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Derby Middle School Costa Rica 2018

March 18, 2018

Today we went to a farm. We helped make cheese, it was a long process, but really cool. When we rolled it into balls, the cheese was really hot and stretchy. Later, Crisley, the owner of the farm, showed us his farm. He told us why everything was important and what it was used for. We had the opportunity to milk a cow. When I first started to milk her, it was a weird feeling, but then it started to feel more natural. Later tonight we are going to take a dance class. Overall, today was a great experience and I can’t wait for the next activities during the week. I have learned a lot today and can’t wait to learn more!
-Carly B.

Today was our first full day in Costa Rica! It was so amazing! First, we went to a cheese farm. We made our own mozzarella! It was the best cheese ever. Secondly we went to lunch which was really good! They had the best tea and I drank 8 glasses! Then we went around the farm and tried and learned about all those exotic fruits. After that we got to milk a cow, it was really gross, but cool! Then we went home (to the eco lodge) and went to the pool. I love swimming! Lastly we ended the night with a really fun salsa class! I’m so happy I’m in Costa Rica!
-Gaby G.

Today was our first whole day in Costa Rica! Breakfast was super delicious and everything was so good! After breakfast, we all went to a cheese factory. We got to make cheese and it was so much fun! The cheese tasted amazing and it was very salty and stretchy. Later on we had a delicious lunch and go to milk cows. We also tried different fruits. They all were so good and I wish we had them in Michigan! Later on we had free time at the pool, and on our phones. It was nice to wind down. After dinner we went to a fun salsa class with Randall! We had a great first day!
-Marlene S.

March 19, 2018

Today we woke up to pan que-ques and made our way to a waterfall. At the waterfall, the drop was 230 feet and too dangerous to swim right underneath. The waterfall lead to a calm river where fish swam, and I climbed all the way down just for a photo. After playing in the water, countless steps upward greeted us. We made our way to a zipling park with a perfect view of Arenal Volcano, lake below, and other tourists. The longest zipline was half a mile long, going very fast! After, we went to a school where we learned how the 6th graders use farming as a learning tool. We danced in the beginning and had a huge game of soccer. At the end, Costa Rica and the USA tied. Making our way back to the hotel, we had a delish dinner, after we hiked into the jungle. Half way through, we sat in darkness and heard all the chirps and interesting noises. Overall, today was our second day in Costa Rica and was a success!!

Pura Vida!

-Drew B, Bella L, Taryn C.

March 20, 2018

Let’s get one thing straight, this is a journal, not a diary!!! We started off the day with a nutritious breakfast with eggs, bacon, and toast. The toast came with various jellies, they were nice. After we ate, we finished packing and boarded our bus. Our drivers name was Henry and he was a nice man who generously drove us 4 hours to the dock towards Parismina. We packed ourselves in the boat and enjoyed a 10 minute boat ride. Once we got there, we walked over to the hotel and settled in, the guide showed us around from where we are staying to see some of the stores and different buildings. After that, we learned about the turtle organization and it was very interesting, then we had free time and we swam in the Caribbean Sea. We ate a good dinner of noodles and meat sauce. The dinner was relaxing after traveling, learning, and having fun all day. It was time to go in turtle patrol. We were walked down by Carlos and Isaiah. We separated into two groups. One group walked all the way down and the other walked a separate way. We walked for two and a half hours, it was really peaceful outside, unfortunately we didn’t see any turtles yet. We did see fish, crabs and bugs!

Pura vida!

-Carter L., Tim C., John C.

March 21, 2018

Today we started off our day with delicious eggs, toast, fruit, and plantains. After that, we played a helpful Spanish vocab game that we hope to play again when we get back to Michigan. After the practice game, we went to do our community service, although it was very hot, it was a great new experience for us. We raked the sand and picked up trash on the beach in an effort to improve conditions for nesting turtles and babies.

After community service, we had lunch and our first bit of free time to explore the island. Many of us decided to get smoothies, shaved ice, or choco bananas. After we all got to walk around a little bit, we went on a nature walk which led to the lagoon. Carlos showed us cool things along the walk. My favorite was the plant where when you touch it, it combines and falls “asleep”. Of course our friendly furry friends followed us to the lagoon as well and a few of them took a quick dip. After getting back from the lagoon, since we all still had our swim suits on, we took a dip in the ocean. We spent the hour jumping in the waves and playing beach volleyball.

When we got back from the beach, we showered up and got ready for dinner. After dinner, we had some more free time before doing our turtle night patrol. During our break some of us went to the smoothie shop and some of us went to the little shop that sells snacks. After we got everything we needed, we headed to beach patrol. We walked for two hours on the beach patrolling for turtles, sadly we saw none, but walking back I enjoyed entertainment by Senora and a few others. When we got back we were all tired, so we went to bed to recharge for the next day. Since this journey is almost over, I just want to say this experience has been amazing and we wouldn’t have a doubt that this trip has been the best school trip we have ever taken.

Pura Vida!
-Mahlan M., Ava M., Ryan B.

March 22, 2018

Today we woke up and ate a delicious breakfast. After getting ready, we all headed to the boat dock for a canal tour. The first animals we saw were four crocodiles! We were so excited to see the crocodiles. The weirdest thing was that the crocodiles were sitting with their mouths open, we later learned that it was because they are cold blooded and it helps them to regulate their temperature. Next we got out of the boat and saw frogs, lizards and monkeys. The first monkey we saw was a spider monkey! After, we saw some exotic insects and even more frogs. When we returned to the dock, we went to a soda for lunch. The lunches were very delicious. After lunch, we walked over to a craft fair and bought handmade goods. Then we had free time. Some of us swam in the ocean, played beach volleyball, soccer, or relaxed at the hotel. Many people got braids in their hair and hair wraps (even some of the guys!) from local people. At dinner we played card games and bought ice cream from two local women. Then we went to the store to buy some late night snacks. We then hung out in our rooms and went to bed. It was a great day!

Pura vida!
-Savannah W., Olivia B., Samantha T.

March 23, 2018

Let’s keep one thing in order: this is still a journal, not a diary!!! Today was mainly traveling from Parismina to San Jose. We ate a breakfast of toast, eggs, and fruit in the morning. Additionally, the wonderful cooks served ice cream to raise money for the Parismina community. After that, we were forced to leave the great place of Parismina, including our furry friends. We went on a boat for 10 minutes, then got onto the bus. We made several stops including a close up encounter with a sloth, lunch, souvenir shopping, and finally dinner. For dinner we went to a fancier place on the hillside overlooking San Jose. We are going to miss Costa Rica and the people that made this experience so unique.
Pura Vida!
– Vikas S., Taft P., George D.