Fun, Hard Work, and Pristine Sunsets

By Cate and Katie

Finally, after a week of no internet/procrastination, coming at ya: it’s your two PNW chicas, Kate squared! (Cate and Katie)

Two Sundays ago, our group went to Laguna de Apollo and had a blast! We had a group talent show, a delicious lunch, great music, and lots of swimming/kayaking. Monday and Tuesday we had our last Spanish classes and some heart-wrenching goodbyes to our amazing host families. Shoutout to Jake for completing his first week of Spanish classes!

On Wednesday our great journey from Nicaragua to Costa Rica began. After a three-hour van ride, a border crossing (we all made it!), a two-hour bus ride, followed by a three-hour bus ride, we arrived at Puntarenas. Shout out to Jimmy, our hotweels man, and our fearless captain, Bradley, for getting us there. Jillian did a wonderful job finding us a uniquely cheap hotel to stay in across from the beach. Maggie, PJ, Jon, Bradley and Cate made a new friend who lived in the sink in their room, Oswaldo the scorpion!

Our first night upon arriving we discovered that the Chinese food in Costa Rica is quite scrumptious and cheap! (Despite the cat on a leash in the kitchen). That evening, Ellie was overjoyed to discover that it was Harry Potter week! The next morning we awoke to an unpleasant surprise: we had all lost the ability to sleep in. Despite that shock we had a lovely, full day of beach chillin, shopping, eating on a small budget/picnicking, Internet cafeing, and watching TV (in English for the first time in forever).

The next day, we woke up at our usual early hour, piled into taxis, and caught a ferry to the Nicoya peninsula. When we arrived we had a two-hour bus ride, followed by an eventful car ride, in which one of the cars got stuck in a large rut of mud, but esta bien. We powered through like our group always does and we made it to CIRENAS in time for a spectacular lunch. We were overjoyed to find that we would be living in exquisite conditions, only a ten-minute walk from a dream-like beach (with lots of agates!!!! Shoutout to Ken, Amy and KC!).

Our days at CIRENAS were filled with fun, hard work, pristine sunsets and playtime at the beach. Our workshops and activities included plant identification, intro to permaculture, a class on Costa Rican cuisine, sign painting, nature walks and trail construction. One of our nights here we had the magical experience of seeing an Olive Ridley turtle laying eggs—our guide said she probably laid around 80 eggs. We also saw waves full of bioluminescence that truly amazed Dylan! A couple days prior, Anna and Maggie had a flabbergasting moment when they came across a turtle on the beach and called all of us over but we soon came to realize that the turtle was deceased and the eyes were being eaten out by hermit crabs.

In closing, we would like to thank Jon for baking some amazing cookies last night, PJ for leading us in a musical performance of Ho Hey, Anya for leading an incredible interpretive dance workshop, and Doug for tending to all our cuts and blisters.

Today, we are going to our homestays before heading on to Guatemala.

Love to all our fans!