We’ve traded the rainforest landscapes of Chilamate for some small-city life here in the heart of Costa Rica’s Central valley in the Cartago province south of San Jose. There’s lots to love about this region, with lush waterfalls, rivers, and wildlife (including our first sloth spotting!) — as well as the second largest volcano in the country that looms over the landscape. But it is the chance to dive into conversational Spanish that is the real thing that brought us here. The students are back in school! Spending each morning from 8 – 12 in lessons at our hostel Spanish by the River, our group ventures beyond in the afternoons to put their learning to the test in the city center and beyond.
Wednesday’s adventure was particularly special, as we took a 45 minute drive to a hike for the Cataratas de Trillizas, or the Triplet Waterfalls, in celebration of one of our OE’s Rachael’s big “3 O” b-day. The three falls were our most spectacular sights to date, and provided some very refreshing and invigorating waters (ie. it was super cold haha). We surprised Rachael with a cheesecake (her favorite) that night which the team sneakily helped bake the night before. We’re so grateful for her in our community!
Speaking of community, this has been our first real dive into communal living with the group creating cooking and cleaning crews to take on breakfasts and dinners. They’ve done a great job piecing together some very tasty meals and are learning considerable life skills in the process. Our first two leaders of the week (Emma and Jill) have passed on the baton after facilitating two great activities on Love Languages and the team-building game Mafia. Now Spencer and Rosa have taken the helm and started their time as leaders with a question of the week on our whiteboard. How would you respond??