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Casey Middle School Costa Rica 2018

March 28, 2018

This morning we drank cups of coffee, each which was a great preamble to the coffee finca. We jumped on the bus at 9am and one twisty, steep drive, later we made it to the finca. For those of you who don’t know, a coffee finca is a coffee growing farm, however they grew other things such as fruit, sugarcane, and a plant that made great, orange face paint. We roast and ground coffee, made and enjoyed sugarcane juice, and rolled out and designed traditional bread. We stopped at lunch for a quick and competitive game of fútbol. At the end, we had to scour a small portion of the jungle looking for the stupid ball which was always trying to get away from us. We said goodbye to our new dog and goat friends and hopped onto the bus. After cooling off in the pool and a pizza dinner, we retired to an unused corner outside of the kitchen where we learned some basic salsa and danced until our feet turned black! All in all it was a great day!

Pura vida!
Stella D. and Rachel S.

March 29, 2018

First, we woke up at 5:30am and boarded the bus to go rafting. After 2 hours on the bus, we stopped for breakfast in Turrialba. We had seen the Turrialba Volcano erupting, but when we got to breakfast, the clouds covered it. The breakfast was in a buffet style and made up of Costa Rican food and cereal. After breakfast, we drove down to the Río Pacuare, which we were told is the most beautiful river in Central America. Then we split up into two groups and rafted four hours with a stop for lunch. We paddled the whole time and only two people fell out of the boat. It was full of bright blue water and canyon walls filled with plants. After we finished rafting, we drove through the countryside and saw the Chiquita/Del Monte banana farms. We then boarded a boat at Caño Blanco and road for ten minutes to Parismina, which is where we are writing from. Here it is really quiet in our rustic hotel where we have a great view of the canal. Before dinner a member of ASTOP, the turtle organization, came and spoke to us about turtles and our projects. We finished up the evening playing games and settling into our new home for the next few days.

Pura Vida,
Evan H. & Lisa W.

March 30, 2018

Hola Padres,
This morning we got to sleep in. Our rustic hotel is starting to grow on us. The food is good and the owners of the hotel have amazing dogs that follow us all around.
In the morning we went to the hatchery after we had a tour of the town. Our service project was to prepare the area for the hatchlings! We did that by digging up the dirt, raking the sand and trying to get as much plastic and trash out of the sand as possible. When the organization finds the eggs, they’ll bring the eggs to the place where we cleaned.

In the afternoon, we walked through the jungle to a fresh water lagoon. It was very beautiful and we played “Mafia”. We walked back along the beach where some of us went swimming in the ocean and others got dressed up and went shopping for more snacks. Tonight we are off to patrol the beach, so hopefully we can see some turtles nesting and help save the eggs!

Pura Vida!
Brewster B.

March 31, 2018

Aloha Parents,

Today we started at 9am with rice and beans, pineapple, and some eggs. After breakfast, we got to working doing various jobs around the egg hatchery. Some people were shoveling sand, some people were raking twigs and seeds away while the others picked up plastic. After that, we had the option to go swimming in the ocean, to go into town to get smoothies, or go back to the hotel. A few people went into town and everyone else went to the beach. We had lunch, then went to the Artisan Craft Fair where everyone bought various crafts and trinkets for themselves or loved ones. Everyone had a blast. We had more free time after that where most went back to the beach while a couple peopled stayed at the hotel to relax. Dinner was chips, salad, mashed potatoes, and picadillo. At 8pm, we started our second turtle patrol. We walked along the ocean for one hour looking for turtles before we turned back and arrived back roughly around 10:45pm. We unfortunately didn’t find any turtles tonight, but we hope to find some tomorrow!

Most sincerely,
Anthony A. & Lainey B.

April 1, 2018

We all started out the day by going on a tour of the Tortuguero National Park. We saw two sloths, two crocodiles (one was a baby), and a bunch of lizards (like basilisks), birds and insects. After that, we went to lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch, the boys went to the beach during free time, leaving the girls alone, with access to the boys rooms on April Fools Day. We taped various items to the ceiling, as well as to a stool and the remote to the A/C to the shower floor, then taped the toilet shut. But we did have permission and supervision. When the boys came back, they weren’t really mad, just confused. Then some members went to go play soccer with some residents of Parismina. Others went to go get our finger and toenails done. We chose different colors, patterns and designs. Then we ate a delicious dinner that was kind of barbaqueish. After dinner, some members of the group went turtle patrolling and ended up seeing a leatherback turtle. It was an incredible experience! Meanwhile, some of the people that stayed behind pranked the girls by hiding their shoes and socks in the rafters of the gazebo. It took forever to find them, but we all laughed at the different pranks and creativity of our group. And now I am writing this and everyone is packing. So that was our fun, eventful day!

Pura vida,

Jillian D.