Hello Family and Friends of Costa Rica Belize!
After our safe arrival on the 23rd in San Jose, we stayed the night at the beautiful Casa Colon. The following morning we got off to a running start with a customary Costa Rican breakfast called gallo pinto. We then rode our bus, driven by Leo, to the Costa Rica Language Academy where we all participated in a morning of Spanish language, cooking and dance classes. We all learned how to dance the maramgue and salsa. Harold and Kiki had no trouble learning the basic steps of both dances. They even combined the two dances effortlessly; a move only the instructors were attempting! As we carried on to the cooking lesson Will and Victoria made impressive empanadas that were the perfect blend of cheese and beans. The rest of the day was spent getting to know each other, exploring our future destinations on the maps and reviewing our trip goals. Grace was our first leader of the day (LOD), and Will lead that night´s evening circle.
The next day we got an early start with a 6 am wake up by our LOD, Kai, to prepare for the beginning of our white water rafting adventure down the Pacuare River. We arrived at the raft comany headquarters to enjoy a large spread of local foods to supply our team with muscle power to get us to the first camp. Once we reached the river, our guide, Abel, explained the five major commands of how to safely control the raft when dealing with some serious white water. The section of river that laid ahead of us spanned 25 miles and consisted of over 50 rapids that were as high as class 4 which is almost the highest in intensity! Our group faced the challenge with bravery and worked together as a team for the next 2 hours till we reached our first resting place which doubled as our camp. A hearty lunch of burritos stuffed with rice, beans, beef, corn, lettuce, salsa, peppers and guacamole was the perfect reward for our hard work on the river. We had a great time playing cards and other team building games along with some exploring and nap times. Once dinner rolled around everyone was on their A-Game after some rice, veggies and chicken which was crucial to the extreme game of Mafia we played. Kai did an awesome job narrating the stories of how each scenario went down while Harold was on top of his game being Detective seeking out who was guilty of the Mafia´s arrangements. After a solid two hours of gaming and other evening circle activities, lead by Kiki, we called it a night and headed to our bungalows to fall asleep listening to the hustle and bustle of the River and the loud calls of the cicadas.
The morning of the 26th, Victoria, the LOD, woke us up to a beautiful sunny sky, and we feasted on pancakes, sausages, eggs, and pinnapple. We took a short hike to a waterfall and swimming hole which was enjoyed by all. Grace was the first to jump in and declared it to be amazing. Upon our return to camp, we packed our gear up and got back on the river by 10:30. We joined up with three other boats for some extra support and continued our way down the Pacuare. Along the way, a member from another boat was tossed out of their boat, a ¨swimmer,¨and Harold pulled her into our boat, completing a successful rescue. We stopped on the river for a filling and tasty lunch, and rafted for one more hour until we reached the end of our rafting journey. Back at headquarters, everyone enjoyed a quick shower and change of clothes before hopping on the bus back to San Jose. Once we returned to Casa Colon, we enjoyed a dinner of chicken and rice and did a bit of exploring close to our hostel. Kai, Grace and Will bought some ice cream, while Kiki, Victoria and Harold purchased some chips. We wrapped the night up with some Mad Libs and our evening circle, lead by Harold.
Today, the 27th, we are beginning our surfing section of the trip in the Nicoya Penninsula. Our LOD, Will, woke everyone up at 6:30, and, after another delicious breakfast of gallo pinto at Casa Colon, we began our bus ride West.
Can´t wait to tell you all about surfing and service at Playa Giones in our next update!