Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Nine Days in Costa Rica

By Girl Scout Senior Kilani from Moyock

I want to start by saying that for my first time leaving the country, Costa Rica was absolutely an amazing experience and a blessing for me to have gone. I made so many memories and new friends who I can share them with! This is one of the best reasons to join Girl Scouts, in my opinion.

To start off our journey to Costa Rica we had a nice, comfortable flight, but I was so excited to just land. Once we did, I’ll admit that I was terrified that no one would understand me, and I’d get lost. But this was illogical seeing as how we had adults, groups and plenty of girls who spoke some Spanish.  Once everyone had got their passports stamped, we were on our way out the door to the beautiful city of San Jose! We made our way to the hotel and quickly settled for the night. We had a long day ahead the next morning.

One word to describe our second day would be hectic. We ate breakfast and left for a long day of traveling. We gratefully pulled up to the coffee plantation after a long day on the road. The coffee was phenomenal and was like nothing else! Later on, we went to a waterfall, which was terribly cold, and a hot spring. The hot spring was so relaxing.

The next day, we hiked all morning until we came across a volcanic rock trail and went up to see everything. Once we climbed past the clearing, we could see everything. It was so beautiful. We took pictures and then climbed down and made our way back. Back on the bus we went, and we were on our way to go kayaking. We got dropped off and made our way down to the lake. We were instructed on what to do, and it took a lot of work until you got the hang of it. I ended up with calluses by the end of the day, but I don’t mind them because they have a story. We all boarded the bus once more and drove back to the hotel room to change so we could go to the chocolate tour.

On our fourth day, we left for the next hotel. After a quick meal, we headed out to go zip lining. It was scary because there was a lot you had to do, and I was afraid to mess something up. But we had help, and that was extremely appreciated. You never appreciate the world until you’re soaring above the treetops looking over all the valleys, hills and lakes. It was like some other unknown planet. That night, we went on  a night walk through the rainforest. We saw so many creatures, including spiders, snails, snakes, birds and much more.

The next day, we went on a hike in the cloud forest. It was quite calming and miraculous, all at the same time. There was so much biodiversity and everything was covered in green. After the walk, we made our own footprint on the world and planted a tree. After, we were all excited to go horseback riding! I was so thrilled because I haven’t been horseback riding since I was 10, I believe. Once I got on my horse, most people told me I looked experienced which really boosted my confidence. One part of the group ended up splitting up from mine. I happened to be in the very front so I was the leader. I felt so free and my horse was amazing.

It was our sixth day there, and we were all ready to see our families but some parts of us didn’t want to leave. We traveled to a new hotel, dropped off our stuff and left for a crocodile tour. After arriving at the tour, we got on the boat and saw a few crocs and left to go to a treetop tour. We saw a butterfly room and soon after ascended into the treetops looking at all the flora and fauna. We saw many sloths and some birds. After the tour, we went back to the hotel and settled down. The downside to this day was the fact that we were having power issues. We spent some time in the pool, and after swimming, we came back to the room to find a little lizard inside on our window.

On our seventh day, we were finally going to the beach. We ate breakfast, packed up and headed out for the day. It’s nothing like the beach here, let me tell you. The water was so clear and the sand was super soft. Wildlife was everywhere. We saw monkeys and raccoons, and they even tried to take our food. We enjoyed playing in the water and walking on the beach.

After our long day, we went back to the hotel and changed just to turn around and go to visit the scouts of Costa Rica. It was by far one of my favorite experiences. We got to experience the amazing culture of this beautiful place! I got to make a lot of friends from Costa Rica. I still keep in touch with a few of them now. After singing and doing activities, we went to get ice cream and socialize. 

The next day would be our eighth day, we packed up and left for San Jose again. On our way, we stopped for a lesson on ox cart paintings and a little bit of last minute shopping for souvenirs. I was jersey obsessed and bought so many! On our drive back, we stopped at one of the local churches. Everything was so extravagant! After stopping at the hotel for awhile, we went to a folklore show. 

On our ninth day, we went whitewater rafting. .After a full day of fun, we went back to our room and packed everything and went to sleep.

Sadly, we got to our last day, and we went to breakfast and packed up the bus. We said our goodbyes to San Jose and went on our way to Atlanta. This trip was by far was one of the best experiences of my life.

To finish off my blog and my amazing adventure I’d like to thank my friends, including my new ones, for making this such a memorable experience. I’d also like to thank Mel .B, Ms. Eileen and the other adult volunteers for dealing with us crazy girls. All of you made this trip more enjoyable by far! I’d like to thank my parents for getting the money for this trip and letting me go. I most of all would like to thank Girl Scouts in general because without this I would’ve never gone to Costa Rica. Girl Scouting has played a huge role in my life and I can’t wait to continue on. I’m proud to call myself a Girl Scout! Always remember to keep adventuring!