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During our last day in Costa Rica, we were able to see another side of the country. Being in the capital city is so much different than in Monteverde. It is similar to most cities in the U.S. You have lots of taxis, shops, restaurants, etc. After we went souvenier shopping, we went to see the famous Teatro Nacional (National Theater). From their we of course needed to stop for icecream, so we went to Pops which is one of the popular chain restaurants here in San Jose. It has been nice traveling with all ladies and I discovered we all pretty much have a love of shoes :) so we made another stop to check out some shoes and clothes. It was a wonderful day but I think all of the traveling has caught up with everyone. It is 10pm on a Saturday night and I am the only one up. Everyone went to bed after we had our closing dinner at Hotel Don Carlos. We even got to enjoy watching a Little soccer on TV (go Heredia! go Cartago!….we haven´t decided who to cheer for). Tomorrow, everyone heads home to share their photos and more importantly their experiences with their family. I want to say thank you to all of the students that went outside of their confort zone to go on this service immersion trip. The work you did was important and made a difference and both the lives of the people we met and your lives will be forever changed and impacted. I look forward to seeing how God uses your talents in the future and hopefully on future study abroad trips we will meet again. Bendiciones and Buenas Noches (Blessings and Goodnight).

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Jennifer

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We made it to San Jose and enjoyed our last lunch at Nuestra Tierra. Then we went souvenier shopping in the local artisan market.

Wednesday we went to Paula´s mom´s birthday party. They made guacamole, pork chops, yucca, and pico. It was all really good and we had an interesting time there since Paula´s parents don´t speak English. We spent the night laughing to the point of tears and had a really good time. Paula´s brother and cousin took us later that night to a soccer game. Her cousin, Andres, is a professional soccer player in Costa Rica. He didn´t play because he hurt his ankle but Paula´s brother Coco did play. Coco´s team lost but it was an interesting game. After the game, it was late so we went home.

Thursday we visited a different school and played with the kids there. They were so cute! We played soccer with them….let´s just say they are better than us and they were in 3rd-6th grade. We also played with 4 year olds. They melted Karson´s heart and she was sad to leave. We then went back to school and painted a room. After school, we went home and got ready for dinner. As a group we all ate at Bon Appetite. The food was really good, we had firestone pizza!yum! We went home after we were done eating.

Friday, today, we went horseback riding to the hot springs. The views were absolutely breathtaking…..which we captured with our disposable cameras (our camera´s don´t work from water damage during ziplining, oops). We got to relax in the hot spring and wouldn´t ya know it, it starts to rain as soon as we are about to leave the spring. So the ride back to the farm on the horses was a little wet. They treated us to coffee, which Emily now likes, and some really good lemon type bread. We then came back to the school and finished our painting job. Tonight we will be learning how to salsa and having our last dinner with our host family :( We feel like we´re part of their family and we have met some really great/hot people that we will miss and have to come back to visit! :) And tomorrow…..SHOPPING in San Jose!! That will be a fun ride back down the mountain, hopefully we make it, it´s questionable right now. How close they get to the edge of the mountain is a little too close for comfort! Adios!

Love,

Emily and Karson

DSCF5282p>This is Jennifer writing again.  Today (Friday) we started the morning with something very unique.  We went horseback riding on a beautiful farm in the mountains.  We took the trail to hot pools in nature.  The water was so warm and the girls enjoyed the time to relax a little….then the rains came…again (well what do you expect in a rainforest?) and we galloped our horse back to the farm.  The women that lived there had baked our group fresh lemon bread and made us coffee.  There is such hospitality here!!! 

We then returned to the school to finish painting an office space purple (photos to come soon).  This afternoon we will have a farewell party with our host families and will learn how to salsa dance.  This evening we will practice our new moves.  Tomorrow we head to San Jose which is the capital city of Costa Rica.  There we will be able to view city life and visit some souvenier shops.  Stay tuned for more photos!

Today is our last day at the school (this is Jennifer writing) and I am so proud of these girls.  They have such a great attitude and have put a lot of effort into working at the school.  Yesterday we had the wonderful opportunity to visit a public school.  What a difference!  They have 2 teachers for K-6th grade.  They teach all the students at the same time (3 grades in the morning and 3 in the afternoon).  Only Kindergarten gets their own teacher.  We were able to play soccer with the students, sing songs, and give them cookies.  The students loved having the visitors and gave us each hugs.  Thursday afternoon we returned to the school and pulled weeds for a new greenhouse, emptied and prepared a building to also be a green house, and raked leaves.  We have been doing a lot of cleaning on the grounds of the school.  After we all returned to our host families and showered we went out for a group dinner.  We went to a place called Bon Appetit and most of us ordered pizzas (I guess everyone was getting tired of eating rice).  The food here has been delicious and everyone is asking if they can bring the mangoes back to the States with them. 

Yesterday we worked all day! It was pretty nice all day, but about a half hour of rain. We replanted some plants, and then raked leaves for fertilizer. Last night we went out to eat and majority of us had pizza! I guess we’re missing our food back home. The pizza was really good! Today we went horse back riding. The trail we took was beautiful, but it was literally straight up and straight down with loose rocks. It was kind of scary. When we got to the bottom we got to swim in the hot springs for a while, but right as were leaving it began to pour, again. It was an interesting ride up the steep hill. When we got back to the house they had coffee and these amazing bars for us. YUMM! Tonight we get to learn how to salsa dance! Should be fun. Adios! (I would put smilies but the keyboard is wack!) haha

Amy

Today has been quite a busy day with even more to come!

we started the day bright and early by taking the bus up to school.

From school, we rushed so that we could make it to the schedule group activity by taxi.

The group activity was horseback riding down to a hot spring in the country. The ride down was very scenic with many paneramic views. The horse were soo cute! After hanging out in the hot springs for a little while, we began to head back and it started raining! Even though the rain was heavy, we still had a very good time especially towards the end of the trail when our horses started sprinting!

The owners of the trail were nice enough to offer us coffee and a delicious dessert after our activity.

We then headed back to the school and worked more on our service activity.

Later today we are having a fairwell party with our host families and tomorrow we are heading into San Jose bright and early!

-Angela

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Today we had a wonderful opportunity to visit a farm in Monteverde.  We learned about sustainability and using resources responsibly.  One of the owners of the farm explained how small coffee farms work and how they protect their two most valuable resources…land and family.  They want their family farm to be sustainable for years to come (over a 1000 years he said).  They do this by using the land responsibly, not using chemicals (even though this would save money), raising animals such as goats and chickens, gardening, and by having a methane gas biodigestor.  We even learned that you can ride a bike to cut grass for feed or remove the skin of the coffee beans.  After we had the charla (lecture), we explored the farm, and even had the opportunity to plant mustard plants.  Then, we ate a meal that came directly from the farm.  They didn’t tell us until the end that we had eaten goat. Que rico (yummy)! Then, we return to the school to paint a room that will be an office and paint a metal door.  As we began the next project, the rains began so unfortunately we will have to finish tomorrow.  The rest of the night was mostly spent indoors with our host families.  Tomorrow we will visit a public school and in the evening have a group dinner.  Friday we are planning to go horse back riding to hot springs (weather permitting of course).  Enjoy today’s pics.

Day 2

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We spent the morning at the Cloud Forest School raking the leaves to a trail that leads to the top of a hill.  I think we will all have stronger arm muscles.  The scenery is amazing and we are seeing lots of animals and insects we don’t see in Wisconsin including the monkeys we saw in the trees today.

Then…..came the rain.  We played futbol (soccer) in the rain with some of the students and then our maintenance crew leaders joined in the fun.  We then went up the mountain for the canopy tour-ziplining adventure.  Two hours of ziplining in the rain forest in the POURING rain.  We were soaked.  Not a lot of photos taken due to the cameras getting wet but definitely some good stories about how Jennifer conquered her fear of heights with the encouragement of the students.  Then the students visited the town (some bought some dry clothes), others ate some crepes, some visited the cafe, and others headed home to spend time with the host families.  All and all a fun day but wet.

 

 

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