Saturday, April 2, 2016

Reflection of Frances

Today was our 4th day in Costa Rica. In the morning we all went to the local school and got to play with the little kids who were kindergarten through 6th grade. I got to play games with the kindergarteners and they were honestly the cutest kids ever. I haven’t ever seen a group of kids so happy before even in the heat and not having the greatest conditions for school. We all integrated and ended up playing a giant game of soccer. The local kids laughed at how bad some of us were but it was okay because we all had fun. I was surprised at how much Spanish I actually knew and how much I was able to speak and translate for other people. I was able to speak to my homestay mom during lunch a lot. She was one of the kindest and welcoming people I have ever met. She made a delicious traditional soup and homemade coconut ice cream for lunch. After lunch we had a cooking class where we learned how to make traditional Costa Rican foods like corn tortillas, empanadas, and papayadillo. My favorite was the empanada.  Three oft he moms showed us how to make each dish and we all got to be apart of the process of cooking everything. The heat was so intense all day. I’ve never been so hot and sweaty in my entire life. Surprisingly the locals didn’t even think it was hot.

Today gave me good insight into what other people have to endure everyday and how they are still happy welcoming people. Throughout this entire experience I’ve been reminded to appreciate what I have everyday and even inspired me to want to travel to somewhere in Africa to do the same type of project. Learning how to cook today was so great I definitely want to make some of the local dishes when I get home. I also learned that I could have too much rice and beans. It seems that they eat rice and beans at every meal; even breakfast!

One of my favorite experiences this trip was the chocolate farm called Finca Kobo. The farm was gigantic and split up between chocolate trees and other various fruits. We had a tour guide that cut down some fruit and let us try them. My two favorite fruits were the star fruit and the chocolate bean. I ended up eating almost the entire pod of chocolate beans with Paul. I wanted to stay on the farm the whole trip and eat all the delicious fresh fruits. Another great experience was swimming in the river while it rained yesterday. We spent about an hour hiking through the rainforest in the rain and once we arrived at a waterfall we all got to go swim under the fall. The water wasn’t that warm but it was really refreshing because the humidity. While we were all swimming it started raining again and the whole rainforest and waterfall became 10x more beautiful. The whole experience truly an amazing one and I’m so glad I got to go on the hike.

I’ve gotten eaten up by a bunch of bugs, which has been the only drag to this trip. It makes me feel like I’ve been enduring the jungle and more tough so I’m okay with it. I’m excited for the snorkeling and dolphin viewing tomorrow. About 10 kids are coming along with the group so it will be fun to mix the cultures. On Saturday we have a 5am fruit and juice session which I am also looking forward to; just the juice… not the early morning wakeup.

Dear Mom and Dad,
I miss you both so much. I can’t wait to see you when I come home in a few days. But don’t worry about me too much. I’m having a lot of fun and learning a lot. We should come down here before I go to college because it’s similar to the Amazon trip with Amber. I’m so grateful that you allowed me to have this experience. I definitely miss my comfy bed and all the amazing paleo meals.  I can't wait for lots of acai bowls and sweet potato fries when I return. Please text Cridtalll that I love and miss her when you get a chance. It’ll mean a lot to me and her, I miss her bunches.

Pops- this trip makes me want to go on more adventures with you, even if they aren’t the most glamorous living conditions. I think I could handle Kili with you one summer. I miss you a lot and if this is what being at college is like…. I want funny texts everyday.

Mommy-  ich liebe dich ganz fiel. I can't wait to see you when you pick me up at the airport. I have so much to tell you about this trip. It's been way more fun than I expected it to be. You’d be proud of how much Spanish I’ve been speaking.


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