Sunday, March 28, 2010

Final Day

Yesterday afternoon we spent a luxurious two hours at the Eco Termales Fortuna, the hot spring site where we soaked and enjoyed strawberry and pineapple smoothies. After heading back to the eco lodge, we rested for a little while and then had a pasta dinner with various sauces. Then we brainstormed ideas for sustaining our relationship with the Linda Vista community. Pleasantly weary, we headed off to bed.

On Sunday morning, we enjoyed a delicious breakfast of watermelon, pineapple, papaya and scrambled eggs and toast with homemade orange marmalade--the fuel we needed to swim below Catarata La Fortuna. This waterfall, tucked into the low hills of the volcano, was truly extraordinary.

After another almuerzo delicioso (arroz con pollo, frijoles, blackberry juice and tortilla chips), we geared up for ziplining through the rainforest canopies; our shortest line was 130 meters and the longest and highest was 980 meters, with a height of 100 meters! We looked fabulous in our helmets, pulleys and mucho carabiners.

For our final evening, we will dine on comida typical, followed by closing activities, which will include reflections on our 10 days in beautiful Costa Rica.

We board the bus at 7:15 tomorrow morning and head to the airport in San Jose, ready for a full day of travel. We hear that the weather is lovely---40 degrees and rainy. It will be a shame to leave the sunshine and 85 degree weather behind.

See you all soon.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

La Fortuna!

Yesterday, we finished our service project in Linda Vista with a celebration of bingo and barbeque. There were some tears on both sides and exchanges of addresses and the hope to stay in touch. The bathrooms are nearly complete. We painted and primed and cleaned up the work site. By the time we left, the toilets were in and the doors were on.

We got up bright and early this morning and boarded a bus to La Fortuna, the town at the base of the most active volcano in all of Costa Rica, Arenal. We are staying at the Catarata Eco Lodge, and all were delighted to discover that there was a swimming pool. So, as soon as we dropped our bags in our room, we headed for the pool.

We just finished lunch at La Parada in downtown La Fortuna. The food was delicious and hefty. Some students ordered the Super Hamburguesas and almost finished them! We will spend the next hour souvenir shopping, and then we will meet up and head to the hot springs for a soak.

On the agenda for tomorrow, we will rise early, go and visit the waterfalls and then spend the afternoon zip lining from platform to platform in the rainforest canopy. It is hard to believe that we are on our last two days and will be leaving on Monday. The trip has been rewarding, exciting and filled with good life lessons.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Days 4 and 5

Yesterday was our second full work day, and boy was it hard!! We shoveled, filled in a septic tank, played soccer with the kids, and even taught them some English words, such as those having to do with animals, brushing teeth, supermarket items, and more. Afterwards, we traveled Doña Olga's home and tried to cook tortillas. Unfortunately, the corn was too soft and moist because the weather was not good, but we had delicious popcorn, bread, and cookies. It was very tasty!

As of today we have successfully finished the first half of our trip! The day began with more hard work, including the filling of a pit formerly used as a trash hole. We are also two-thirds of the way through the digging of a septic drainage trench. Since the school day was short today, the children spent the second half of their morning helping us with the work. To celebrate our hard work thus far, we had a celebratory lunch of pizza and Coca Cola, and are now on our way to swim in the Sarapiqui River!

Written by Ean and Elise