My Spanish teacher recommended that I would be an excellent student to go with a small group to Costa Rica. Our trip was organized by Interact Travel. We spent a week with a host family, so I was able to learn more about their culture and language. It was an amazing experience. I will tell you about our adventures for the week.
The first day in Costa Rica started out with picking up everyone from their different host families. Everyone was very excited to go to our first destination. Our destination was the Baldi Hot Springs Resort located by the Arenal Volcano (this is the largest volcano in Costa Rica). There are 20 different pools of varying heat; also there are 3 slides that we could slide into one of the pools. The resort was beautiful and relaxing, while walking through the tropical gardens we saw many different types of plants and animals not found in the United States.
Day two we went to the Sarapiqui River. The main road was closed, because of a mud slide, so we took an extremely twisty road through the mountains to get to the river. To this day I am still grateful to have arrived in one piece. On our tour guide boat excursion we saw incredible animals, such as crocodile, howler monkeys, parakeets, and many other types of birds. I think that the crocodile was the best. Afterwards we decided to go zip lining through the rain forest. I had never gone zip lining before, so I was a little freaked out. Once I did it, I wanted to keep zip lining over and over again.
On days three and five we went to La Guacima High School and Juan Santamaria Primary School to help renovate these schools. This included sanding desks and chairs as well as painting walls. While painting one of the guys in our group, played his ukulele and we all sang along. We took a break and played soccer with some of the students. I enjoyed the opportunity to provide a service to the community through our hard work.
Day four we took a tour of a Café Britt Coffee Factory. Even though not being a coffee drinker, I found the tour about how coffee is made humorous and interesting. Our tour guides made the tour into a comic like routine. Throughout our trip we went to many different stores to buy souvenirs. During my travels on day four, I found the people of Costa Rica to be some of the kindest and most helpful people I have ever had the chance to get to know.
Day six was a relaxing day before going home. We took a tour with Calypso Cruises to the Tortuga Islands. We had a chance to ride a Banana Boat and go snorkeling. I have never been snorkeling before and found it exciting and challenging. Exploring and experiencing the underwater world of the Tortuga Islands is something I will never forget.
I think that this trip has helped me realize that there is more to the world then my little home town of Waterloo, IA. The experience has also helped me understand how my Spanish education can be beneficial in life. Having the opportunity to live with a Costa Rican family, allowed me to be immersed in the language. This gave me the chance to use and explore my new found language. Traveling to Costa Rica granted me many new experiences. If I was ever asked to go back again, I would say “Vamos!”
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