Wednesday, June 27, 2012

bucket list: check

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to help with the Turtle Conservation Project on the Pacific Coast.  Although I initially arrived in the town of Jaco, the base house was located on a remote beach.  I arrived late in the evening so I could not immediately take in my surroundings, but, the next morning, I awoke to see the beach near steps from the house.

That day, we embarked on a full day of ziplining followed by surfing.  I was particularly excited about this day because, a long time ago, I had made a bucket list of things that I wish to accomplish in my life,  and learning to surf and ziplining were both on it.  I had an absolutely amazing day.  The zipline course had twelve zips, and I was even brave enough to ride one upside down like Spiderman.  After a lunch of salad, hummus, and warm pita bread, we headed to surf lessons on Jaco Beach.  After a brief introduction to the mechanics, we were thrown into the ocean.  On my first wave, I was surprised when I was able to stand up and ride all the way to shore.  
After catching five waves, I retired to the shore to enjoy the sun.  
Day 2 at Turtles was another early start for an all-day rafting trip on the River Savegre.  Accompanied by out wonderful guide named Edmundo, I traversed through class 3 rapids with a group of six teenage girls.  I was so impressed with their teamwork, and I was proud that they conquered their fears and enjoyed the ride.  
After a long day, I returned to the Turtle base house to collect my things, and I left for the bus ride home to San Jose and for work on Monday morning.  It still amazes me that I was able to accomplish so much in just one weekend, and I was especially glad that I was able to help with the Turtle Conservation Project as well.  I would definitely welcome the opportunity to return to this special place again.  After all, of all the things that I did this weekend, I still did not see a sea turtle.  

Monday, June 18, 2012

pura vida for life

When I left London a little over a month ago, I had no idea that I would soon be embarking on a new adventure to Costa Rica for the summer.  Even though I have only been here for a short time, I have already come to appreciate and love this fascinating and beautiful country.  Each day, I find myself meeting new challenges like living and working in San Jose and confronting the Spanish language barrier.  However, I have also found myself exposed to new opportunities and many new friends.  Here are some highlights from my experience thus far - 

Staying at a base house in the Costa Rican rainforest,
The Rustic Pathways Volcanoes & Rainforest Service Base near La Fortuna

Dipping my feet into the lagoon at the center of a sleeping volcano,
The crater at the top of Cerro Chato - I swear there were dinosaurs in there!

Watching the sun set on the warm waters of the Pacific Coast, 
Playa Carrillo in Guanacaste

Eating delicious Caribbean-inspired vegan and organic food in Puerto Viejo, 
Veronica's Place

Making lifelong friends. 
Yendry, Stacey, and I in Puerto Viejo

I now know the meaning of pura vida.