Costa Rica–PURA VIDA!

We have come from all regions of the United States—from the East Coast to the West Coast, from the North to the South, all to be greeted by the ever hospitable “PURA VIDA“ mentality of Costa Rica and its friendly Ticos and Ticas. We are anything from students, to coaches and lawyers, technicians, entrepreneurs and retirees and yet all seem to slightly resemble eager kindergarteners; everyone anxious to learn about our assignments, meet our new friends and quickly find where all the nearest bathrooms are!

Our first days here have been, in my opinion, very enjoyable. We seem to have all found our way to Las Orquideas one way or another on Saturday. That evening we enjoyed a casual and relaxing meal together before retiring early to the sounds of our new rainforest wildlife choir including our noisy neighbor Fred and a few motos zipping down the street.

Sunday we woke and feasted on a delicious breakfast complete with fresh fruit, tamales and everyone’s newfound favorite: Salsa Lizano. After breakfast, Nia gave us an informative orientation session to brush-up on our team policies; review the Philosophy of Service and of course to refresh our Spanish skills.

After lunch, we set off for the “X“ on the map—the treasured town of Santa Elena in the Monteverde Cloud Forest…and boy did we ever see clouds…and rain…and more clouds and more rain! Our skilled driver Rolvin safely navigated us through the twisty-turning paved roads, over the extremely bumpy gravel roads and up and down the cloud-laden mountainsides. Once our feet were all firmly planted again on stable ground, we all agreed that he did a great job!

Upon our arrival, some of us hopped back in the van for a shorter ride to a nearby music festival where we enjoyed a glass of wine and an acappella group from where else but the good old USA…ha! Talk about ironic. Either way it was delightful! We then ate quick games of cards and it was off to bed to catch some Zzzs as the next day would be our much anticipated first day at CASEM. Off to wage peace and promote justice! Go team 201!
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