Costa Rica Trip 2015


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Costa Rica 2015 Updates: 

29.10.15@1800  All back safely in Jersey.

29.10.15@1245 Through security at Gatwick North for our BA2774 flight home to Jersey.  1600 take off.  Almost home!

29.10.15@1000 Landed at Heathrow. Getting bus to Gatwick.

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28.10.15@1845 At the gate for our Houston – London flight.

28.10.15@17.10  just arrived Houston Airport.

28.10.15@1100 Checked in at San Jose airport.  All through security and in the departure lounge waiting for our United UA1490 flight to Houston, Texas.  Yesterday San Jose received a months rain in a few hours during the afternoon. Many places were flooded but our driver Rodrigo yet again stepped up and took us  away from the traffic chaos and through the back streets, got us to our hotel.  We said good bye to Manuel and Rodrigo this morning.  They really added value to our experience.

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27.10..15@1900 Our second day at the orphanage and another incredible experience.  We played with the young children and they helped us with the painting that we left as a reminder of our visit and to cheer up a sleepy corner of the site…We got stuck into many activities such as football, catch, painting, eating ice cream, holding hands and laughter.

Memories of today…

My highlight of the day was dishing out the ice cream to all of the children in the orphanage, to see something that is so mundane to us mean so much to those children will be something that will stay with me forever. When we were leaving, we could truly see the impact we had made on the children; the small amount of sunshine we bought with our smiles and bright orange shirts really reflected in the way that the children resonded to us. I got extremely emotional as we were leaving but I am so relieved that the children have such a happy and supportive environment to live in. – Robyn Bracken

The second day at the orphanage was an amazing personal experience for me and I’m sure for many others too. The unexpected bonds that I created with many of the children provoked emotions that I will never forget, and so many of the children warmed to our group instantly and never left our sides. When groups of us walked to each house and handed out cups of ice cream the response was far beyond the happiness that people think ice cream would normally give a child, and the smiles on their faces was a pricless sight. I am personally quite a detached person sometimes and I was therefore very surprised when, whilst saying our goodbye’s and leaving the orphanage, I was overcome with emotions and tears. The experience that I and many others today lived brought with it many lessons and many emotions that I’m sure we will take home with us. – Imogen Taylor

I found the second day at the orphanage to be better than the first day because the orphans already knew us and our orange shirts so they fealt more confident around us. However the higlight must have been handing out the ice-cream as they were unbelivably happy about getting  some ice cream, something that we would take for granted. This made me realise how little these kids had. When we were leaving I was supprised at how I fealt as I only met them the day before. – Frazier Sullivan

My experience at the orpanage was different from the work I do with Rozel Rovers Minis. I met a mix of personalities and ages, but one theing never change in all of those orphans and that was they never ever stopped smiling. Even in the situation they were in they seemed to be always happy, and with in my own coaching philosophy it states that if player is smiling and laughing they are always learning and developing better then when they are misrable. It was clear from these kids, that they fit my philosophy and I would happily take as many of them for a football session of my own design. -Jamie Le Fondre

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26.10.15@1900 Today we volunteered at a San Jose orphanage.  We did not know what to expect but we could not have been made more welcome by the young people living there.  The youngest are babies but we played with 3 or 4 year olds up to 12 yeas of age.

Memories of today…

Volunteering  at the orphanage was an incredible experience,  painting a mural which we know will bring them joy was just as fun as communicating with them despite the fact that there  was a language barrier.

Painting with the children was a messy but fun filled experience. The children, ranging from 3 to 7, threw themselves in with so much enthusiasm which we returned gladly, and even though we could not communicate fully we got by with lots of gesturing and chatted away to the young ones who were so happy to be playing with us.

It was hard to talk to the children at first, and there were quite a few that didn’t want to talk. But after about half an hour we were able to talk and laugh together which was an amazing experienceWhen it started to rain we stayed out with the kids and played football and “rugby” with them. We were soaked, but it was worth it for such an awesome day.

i was scared about the language barrier at first but the younger children were just so involved and happy for us to be there that this wasn’t as big of a problem as I thought. We all ending up painting and more of the paint ended up on me than anywhere else which made the day even more interesting and fun.

After a longish journey to the orphanage we rapidly got involved with all the kids. My group had the goal of teaching English to a group of under 7s, the kids were all quite shy at first but the moment we said “¿Quieres pintar?” They were all up and running to paint some pots, the struggle was then trying to teach them some English words whilst they painted, which was actually met with some success. It was a great day and I made a few new little friends who wanted to constantly hang off me. Looking forward to tomorrow. Nat

Not many of us knew what to expect when it came to our visit to the orphanage although we did try planning it beforehand. I got involved in the group that would be helping to teach the children some English phrases, yet the 4 year olds still managed to intimidate me with their level of their own language. Many of them were rather eager to learn things in English ranging from numbers to colours to animals, all whilst we joined together in an extremely messy paint session. Y me ayudaron a mejorar mi español!

25.10.15@1900  We’ve had no internet at our Arenal.  We travelled from Monteverde to Arenal yesterday on main roads which are no more than than bumpy tracks.  The change in landscape as we travelled was remarkable.  Today we visited the Arenal volcano and walked to the foot of it.  The vista back towards the lake was incredible.  After this we drove back to the Capitol, San Jose ready for our work at an orphanage tomorrow.   We saw a sloth on the way.  All students are in good spirits.

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23.10.15@1900  Another unbelievable day in the  Cloud Forest of Monteverde.  The weather was perfect as we began working on clearing and tidying one of the trails through the reserve.  We saw a very, very rare Tarantula spider during day light.  We were clearing a small drainage channel and there it was.  It made the day for many as we had been told we would not see one in day light.  After lunch we treked up to the highest point in the reserve.  The walk through the forest was very special.  When we reached the top, you look east to the Caribbean and west to the Pacific ocean.  Amazing to stand such a point in a country.  The animals, trees and rain forest vegitation we saw today was inspiring and we made special friends with the people who work in the park.  We recieved certificates and t-shirts for our work in the forest.

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22.10.15 @1900 Today we were helping out at Parque EcoPaz, which is a conservation reserve and community facility in Monteverde. We all did some reforestation which involved us all getting split up into 4 groups to dig up saplings that were in the pathway (which would have eventually been removed and potentially destroyed), get some soil for replanting the saplings, and also putting the saplings into little bags of soil so they could be planted later. We ended the day playing football and volleyball with the locals and finally  got some icecream and watched the sunset over the bay.  The planting of the saplings is an important and symbolic action in the local community.  We were not just planting trees for the future generations but also planting relationships to grow in both the local and our own community back home.

Memories of today…

Spending a full day with the incredibly inspiring and enthusiastic locals of Costa Rica was an almost indescribable experience. Watching and getting involved with the well-known ethos of the country was one of the most memorable experiences of the trip and being thanked for our participation was somewhat overwhelming.  Megan.

Today was our first full day in Monteverde, it was aboslutley incredible, the we helped out at Parque EcoPaz clearing trails and transplanting trees. The director of the park Sergio and his son Ricardo were brilliant and their passion for their work was infectious, between them they energised the group, clearing paths and transplanting saplings soon became games that everyone took to fully. It was clear the whole team was loving it especially Mrs Bedward who was grinning the whole way through. After our session of hard graft Sergio and Ricardo organised a game of football with the locals which got rough and dirty but was one of the most memorable and fun things we could’ve done to make a lasting connection with the community at EcoPaz. Volleyball also had some funny moments just ask Bethan. All in all it was a great day. The work that the Monteverde conservation groups do is hugely important for the protection of the rainforest as it includes many social outreach programs that educate the locals on how to live with the rainforest, how to make a living and how to protect the forest whilst doing it. Please take a look at the Parque EcoPaz facebook page and support the amazing work they do for their community and the whole world. Nat.

I enjoyed today so so much! The volley ball was a big highlight because no one was that amazing which helped us bond with the other people and volunteers. The ball went on many adventures by itself in the bush so I had to fetch it. Sergio and Ricardos ethos was insane and their work ethic caught on to everyone so we all became involved and had a really good time. Everybody will take away memories from this day that will last forever and will always make us smile. Bethan 🙂

 

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21.10.15 @1930  We have made it to the Cloud  Forest.  It’s very different to the coast and a lot cooler.  We have met the staff at the National Park we will be volenteering in tomorrow and also had a brief walk only to find Humming Birds at a feeding station. The nectar eating mamal called the Olingo appeared today which was a rare and very exciting encounter because it is nocturnal.

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21.10.15 @0700 After two great days at the school we head North today to the Cloud Forest.  Everyone is in good spirits.  So back to the ferry and then a slow, bumpy drive north.

19.10.15@1600 Today we traveled further west to meet our new friends at Futuro Verde School.  Amazing journey and a fantastic school.  The trip started with the first ferry on a sunny and hot morning.image It was a really eye opening experience to meet people with a completely different culture and way of life! – Alissa

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Then we drove west through lush forest and landscape to the school.  The school is nothing like any school on Jersey.  It’s learning without the need for million £ buildings.  The school focuses on delivering a broad curriculum through its natural surroundings.  Our students were made to feel immediately at home by the staff and the students.  Hautlieu students mixed with Verde students to work on a joint soil project.  This project will continue tomorrow. After lunch we helped start a mural.

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We are now at our hotel.

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19.10.15 @0730 Breakfast by the pool and the marina with rain forest over the far side.  Shame we leave for the ferry before the pool opens.

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19.10.15 @0400.  Great day travelling with our wonderful students yesterday.  It was really busy at Houston Airport with lots of forms and many customs and immigration people to chat with but our students took it all in their stride.  Safely at our first hotel.  Arrived at 8pm and our very tired party ate well and went straight to bed.  We’re up at 8am for the ferry and then on to our first projects at the school.  Bus driver and tour guide are very welcoming and will be with us until we fly back.

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18.10.15@1830.  Landed safely in Costa Rica

18.10.15@14.15 local time.  Safely arrived in Houston, Texas.  Just negotiating customs.

18.10.15@0805  Texas here we come.

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17.10.15@2045  Safely arrived at Premier Inn Heathrow

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17.10.15@1730 Jersey Airport Departure.  All present and correct.

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14-10-15.  Click this link for the booklet Advice and kit list Costa Rica 2015

We meet at Jersey Airport, 4pm Saturday 17th October.