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I’ve flown around America a few times for different family gatherings. To be completely honest, the plane ride to another country was no different. The only thing to distinguish our time on the plane was the huge ocean and Costa Rican mountain ranges we could see from the windows. Landing was a different story- getting through customs was a bit nerve-wracking though we all entered all right.Our first day was just to get us checked in. We met our tour guide, and set our bags down at the cozy hotel so we could walk to lunch. Afterwards we saw some important city sights like Central Park, and finally settled into our hotel rooms as our group started up a card game.The initial day is successfully over- hopefully the rest will go just as smoothly!Ryan Fisher
The trip so far...Waking up at 1am isn't how I'd spend a typical Wednesday morning. My mom and I left our house at exactly 2:10am and arrived at the airport shortly after 2:30am. I was expecting the air to be bursting with life but for the most part, it was dead. We finally boarded our first flight at 5:35am. The plane ride was exactly the same as it was the last time I'd ridden one. However, my ears did hurt a lot more this time. We landed in Fort Lauderdale and then boarded our next flight. We arrived shortly after 11am (Costa Rica time). Everything was exactly as I'd imagined it would be. The weather felt perfect compared to the Pittsburgh weather. On our way to our hotel, we passed many cool buildings. The colorfulness of it all amazed me. In Pittsburgh, most buildings and houses had the same colors and designs but here, each building had its own unique architectural design and color. Even the graffiti which the city was filled with looked amazing. We are our first meal at a local restaurant which was very authentic and filled with bright colors. We ate the typical Costa Rican dish, ride and beans. It was delicious! Then, we drank a fruit juice our tour guy claimed could help cure cancer. I'm not sure which fruit was in it but it tasted great. Overall, I'd say my experience here so far has been great. I can't wait to see what the rest of the trip has in store.
Hola amigos. We have landed safely in Costa and having an awesome time. We got on to the plane at 5 to Fort Lauderdale. We chilled for a little bit, ate, lauged, and got back onto the plane at 10:30 to go to Costa Rica. The flight mad us ache a little but we landed safely.In Costa Rica we went to las Orquideas and dropped off all of our stuff. We later went to our first Costa Rican restaurant and had good choices between rice and chicken and beans topped with rice. After that we then got settled into our rooms and chilled for a little bit. When dinner time came around we went to a different restaurant and got rice with chicken and chips. Now we are back at the hotel getting ready for the next day of our journey.
Jamir WilsonToday we had a long and dreadful day of traveling. 2:00 am start at the airport and nonstop traveling to Costa Rica. When we had got here the time differences took me for a loop. There is a 2 hour time difference here so when we got here it was noon but in the states it was 2:00 pm which made the day even more tiresome. But, luckily I was able to get some sleep before we went out to dinner later that night.Like I had said previously, when we got here we went out to get lunch because it was noon once we had gotten here. We went to unload all of our luggage and then we walked to eat our first meal. It was absolutely delicious, I could eat it every day if I could. After lunch we had gone on a simple tour of Central park, the museum and looked at some graffiti art along with the congress building. On this tour we learned a little bit more about what we had researched in class. After that we came back to the hotel and chilled until we got to dinner time. We went to go and eat and now I am here typing this and playing cards with my friends. Its a good time. PURA VIDAAAAA!!!!!
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Thank you everyone for posting,it's so nice to hear how things are going and for explaining the time difference. Gabrielle Butler, I love you and miss you already!
glad you made it! have fun!
Just checking in to see how the day was in the rain forest. What's the temperature there? I'm sure it's warmer than here!
Just found out that you guys will not be blogging until Sunday. Can't wait to hear all about it! I hope you all had an amazing time!
Checking in to see how your time was. Hope everyone is okay!
It is great to hear from Megan when we do! It was quite nerve racking over the last few days with no contact at all while they were in the rainforest! I was so happy to hear from her this morning!! Keep up the great work team and have as much fun as you can! These are moments that will forever be memories!
Costa Rica - Rainforest The rainforest was absolutely amazing in Costa Rica. The first day we had physically hike in the rainforest for 2 whole hours just to get to our cabins which was extremely exhausting but so empowering. Also on the first day I had the courage to walk across the swinging bridge and that was a huge accomplishment for me considering that I have a fear of heights. The service work given to us was also a huge challenge. Our first day of service work required us to dig several holes into the ground to put in big pieces of wood so we could make a fence and put in a gate around the water source for the rainforest. We also had to clean off the water source and paint the entire thing from top to bottom. The second day of service work we had to dig out a ton of dirt that was on top of the water pipelines so we could change the pipes. The food that was served to us in the rainforest was beyond fantastic. We had rice and beans, pineapple, watermelon, pancakes, eggs, plantens, salad, chicken, spaghetti, french fries, etc. The women who also served us our food made every fruit you could ever think of into a drink from watermelon juice to tamrano juice. Even though there were a lot of great things about the rainforest, there also were things that I couldn’t get over, the bugs. The rainforest has a big variety of different critters and I surely got to see most of them. There were grasshoppers the size of a human hand, moths, spiders, beatles, lizards, hornets, and a bunch of other little insects. Overall my experience in the rainforest was life changing. I learned that I shouldn’t be so hard on myself and that I could do so much more than I ever expected. One important thing I learned was from the Costa Rican’s and that is to be genuinely happy. The people in Costa Rica don’t have much in their life like the materialistic things we believe can make our lives so much better. The Costa Rican’s live life with no worries, all smiles, and genuine love. They have showed me to not take things for granted and be more grateful and appreciative of the things I do have. I have learned that genuine happiness comes from within, not from objects in our lives. We have to learn how to be happy on our owns before we can allow others to share our happiness.
While I would love to breakdown your experience and open up a dialogue, I'm very pleased to know how involved you are in helping. Your feedback let's me know how you are growing and learning during your trip. Love you more than you'll ever know. Continue to make me proud love bug.-Dad-
omg girl I'm so happy that you are having a good time. even though riverdale is getting so good. cant wait to see you !Taian Buggs
The Swinging Bridge On Thursday, we hiked into the rainforest! It was a lot of hard work, and a lot of fun. I loved just looking around at the new surroundings and seeing things I’ve never seen before! Along the way we got to learn about different plants or insects that we saw. From the first impression I knew that the rainforest was beautiful and was going to be full of new and interesting experiences. Right as we arrived, we were given the opportunity to walk across the swinging bridge. I had been awaiting for this part of the trip for so many months. So, I was very excited to volunteer to walk across. I knew that I was about to step out of my comfort zone and try something that totally freaked me out. When I first started walking, I was super nervous and my heart was racing. The bridge was swinging more then I had expected and it was super narrow. It was also making some loud squeaking sounds. But I was able to stop, take a deep breath, look at my surroundings, and enjoy the beautiful view and experience. This was a challenge that I was able to overcome, and I even walked across the bridge two more times. After that, we got to relax and go swimming. We walked down to a swimming hole that was surrounded by waterfalls. This was beautiful and it was so much fun to relax with everyone after a long day of hiking and travel. After day one in the rainforest, I was feeling supper grateful for getting this opportunity and being able to step out of my comfort zone and try new things. Another challenge that we faced is that some of our group began to feel sick. Around day three and four, people started to get stomachs aches and headaches, including me. Adapting to the new food and environment was hard on us. We were also walking a lot in the hot sun and some weren’t drinking enough water. But, we knew that there were still service projects to be done and things to do. It was awesome to have everyone in the group making sure I was okay, drinking enough water, and taking breaks through the service project work. We were all there for each other and able to encourage each other to keep working, even when they aren’t feeling great.
My Experience in the Rainforest Sadly today was our last day in the rainforest but the few days we had spent there was such an amazing experience. We all got to see so many animals like monkeys, iguanas, and a toucan. My roommate Fran and I even had a lizard in our shower on the first night of being in the rainforest. Overall, being in the rainforest was so beautiful and every view was always so breathtaking. I got to see so many plants and animals that I have never seen before and I got to swim under waterfalls which was so much fun and very nice after spending the day doing service work. While in the rainforest, our first day of work was spent cleaning off a water tank and then painting it and by the end of the day I was covered in blue paint. On our second day of work we dug up the ground to expose a water pipe so it could be replaced and we then covered it back up with dirt. On this work day though me and my classmates Fran, Montea, and Jamir had taken a break and were sitting on the side of the path and then a bull came walking by but then as it got closer to us it started running and I just screamed and was so scared and we all grabbed on to each other but luckily there was a Costa Rican on a bike behind the bull and was able to calm it down but it was such a crazy and scary experience for me and I’m sure my classmates who were with me would say the same thing. Overall I loved being in the rainforest and I already miss it. One of my favorite parts about it were the people there; they always were so kind and always wore a smile on their face and the ladies who cooked for us were so happy to have us and the food they cooked was always good. The people there were so grateful to have us and I am glad I was able to help their community and I’m so appreciative for them to have us as guests. My other favorite parts of the rainforest though were getting to swim under waterfalls and play soccer against the Costa Rican’s. We had lost against them but it was still a lot of fun, I didn’t get to play the whole game though because I started to feel sick but it was fun getting to watch everyone play because everyone playing seemed really into it. So far I have enjoyed Costa Rica, despite how hot and humid it is, and I would stay here so much longer if I could.
Im glad you guys are having fun!Taian Buggs
JaVaughnThis trip isn't for the average person. There are so many challenges and obstacles, that a lazy individual would give up day one. We have endured so much the past five days, which could be considered life-changing. Costa Rica is so beautifuly; it exceeded my expectations. It is amazing. The delicious food, the kind locals, and the bonding between all of us during our service work has made this trip special. Costa Rica will open the heart of anyone. I am honored to be on this trip.
I am glad that you are enjoying yourself and that you had the opportunity to enjoy such a lifetime experience...
Thank you so much for blogging, I have been patiently waiting to hear how things are going! I hope everyone is feeling better! It's so nice to hear about Costa Rica and there amazing people, it makes me wanna visit!
I miss you guys. Im glad that all of you guys is having fun and enjoying different environments. See you soon
Glad you all are having fun, It would have been nice to go to another country but I didn't want to risk getting sick from something and I heard their were Hornets, NO THANK YOU! anyway hope to see you guys come back :)
La Carpio Service Work Day 1Today we arrived in La Carpio to begin our 2-day long service project. La Carpio is the poorest part of town in Costa Rica. We are helping pave roads by houses that are next to the river, as homes by the river are often less fortunate than ones off the main drag that is the only way in and out of La Carpio. For day 1 of the project we transferred all materials, including bags of cement, sand and rocks. What’s in store for tomorrow:We will mix materials to create a concrete and pave the roads. We are paving roads in La Carpio because since the people from there are mostly Nicaraguan squatters on top of a landfill, they cannot receive a title for their home unless there is a paved road. My experience today was tough but it definitely felt good to see all the smiling faces watch and help us work for the community.
Service Work in La CarpioToday we did service work La Carpio and it was probably one of the best days I’ve had in Costa Rica so far. I enjoyed helping the people of the town and seeing them happy. In La Carpio we will moving cement, sand and rocks down to a church so that tomorrow we can make a walk way for it. I loved how all twenty of us worked as a team, moving all the materials down the stairs and getting the job done. It felt really nice. What I really won’t get over from what I saw today was a little boy named Francisco. He really helped me realize that there’s still good even in rough situations. The little boy was running up and down the stairs that we were working on with bags of rocks and sand. He made us seem really lazy but Francisco was really happy to help. Not only that, but everyone in La Carpio were really nice to the animals around, that made me happy. I wish I could’ve pet some or given them food but some of the animals were really sick and dirty. I can’t wait to go back to La Carpio tomorrow to finish our work!
I hope the animals are doing good, I miss you.
My First Experience of La Carpio by Shania AdairFor my first day in La Carpio I didn’t realize how hard the work actually was going to be. Our task today was to work as a team to carry sacs of sand and rock down a lot of steps. At first it was hard and frustrating because I was stationed on the steep part of the steps, the heat was intense and it felt like the bags were never ending. Even though it was times I really wanted to give up I kept thinking o each bag coming down as a step closer to getting everything at the bottom. Something about La Carpio that really changed my perspective was how most of us were carrying one bag slowly down the steps and there was kids younger and way smaller running down the steps carrying two or more bags. At that moment I realized how hard working they were at a very young age compared to how I was at that age. After all the hard work was done it was so satisfying to be able to help the people of La Carpio.
My experience in La Carpio:La Carpio is nothing as I expected it to be. La Carpio is one if not the poorest city in Costa Rica. I was nervous going because we were not allowed to drink the water or pet the animals and kept being told to use our street smarts. When we arrived I was very suprised because I have never seen a place so unsanitary. I definitely take the cleanliness of Pittsburgh for granted. We walked down a small ally way with pretty steep steps and children to the left and right of me were playing with or in garbage. The goal of our service work is to help with the drainage in the city. We needed to carry bags of rocks, sand and cement down the many steep steps. It was a lot of work but luckly we had the locals especially a young boy named Dan who was running up and down these steps as if they were not even there. I'm excited to finish day 2 of the work in La Carpio!
Service workBy: Tavizjhae JohnsonToday was the first day of service work in La Carpio. I expected it to be a lot harder but I actually had a lot of fun. We got there and you could tell that it was different than San Jose. There were a lot more stray animals, more trash in the streets, and was poorer. I felt really bad for the conditions that people have to live in there and I am happy to make a small difference. We had to carry bags of sand and rocks down a bunch of steps. There were children helping us out and they were actually really strong. Even though there was a language barrier between us and the people that lived there, it did not stop us from working together. I am excited to return tomorrow for more work and will be sad to leave. I hope that City High will continue to make a difference in La Carpio.
Keep the blogs coming! I love hearing all about the experiences! I wish I could be there to see it! I miss you Lance Toland!!!!
My experience in La Carpio While driving to La Carpio, I was expecting it to be hot and miserable. It was hot, but it definitely wasn't miserable. Seeing the La Carpio community being very grateful to have us there, interacting with us and even helping us changed my view on everything. I feel that since doing work in La Carpio, everyone has became a little closer and worked amazing as a team. Within our 2 days in La Carpio, we moved materials to make cement and then we eventually paved a sidewalk. The people there were very generous and always had a smile on their faces. After we completed the work, I felt relieved getting all of the hard stuff done, but it also made me more appreciative. Working in La Carpio has made me see the world in a different way, and that's a lesson everyone should take away from this experience.
La Carpio Spending time here in La Carpio has taught me so many things and opened my eyes to so much that I take for granted at home. Working with the people has helped me to better my communication skills because I didn’t always know what was being said. The first day in La Carpio was tough because the way they live is not what I expected. When we first got here we had to transport all the materials to the designated location which was all the way at the bottom of this slope. To get to the bottom you had to walk down this little slope then at least 30 steep steps and then another little loopy hill. We had stations of people so that way we didn’t have to walk all that way carrying heavy bags of sand and rocks. The people there were very nice and welcomed us with open arms and they were very grateful. It was inspirational to watch the young kids help out. “The kids here work hard because they have to and back home the kids don’t have to work as hard and sometimes the kids can take that for granted” (Mrs. Drummond). It’s optional at home because I honestly never thought about what exactly goes into making our lives so easy. The roads we travel on were built for us, the sidewalks we walk on were built for us, the houses we live in were built for us so we didn’t have to work that hard to get it. The people in La Carpio built everything they have by hand. That is how they make a living. We take it for granted back at home because there are people who do all of these things for us so we can do what we choose in life. The part that hit me the hardest was when we walked all around La Carpio. I got to see the way they actually live and even though it is one of the poorest communities in Costa Rica the people at the top live better than the people at the bottom. After the second day of service work words cannot describe how I felt afterwards. I was just proud that all us pushed through and worked hard for ourselves and the community. It really changed me inside and made me appreciate everything I have back at home. Helping people who are disadvantaged felt really good. I didn’t want this experience to end and I will miss being in Costa Rica. PURA VIDA!
We are excited to see you all come back from Costa Rica, hope to see all back soon :)
Thank you so much for posting everything you did on the trip, it made me feel as if I was there. I am so proud of each and everyone of you & City High for keeping you all safe. Thank you again
La Carpio I have been reminded of a lot of things during our two days of being at La Carpio. The first is to be thankful for every little thing you have. Be thankful for your sidewalks, the clean water you drink, the clothes you own, and even your sewage systems. A lot of people take these things for granted and it was a real eye opener to see how lucky we really are back home. The second thing I was reminded of is that you don’t need a bunch of name brand clothes or the latest iPhone to be happy, this whole trip has actually reminded me of that. Kids down here were always playing and running around and just enjoying their day without all those materialistic things. I am so thankful that I was able to go on this trip and be able to have this life changing experience.