Today we woke up early and left the hostel in Alajuela. We hopped into a van to ride to our destination, Monteverde. Along the way, we stopped and got a very delicious breakfast. The ride up the mountain was unreal. I’ve never seen mountains so high, or land so dense with forestry. The roads were very bumpy and often, we were very close to the edge, which turned out to be really exciting. We arrived at the Mar Inn and Ánthony showed us our rooms. They are very nice and will be a pleasure to spend the next two weeks in! We then walked into town to get lunch. Everyone was very impressed with the delicious fruit smoothies! After lunch, we walked back to the Mar Inn and began orientation with Maggie. We read over the Volunteer Manual to get a better understanding of the Philosophy of Service. We then met Francisco and Karen, who both work at the school. They were very welcoming and made me feel much more comfortable about visiting the school tomorrow. They explained to us some of the work we will be doing, which includes helping teach lessons on conversational English. We will also be working outside to clear paths to the forest around the school, beautify their garden, and possibly make a compost pile. I have a feeling that we will be at no loss for jobs to do at the school. At the end of our orientation, Matt, Justin, and I came up with five of our own individual goals of this volunteer experience. From there, we agreed on five team goals:

1) To appreciate nature through observation and exploration
2) To experience another culture and its people by immersing ourselves in our surroundings
3) To become more familiar with the Spanish language
4) To enhance our outlook on life through our volunteer experience

5) To have a profound memory of this experience

We also discussed the types of qualities and characteristics we need to display in order to achieve these goals:

cooperation               charisma                flexibility
humility                      sociable                 outgoing
energetic                    patience               enthusiastic

optimism                    motivated             open-minded

The night concluded with a walk to the town and a very delicious dinner back at the hotel. Anthony told us about some of the local tours, which I am very excited to go on during my free time. Overall, yesterday was very productive. I now feel comfortable and ready to go to the school and meet the students and faculty. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow has in store for us!

Entry submitted by: Ellie


Puntarenas – the beach where we stopped on our to Monteverde


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