Costa Rica 2017

Welcome to the 2017 Costa Rica trip page

13.10.17 @8.20  We are off to Costa Rica.

Arriving at the Sofitel

 

We’ve survived Friday 13th! We started the trip at Jersey Airport, bright and early at 7:40am. It was only a short flight to Gatwick, but everyone seemed to fall asleep on the plane. We came straight from Gatwick via the shuttle bus to the Sofitel which is amazing and dropped off our stuff. Then it was straight on to the train and (a busy, busy) tube. A lot of us hadn’t been on the tube before so it was an exciting new experience for most of us. We had a trip to the Natural History Museum in London where we saw dinosaurs and learnt lots more about biology and other animals (we had a whale of a time!) We were then surprised by the teachers with a trip to Pizza Express where Mrs Campbell and a few of the students explored their musical talents on the piano in the restaurant! With full stomachs we walked briskly to Victoria Station and got the tube and train back to the hotel. We’re now getting ready for a 5:30am start tomorrow morning for the 12 hour flight to Costa Rica!

Bethia, Charlotte M, Beth and Lucy

14/10/17 @2048 UK time  The flight to Costa Rica landed a short while ago… Click here for flight data.

Day 2  14/10/17

Today was an eventful day! Early start at 5:00am this morning for a meet up in reception at 5:45am. We checked in our hold luggage then Mr Moss got us some fabulous croissants/pain au chocolat from M&S. We went through passport control where a couple of us (me, Candice, James, Mrs Campbell) got security checked which was a bit scary. When we got through customs we had an hour to kill at duty free. I have never been on a long haul flight, so when I got on the plane I was shocked at how big it was, and I completely underestimated how long 10 hours was. To pass the time there was lots of sleeping (aka trying to sleep), card playing, watching movies and listening to music. The food was nice, but I regret not bringing more snacks. Once we landed, we spent over an hour queueing at passport control, and then we collected our bags and walked to the coach. We were then taken to a coffee tour where we learnt about how coffee is grown and produced. While this was really interesting and some of us even did some master coffee tasting, which was handy because we needed the extra energy to get us through the rest of the day; we were all so tired that we were delirious. At the coffee tour there was a butterfly enclosure which had butterflies the size of a small horse!!!!!! They were cool, but also quite creepy. Our dinner consisted of traditional Costa Rican food (meat, rice, beans, and potatoes). We then went to a garden centre similar to B&Q to pick up plants and pots for one of the orphanages, and taking all the plants on the coach got us a few odd looks here and there. Once we (at long last) got to the hotel at 8:15pm (EST time) (aka 3am in the UK), and now it’s time for bed!!

Bobo and Candice.

Waiting to depart Gatwick…
About to board the plane.. Here we go…
Waiting to pass through Passport control..
On the coffee tour…
Masters of coffee..
Shopping for the orphanage..
We have plants!!
At the hotel and final instructions before bed!!

Day 3  15/10/2017

Sitting down with a bowl of pineapple at 6am for breakfast was not how we thought we would be spending our first full day in Costa Rica, after a long haul flight. We headed off to SOS orphanage at 8am. A bright coloured mural jumped out at us as soon as we entered the compound. Eyes of children peered down at us as we were sorting ourselves out into two groups; one group to help paint wooden doors and one group to help clean up the garden.  After spending one and a half hours completing jobs, we enjoyed fresh banana, pineapple and watermelon. Bringing with us gifts of chalk and bubbles, we headed up to different houses within the compound to visit and meet the children, and played football and hopscotch with them. Although we didn’t get to spend much time with them, we did have a laugh when the children asked if we were cowboys, due to our wide-brimmed hats. It was surprising to see that they had dogs with them in the orphanage – this is something that we think should be a part of all orphanages as an animal companion can bring a lot of joy to these children who don’t have that much. After parting ways with the children, we took a diversion to a shopping mall where we enjoyed a healthy and succulent alternative to the traditional beans and rice; McDonalds and Subway. Afterwards, we headed to the heart of San Jose. Andreas (our guide) showed us different monuments in the city, including the first Costa Rican theatre and the first railway line. We were delighted to enjoy another healthy snack of ice cream and milkshakes. Friendly faces appeared from stalls when we arrived at the market, trying to convince us to buy all kinds of paraphernalia. Back at the hotel, some of us relaxed in the Jacuzzi and swimming pool, before heading to dinner. After some CAS reflection with Mrs Campbell, we look forward to what we can bring to the San Jose orphanage tomorrow. Until tomorrow, pura vida!

Ellie and Candice

Starting the clearing work..
Cleared for growing vegetables
Painting the doors
Outside the theatre
A little shopping…
Best Wishes to all those supporting Chique Week from us all in Costa Rica

Day 4 16/10/2017

Hola a todos, a very productive day here in Costa Rica, up at 5am, still on Jersey time I guess. First up was the San Jose Orphanage, we were feeling quite apprehensive to meet the children, as we had been told it would be upsetting to leave them later. We were asked to help clean out and restore a house that hadn’t been used for 4 years and was now required. We removed and cleaned all the furniture that wasn’t needed as well as moving the furniture to another house. After some back-breaking sweeping, wiping down windows and running in terror from ‘tarantulas’ we got a bit wet using the hose to finish the job. We then had a lovely snack of bananas, watermelon and papayas… the papayas were left untouched – perhaps not the group’s favourite fruit! We eventually got to spend some much anticipated time with the children later, painting and decorating plant pots. This was a lot of fun and even with the language barrier we all understood each other. This activity left most of our hands and faces in glue and glitter. Our time there ended with some surprise ice creams for the kids, which they loved and we left on a high note after our time with the children.

Finally, we travelled to an ACTIVE volcano, the tallest volcano in Central America, according to Andres, our tour guide. Whilst there, we were persuaded into taking pictures that looked like we were on the moon, for Chique Week’s – Space Day. This was funny. The large craters were very fascinating and very unexpected. Can’t wait to see what tomorrow holds. Hasta pronto!!

Candela and Shelly

So, we have arrived in Punterenas after a long but fantastic day, ready to start the second phase of our trip.  The students were amazing today.  I am so proud of the way they all pulled together this morning at the orphanage.  They  worked really hard in the heat to get the job done, without complaint..(that’s it, in print…teenagers hands don’t dissolve when they come into contact with a dish cloth!!). It was heart melting to see every single one of our students on their knees playing with the youngsters; the noise and excitement levels from both was overwhelming..  After a visit to the volcano we were delighted to hear them sing their way through a 3 1/2 hour bus journey to Punterenas.  🙂

Mrs Campbell

 

Starting the clean..
Removing the furniture…
The big clean…
Polished down..
Washed down..
The hard working volunteers…
On top of the volcano the ground is Hot!!
Chique week Space Day in Costa Rica…

 

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