series of nine ziplines over a beautiful view of rainforest. On the last zipline we got to pass over the river rapids. While ziplining, we got to see a tarantula and also a few howler monkeys.

Then we started our way home, but we didn’t know we were stopping at a surprise location. When we arrived at the surprise location we saw that it was a Heladeria, a Costa Rica ice cream shop. We all had to order our ice cream in Spanish.    The ice cream was delicious! Then when we were all on the bus headed back.

Then we went on a night hike. We saw lizards, frogs, and lots of bugs including the red eyed tree frog. After that we headed to our rooms to go to sleep. Today was an amazing day.

Building and Daniel’s Farm!

Today we went to the Chilamate School and painted bathrooms there. We painted with all different colors including white and red. We had four stations there one was painting the bathrooms, painting the fence, talking and playing with the kids there, and help clean the playground. We had some free time and played with the kids. I thought painting and helping with the school and hope we go back there again! By Andrew

Then we went to a local organic farm run by a man named Daniel. When we first got to the farm we ate a delicious lunch. Next we made compost out of many things. We then learned about how he gets energy for his house without using electricity. Next we learned about how he grew vanilla and how long it took to grow and how much he sold it for. Lastly we went back up to where we ate lunch and had fruit juice and snacks and Daniel told us a very interesting story about his life. My experience at the farm was very fun. By Carter

At Daniel’s farm Daniel told us his life story. His story started at 1999. He worked for a company that tore down trees to make farms. He hated tearing down the trees but he had to, because he needed the money to feed his family. The company used Fertilizer to genetically engineer the plants to make them grow faster. Sadly when the fertilizer entered water, the water became poisonous. This killed thousands of animals even dogs.

One day when Daniel went to bulldoze a tree he saw a family of monkeys. The baby was holding his hand out as if telling them to stop. This was too much for Daniel. He turned the bulldozer off and walked away. His boss forced him and threatened to fire him. So he had to tear down the tree. When Daniel saw the monkeys he saw the dead baby still had his hand up. Then Daniel decided to grow only organic crops. It took 18 years and lots of humiliation, and little money to become a certified organic farmer. His seven helpers all died because of the chemicals that they breathed. Daniel is still effected by partial loss of vision, partial loss of hearing, and has had a few strokes. The companies who use these fertilizers include Dole and Chiquita. By Peter

 

Dream Jungle

By Lillis, Kylie, and Alexa

Lillis: Today we woke up, then we went to breakfast. Then, we got ready and went on a nature hike. We saw kingfishers and learned that the males carry fish to the females to impress them. We also learned about the leafcutter ants and that they could carry leaves that are really big and that they drop their leaves and run to the colony when it rains. After a few rests, we had lunch. For lunch we had amazing tacos. Then, we got ready, and we went to the school and played with the kids there. Then, we took a tour of the school and right after that, it started to rain, and we had to stay there and play games for about an hour. Today was an amazing day.

 

Kylie: We woke up to the sound of monkeys howling in the trees along with the waves crashing in the river. We had breakfast, which were these amazing fluffy pancakes. Then we gathered in the meeting area and split up into two groups, and then we went on the nature tour. We saw many amazing creatures and heard many. We saw poison dart and blue jean frogs, which were hidden on the side of the path. Many plants also live in the forest, and we saw some like apple trees with light red and yellow apples. Later we went to the school and played with the children and got to practice our Spanish. Many people had full conversations in Spanish, and we also got to learn what our project was. The day was amazing, and even though some of us are homesick, we are still having an amazing time and we can’t wait for more fun (and pineapple).

 

Alexa: We woke up having a delicious breakfast including pancakes and fresh fruit and many others too. After breakfast we went to a nature hike and learned about lots of different bugs, animals, and plants. We saw a dead ant about a little more than half the size of your thumb. The tour guide also told us to be careful touching stuff because you never know what may be on it, such as the big ant. After the tour we went outside and played a lot of different games to help us bond.  After that my favorite thing happened we went to the school to play with the kids and my friends helped me to speak Spanish and that was a lot of fun and so was the whole day.