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Fairview High School Costa Rica 2016

June 12, 2016

The Fairview H.S. group has arrived safe and sound– with all their luggage– in San Jose, Costa Rica. They met Global Works leader, Katie, at the airport and are currently en route to their cozy hotel for the night. We will send out updates via email every few days. In the meantime, all is well!

June 13, 2016

The group arose early this morning and eager for an adventurous day on the river!  On the way to the river, the group stopped for a delicious breakfast of gallo pinto (beans, rice and other goodies), eggs, fruit and coffee.  When we hit the river we broke into two rafting teams. The river is called Pacuare which National Geographic considers one of the most beautiful in the world.   While rafting, we saw Blue Morpho butterflies, iguana, toucans, and huge purple grasshoppers!  We also warmed up our Spanish through interviews with our raft guides.  Lunch consisted of burritos and delicious pineapple.  We enjoyed about 45 more minutes of rafting after lunch before stopping for showers and a change.  Right now, we are on the bus heading to the homestay community of Pueblo Nuevo.  We are a bit tired from such a huge day, but excited to meet our families.  We hope to have more updates soon!

June 14-15, 2016

Jay F. Update:
¿Si tuviera la opción, le gustaría cambiar su personalidad para el mejor?  My name is Jay Fonticella, and I am one of the students on the trip with Global Works to Costa Rica. Two days ago we met the families with whom we would be living for the next few days, and I can honestly say that I could not have been luckier to have the opportunity to meet mine and those of my friends. Mi mama se llama Cindy, y mi papa se llama Yeison. I have three siblings; a sister named Gabriella who is the oldest, a brother named Johan who is the middle child, and a hermanito (little brother) named Samuel. As soon as we arrived, mi papa made jokes about my friend Jake and I because our names sound similar, and our mama immediately came up to us along with our siblings. We have been graciously adopted into their family and not only have had the chance to live with them, but also to get to know them. My family loves to play futbol (soccer), and as some of you may know, I play soccer for my own school. Last night, we spent approximately an hour and a half playing mejenga or pick up soccer with some of the kids and parents of the community. Also, with other students with whom I am living, we have taught and played multiple games with our families such as Jenga or Uno. With games such as these, we have been able to become a part of our families and the community as well. However, our group has also done work for our homes. Right now, we are painting el salon, or the multipurpose room in the community. Similarly, we will be constructing areas near the schools for the children, where they will be able to play. Due to our adoption, our group feels as though we aren’t working for those in need, but for a community in which we are a part of. It is clear that this community is in need, however what inspires and has changed me is their unwavering joy in their lives. Although these people do not have the biggest houses, or the most recent iPhone, they live in a manner of happiness. From mis padres (my parents) singing in the morning, to the kids laughing and playing in the street, to the community coming together for parties such as una fiesta de las tortillas (tortilla making party) or una clase del baile (dance class), the abundant love in this area is contagious. I come from an area where all kids have iPhones, the newest clothes, an incredible education, and everything a child could want. In this community, the people must work every day to better their lives, their walls don’t go to the roof, and their houses are the size of our garage; yet still they remain so positive. When we arrived, I gave my family the gift of algunos panos (towels) from my hometown. However, while I have been here they have given me a gift in return. They have taught me that no matter where I am or what I’m doing, to always wear a smile. There is no better gift.

Jake K. Update:
Hola from Costa Rica! Right now we are in Pueblo Nuevo, the town where we are doing our homestay. Jay, George, and I are living in a family with three kids who loved to learn home to play typical American games. We have been helping the past two days with some service projects around the town, and it is great to see how appreciative everyone has been that we are helping.  Hasta luego!

Victoria K. Update:
Right now we are in the beautiful community of Pueblo Nuevo learning about their culture and helping to paint the salon.  I’m in a homestay with Jayme and Makayla, and the family has three kids and one baby. It’s crazy but so much fun to teach the kids all sorts of American games!

Audrey B. Update:
We are currently in the community Pueblo Nuevo helping paint the salon and the outside of the kindergarten school. We have spent the past two days painting these buildings. My homestay family has three kids, three dogs, four birds, two bunnies, and some cows. I am housing with Rachel and we are having a great time learning the culture. I enjoy teaching one of our sisters how to play uno (correctly) and looking at all their family photos. The house is a bit crazy at some points because our little brother is very energetic.

Rachel W. Update:
Currently, we’re staying with families in Pueblo Nuevo helping to paint the salon and the outside of the kindergarten. We’ve been communicating with the families in all Spanish and its interesting hearing about their family history and culture, and we have also been teaching the kids bits and pieces of English, whether it’s words or phrases. I’m housing with Audrey and our family has three young children, three dogs, four birds, two rabbits, and two cows. I enjoy playing games and exploring the community with the children. They’re very energetic, but that just plays into a better adventure.

Makayla Adams update:
We’re in Pueblo Nuevo currently. We have been painting the recreational area and a school for the community. I have been with my family for two nights now and I love it. I can feel myself getting really attached to them. I have four siblings, two dogs, fish, and a bird. My oldest sister is Stephanie (12), then Josue (9), then Stacie (7), and Yipzy (10 months). I’ve enjoyed the work, food, and playing soccer, even though I’m no match for their soccer ability. I love the kindness and joy in the community. I kind of never want to leave. Their houses are small but comfortable. I am really enjoying myself and I never want it to end.

Jayme S.’s update:
Our stay in Pueblo Nuevo is about halfway through now, but I know none of us are ready to leave. Each of us has been busy entertaining children, communicating with the families, painting, and eating. Who knew that the portions of food were larger than some American portions! And let’s not forget about all the rice and black beans we have all been eating! I stay with Makayla and Victoria in a home of 6. Our family is very understanding that we may not comprehend everything they say or be able to answer all their questions, which is great. Learning new vocabulary from our family by teaching and playing games has added to my Spanish knowledge a lot.  I’ve enjoyed learning basic steps from 4 different dances and playing mejenga, pick-up soccer. The weather has been hot, humid, and rainy, which makes the cold showers feel fantastic! Ciao!

George F.’s update:
Right now were are in Pueblo Nuevo spending lots of time with our homestay families. Surprisingly they serve more food than both of my grandmas combined! My family has three kids Gabby (the oldest), Johan (the second oldest), and Samuel (the youngest). The parents’ names are Yeison (Jason) and Cindy. They showed me new tastes that I never thought I had. So far we’ve been able to paint almost all of the “salon” in just two days spending about six hours each day. On this trip was my first time white- water-rafting as well. I had tons of fun battling the river with my friends. The weather is nice, hot, andsunny, but very humid. We are all having fun here and hope to come back. See ya later.

De Profe (Sra. Froehlich):
I am really excited to see how much the students are getting out of this trip already. The first morning I was hearing insights I had only hoped to hear from them by the end of the trip! If they haven’t expressed it yet, know they are all very thankful to you for this experience. See you soon!

June 16-17, 2016

We have just played soccer, “Mejenga” again, this time outside. This time was even more fun because with the rain, everyone was sliding around. More of the community played and similarly more of us! Afterwards, we rushed home to shower for la Fiesta de las Tortillas (Tortilla Party). When we arrived we were given a piece of paper and dough. All the kids in the community taught us, or attempted, to make these into tortillas. Later on, while we ate the delicious food some of the girls of the community blessed us with their singing and dancing performances. The next day was our last day, and was activity packed. To start it off, we visited La Fortuna, and a waterfall, where we hiked down to the water and spent time posing for pictures and swimming. Later on, we painfully walked back up and moved into town. There we ate a delicious meal while simultaneously being attacked by a swarm of bees. Then we went onto shopping, where we looked at the multitudes of beautiful souvenirs. On the way home from the city, we were lucky enough to spot a sloth high in the trees. After a long bus ride, we got back to the community where we once again showered and prepared for our last gathering, the going-away-party. The party had great food, amazing pictures, and even better people. With the loud music, we danced all night (until 9pm) and turned off the lights and broke out the glow sticks. We learned from the best, where we all danced with the locals of the community. Along with the party, the next morning we had to depart from the community. With everyone there we took memorable candids and hugged. We got on the bus, and although we had stayed strong when the children of the community started the goodbyes, we left the community with heavy hearts. After a long six hour car ride, we drove to our jungle hotel. We swam and mostly relaxed the rest of the evening, thinking of surfing on the next day.

June 19, 2016

We woke up today, to finally surf and while not everyone was a professional, we all had fun. After a long day of being in the sun, a sighting of parrots and monkeys, and a refreshing Costa Rican snow cone, we returned to the hotel. We’re finishing today off, with group bonding, a Game Night, and a tasty fish dinner. With the end in sight, we face a bitter sweet realization; we all have a desire to see our families, but we would also love to stay a few more days in this beautiful country.

It’s been an unforgettable journey, one we will never forget! Today we started the day surfing and enjoying the beach. After a drive back to San Jose, lunch on the road, souvenirs and coconuts we had a final group reflection and went out to our last Costa Rican supper at a restaurant in San Jose. Here are the groups final parting words about our amazing adventure.

Jake K:
An amazing trip that I will never forget.

Jayme S:
When given the opportunity to travel to another country, go for it. The memories made on this Costa Rica trip will last forever.

Victoria K:
An amazing opportunity that I was able to have. 10/10 would do again.

Makayla A:
I loved every little thing about Costa Rica. I want to go back ASAP.

Rachel W:
Hands down the best experience I have ever had, I would definitely go back as soon as I could.

Audrey B:
This is one of the best trips I have ever had. If I could stay longer or go back again I would.

Jay F:
After long bus rides, sloths, monkeys, parrots, spicy foods, and the horrid showers; I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Big thank you to Global Works and my classmates (now friends) for giving such a life-changing experience.

George F:
If this is your first time traveling; make Costa Rica the first place to go.

Shannon F:
It is so rewarding to see my students make cultural connections in Spanish and share this country I love so much with them. Everything about this trip was magical and we couldn’t have asked for a better experience.