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Derby Middle School Costa Rica 2019

March 16, 2019
After we arrived in Costa Rica, we drove to La Dehesa Inn for the night. We talked about our plans for the next day and learned the basics for the night. The hotel area was surrounded with trees that had green, round, fresh coconuts! We laughed and played card games until it was time to go to sleep.

March 17, 2019

When we woke up, we took an epic drive to a farm. We saw amazing sights on the drive. At one point, we drove through a dark grey cloud because we were so high up. When we got to the farm, we learned about the process of cheese making. We were able to touch and and form over 100 cheese balls! They were white, very creamy and warm. We even got to taste test them at the end. Then we went on a walk around the farm and saw many cool animals such as: cows, pigs, dogs, cats, roosters, chickens and a duck. We also were able to eat many of the tropical fruits like star fruits and sweet limes. Lastly, we went back to the new hotel which is very pretty. Then we went to our dance lesson. It was very tiring but we got through it and had a great time. We wrapped up the evening with a meeting to orient us to Costa Rica and our service work tomorrow. Now we’re off to bed!
Pura vida!

Lauren, Payton, and Avery

March 18, 2019

After waking up we had a great breakfast, then we went off to the local school (in La Cruz, San Carlos). At the school we helped to repaint some walls, dig holes for a water tank, saw a dance that the girls performed, and we got to use our Spanish skills and speak to some of the kids. After we finished the work, we had a traditional meal for lunch and went to an animal refuge. We got to see all sorts of birds, monkeys, and other cool animals. We saw a cayman (which is like a tiny alligator), a giant snapping turtle, spider monkeys, white faced monkey, different colored macaws, parrots, a genetically mutated macaw, and a raccoon. Later on we headed back to the hotel and we all went swimming and hung out by the pool. Once we had dinner we went up to have a meeting and played some fun games. Overall we had a fun day and got closer together as a group. PURA VIDA!
Gemma, Caitlin, and Silvia

March 19, 2019

We started our day off with a relaxing and soothing nature walk through the jungle. Then we were off to the school to finish up our work from the other day and start some new painting. After painting we had a delicious lunch and learned how to make tortillas. Then we got to try the tortillas we made with some cheese and it was amazing. The cheese just melts in your mouth.

After our service work we played a big game of soccer with all the kids at the school. The game was a blast but we got our butts kicked. The kids at the school were some good soccer players. We also got to meet some new people and make new friends with the kids. After the soccer game, we went to a market store to pick up some snacks and some of us may have gone a little overboard. Once we were done looking for snacks and treats we had some free time to hangout and go swimming. Then we had dinner at the restaurant. A little later we all had a group meeting about our day, shared some things out about our experience and played games. In total, we had an amazing day that we won’t forget.
Ethan, Brayden, and Preston

March 20, 2019

Our day started off with a late breakfast of eggs and pancakes. After we ate we rode by bus to our first location, zip-lining. Our group was nervous, yet excited, and couldn’t wait to start. We started with a long gondola ride up to the first line, the ride was slow and gave time for gazing over the vast rainforest or, for some, a brief moment of meditation. The first few lines seemed fast and uncomfortable, however, as we continued traversing the lines a newfound appreciation of the view and experience seemed to emerge. For lunch we had the meat of our choice served with; rice, beans, salad and fried plantain. After lunch we took some time to shop for souvenirs, then started on our way to the waterfall. The waterfall was a massive spout that launched thousands of gallons of water hundreds of feet down into the pool below. Our group hiked down a seemingly endless amount of stairs to get to a small pool where we were able to cool off and swim, however the climb back up to the top was exhausting and painful. We had chicken for dinner and played some games before lights out.

By Gabe, Charlie, Jack

March 21, 2019

The cold air comes in contact with your skin like a gust of refreshing air as we come into the bus. Ashley has a sack of snacks like Mary Poppins, an endless supply. Then, everything changed. You could hear the ocean waves crashing onto each other, like swords in a duel. The doors open and that blazing heat whips you in the face. The sweat dripping like tears of sadness, the air like a heatwave from the sun. As the smoldering heat touches you, you want to jump into the refreshing ocean. The water is the perfect temperature in which you could get a refreshing dip but still stay warm. Golden Hour arrived and everything seemed at peace. Everyone was getting along, the water was perfect, the dog was running like a gazelle in the forest looking for prey. The sunset was a perfect golden color that looked like a watercolor painting in real life. The yellow ball of fire in the sky surrendered to the cool night breeze in perfect harmony. We took Instagram pictures to capture the perfect time in which it felt like the world was at peace. We ate a delicious dinner then had our second to last night meeting where we had an extensive talk about the insects. Now we can sit and just appreciate nature come together perfect harmony.

By Alina

March 22, 2019

We started off our busy day with pancakes and french toast. Then, we walked to the local ranger station for a very important talk about the turtles that are found on Playa Grande. We learned about leatherback sea turtles and sea turtles conservation efforts. After this talk, we got onto the bus and drove to Playa Tamarindo, the place we were going to have lunch. Once we arrived to our lunch destination, we split up into groups and decided where we would eat. It was an open air market with a variety of food vendors. Some of the options where smoothies, pizza, hamburgers, poke bowls, ice cream and more. After that we went to Playa Grande to learn how to surf. As the waves came crashing down we would paddle towards shore. Then you would begin to stand up and ride toward the shore. After a few hours at the beach, we dressed up for dinner. We ate chicken tenders at the hotel’s restaurant. Shortly afterwards we had our closing meeting. We gave each other postcard awards and played an appreciation game to end our time together and our trip.

By Ava and Olivia