March 23-30 was our trip to Costa Rica, and it was as close to a perfect week as I can imagine.
Day 1: Friday ::
Arrived in Costa Rica around 1:30pm. We went to a local food court where I enjoyed the cultural experience of trying to order Pad Thai in Spanish. Then we went to a market in San Jose where the majority of our girls bought headbands and the majority of our boys bought daggers (great). I can't remember the name of the restaurant where we went to dinner, but we had gallo pinto & plantanos, so I was in heaven. Then we checked into our hotel (we stayed at the Country Inn & Suites in San Jose, and I neglected to take a single picture of our digs!), had devos, and promptly fell sound asleep.
Day 2: Saturday ::
We left bright & early for a day of white water rafting on the Pacuare River (I guess they filmed part of Jurassic Park there?)! We stopped along our 2-hour commute for breakfast at a restaurant with an amazing overlook. We did a lot of driving, but I didn't mind at all because the scenery was so breathtaking. White water rafting was maybe my favorite activity that we did. All of the chaperones went in the same raft, and our guide, Cristian, was so cute & sweet! Every time he made a request, he would follow it with, "my team!" - for example, "Forward, please, my team!" And then when he told us to relax, he would always say, "Thank you, my friends!" I don't have access to these pictures yet, but I'll try to do a post with them later. Our rafting trip was 5 hours long, and halfway through, the guides stopped the rafts and made us lunch on the shore. The entire time, I just kept telling myself, "I can't believe this is real life." In fact, several times throughout the week, I would turn to my friend & co-sponsor Marisa and say, "Who are we? What is our life right now?!" It was so beautiful & there were parts of the river that were so peaceful... I could definitely do that every day.
view from the restaurant
our beloved class
en route to white water rafting
Day 3 : Sunday ::
In the morning, our class taught Sunday School at a church in La Carpio, a community of Nicaraguan refugees. I've been informed that I'm not allowed to post pictures of these kiddos online, unfortunately. After Sunday School, the church provided lunch for us. After lunch, we went back to the hotel for some swimming. That evening, we went back to the church for their service, which ended up being a lot more... charismatic than we bargained for. We went out to dinner, back to the hotel, devos & bed!
Day 4 : Monday ::
We had an all-day fun-day for the kids of La Carpio. Again, I can't post pics. We had a bunch of different stations for the kiddos: balloon animals, clothespin butterflies, fingernail painting, face painting, relay races, etc. I loved watching our teenagers interact with all the children, despite the language barrier.
view along the side of the church wall
La Carpio dump on the other side of the church wall
Day 5-8 coming soon!