Synergy School Costa Rica 2017
February 13, 2017
This morning we participated in a yoga class. After we centered ourselves, we settled down to eat a breakfast of beans and rice, scrambled eggs, toast, and fruit (including papaya, pineapple, bananas, and watermelon). Then we packed up and took a bus through the countryside. We went to Dona Rosa (a farm that specializes and takes pride in their amazing, artisanal coffee beans) and got to experience the farm life. We were lucky to find dogs, and happy to experience crushing sugarcane ourselves. We got to taste various fruits and medicinal plants that our guides presented us with. Though I have some experience in farms, it made me so happy to see my close friends petting horses and holding chicks. Though I believe that you cannot know the work farmers put into their products until you are in their shoes, I feel that we were able to see quite a bit of their work. We all saw how coffee beans are prepared. We witnessed the shelling of the beans and watched them get roasted while we took in the amazing scent. We got to purchase coffee and learned the history of how coffee became a beverage in Ethiopia. We were so lucky to have the chance to go to the farm, learn, and take in the amazing surroundings of Costa Rica.
– by Nabila
February 14, 2017
We woke up at 7:00 am to get to breakfast at 7:30. We had rice, beans and eggs. After breakfast we organized into four assigned groups and went to do service work. One group is building a green house out of scratch and another group started building a recycling center. Group three leveled a path for people to walk on and the fourth group took down a compost structure and plan to rebuild it.
After we had the volunteer work for about two hours we came back to the lodge to eat lunch. The lunch was really good. We had chicken, rice, beans and salad. After lunch we regrouped and got back to work at our volunteer sites. We stayed there for about three hours before coming back for dinner. For dinner we had rice, beans, tortillas and salad. That night, we had a latín dance class where we learned the basic steps for a few latín dances. The class was really fun but it was also really tiring. We also had a meeting about Costa Rica. Did you know that Costa Rica doesn’t have an army? And because it has no army, it enables them to focus more on education. After the meeting we went back to our rooms and we went to sleep after a tiring but fun day.
February 15, 2017
Today we woke up with the sound of Kristi knocking on our door. We continued our service work and soon the greenhouse was complete. For lunch we had chicken and rice with beans and had some down time. We continued our service work with the occasional pattering of rain and then finished up for the day.
Swimming in the watering hole was funner than expected and the cool water rushing against our skin provided a time of relaxation for todays work. And then it was to a the fish farm. We caught numerous amounts of fish. And while dinner was being prepared we engaged in a fun soccer match with some of the local kids. After the match we were seated with our plates of food and the music vídeo of Britney Spears playing. All in all today was a good day and we must get some sleep for the hiking excursion tomorrow.
Written by Anaya and Isis
February 16, 2017
We began the day with an early, uncomfortable wake-up at 6:15am. We worked through this knowing it would be earlier Saturday morning and thoroughly enjoyed a warm breakfast of eggs, beans, and rice. As soon as we were finished, we were hurried and scurried into the van for a bright 2 hours bus ride.
The sky was clear and light when we finally pulled into Volcán Poas National Park. After a brief stop, we began our hike through thick trees that twice magnificently opened up to wide open clearings of vista points. The first was the crater of a volcano that looked like it held liquid sky in it though it was probably realistically just sulfur or some other volcanic material. The second one was a large magestic lake, that I personally would’ve loved to swim in if given the option. But there was no swimming, just “ooohing” and “aaahing” and picture taking, though not many of the students enjoyed the group photos.
More bus rides followed this but the scrumptious lunch at Colinas del Poas of rice, chicken, vegetables, potatoes and salad made it totally worth it. The gravy made the tender chicken taste even more tender than it was supposed to, and the sliced potatoes reminded me of the potatoes they served at our favorite chicken truck when my family lived in France. The beverage options were the best of our trip so far, and the beauty of the room made is all awkwardly feel like celebrities. We got to play games in that pretty lush green lawn by the pond, that I also had slight desires to swim in before hitting the road for the third time that day.
We stopped at two souvenier shops to buy traditional Costa Rican crafts and souveniers for ourselves and our families back home. After that, it was another hour or so of bus riding which gave us time to socialize even though it was tiring.
We had a spectacular night. After dinner back at the lodge, students from a local highschool came to have a night of games with us. After introducing ourselves, we split into three groups and rotated between playing jump rope, volleyball, and a marble flicking game. We played with the Costa Rican students which provided us with the best opportunity I’ve had yet to practice my Spanish. We finished the night off with bingo and a dance performance. By the end of the night, we were all dancing around a circle watching others prance around the middle of the circle with a broom and a cowboy hat.
Written by Esme
February 17, 2017
We woke up early for breakfast and our last morning of service. We finished painting the playground and decorated it with hand prints. Another group went to the school and played/learned games from the little kids and gave them little gifts. Then they finished the greenhouse project and planted it with cilantro and lettuce. The other groups made huge progress on the trail and garden and compost area. They also planted another greenhouse!
Then we had lunch and afterwards we learned how to make tortillas! We even got to eat our own creations. We took some time to pack our bags and soon enough it was time to make some wood fired pizza. Yum! After dinner some local highschoolers came and we all danced together, practicing the new latín rhythms we had learned. We even got to Teach them some american dances at the end. We finished off the fun night by the bonfire, making s’mores with our new friends. We’ll miss you, Costa Rica! Pura vida.