Did you know that our instructors keep the parents up-to-date on what's been happening each week on program? These weekly emails are undoubtedly something to look forward for the home front. To give you a better idea on what these look like, here's the final update from the incredible instructors Jack and Tari on the Central America Program.
Our last week on the Central America semester with this crazy, fun, smart, thoughtful, and hilarious group of students was definitely a bittersweet one! The week started with a visit to the less developed Caribbean side of Costa Rica to Tortuguero beach, one of the biggest green sea turtle nesting sites in the world! While we were there during watching season, you have to be pretty lucky to be there at the right time - and a few of our students did! Nolan and Spencer came across a lone baby turtle finding his way to the ocean. Mia and Tari who stayed back to do an extra thorough job during our beach clean-up service activity, were lucky enough to see a whole nest of like 50 turtles hatch and crawl their way to the open water, literally off into the sunset (teaching us all that cleaning beaches pays off!)
Those that didn’t see turtles still saw plenty of wild animals on our Tortuguero National Park boat trip through the backwaters of the area. Three different species of monkeys made appearances, including some capuchin monkeys that were close enough to high five Bijntje and Eliana. Lauren and Ave encouraged the group to partake in a night time beach hang out, as it began to dawn on us that the trip would soon be ending.
Thankfully, we still had one last adventure ahead of us, which was our multi-day rafting trip with our local partner / driver / guide / expert rafter Verny (aka BerndogBerndog) in the Pacuare River. The rapids were wild and the canyon was wildly beautiful. Peter and Jonathan led the way jumping off a waterfall and then sitting under an even bigger waterfall at our two rest stops. Megan fell out but was quickly rescued by our awesome team of guides. Eloise faced her fear by jumping off a little cliff into the water, where we got to float through one of the most beautiful parts with just our lifejackets.
When we weren’t rafting, we stayed in a riverside lodge only accessible by boat with a killer view of the river. After a hike to a indigenous community, a handful of students went down and got to do a bonus life-jacket float / rock skipping contest around sunset time. We had another amazing core session about Global Citizenship and Jonathan read aloud his amazing thriller of a short story he’d been working on in the candlelight. Before heading back to the city, the students shared their end of program presentations at a gorgeous lodge in the mountains. The presentations included some rapping, dancing, and artistic interpretations, but more than anything they included the most thoughtful and appreciative reflections on our trip that any instructor could ever hope for.
We are so so fortunate to have be granted the time, attention, laughter, inclusiveness, humor, friendship, and inspiration from this particular students in these particular places. We miss them, but know that so many other future classmates, friends, and community members are out there waiting to benefit from knowing them. Thanks SO SO much to their parents for your encouragement, support, and for raising such amazing young adults.
Since it feels weird to end this update any other way, instead of saying bye, we’ll stick with an “hasta lluego”!!!
Jack and Tari