(The final blog post about Molly’s adventure to Costa Rica, written by Molly herself!)
My last day in Parismina consisted of a lot of fun! The day started with breakfast together (which normally was lots of fruit, eggs and toast. Yum!), picking the new leaders of the day and each personally getting ourselves ready for the day ahead.
Today we had the amazing opportunity to help serve in the area of reforestation..
Which I personally loved!
I think I enjoyed it more then any other service project we did. I loved how hands-on the reforestation project was and that together we were able to make such a positive impact (planting around 100 coconut trees!) It was powerful to plant so many baby trees and know that we personally were giving those tree a chance of becoming something so much stronger. I loved that I was part of something bigger then myself. I really don’t have words to describe how much I loved this project and truly how happy this project made me!
In the afternoon we had a dance class together, which was a fun treat! I enjoy dancing so the idea of dancing to music and learning from a local woman from town was very cool! We learned different steps and followed along with the teacher to several songs. Then at the end we did the “cha-cha slide” together and that was a blast!
That night was our last night patrol. The youth all split into two groups of 10. Then the group that I was in headed one way up the beach while the other group headed in the other direction. My group had to walk on a steeper part of the sand, so we were debating whether to head into the woods and bypass that section of the beach, but our guide checked it out and said it was all good to travel that way. While walking that route we heard rustling in the grass. The guide right away knew it to be a sea turtle! We had the amazing opportunity to watch as a Hawksbill Sea Turtle (very rare and endangered) dig a hole to lay many little white eggs and then proceeded to bury all of them and then head back into the ocean. It was amazing! What a joy and blessing it was to be able to see such a rare sight of nature and wildlife at its finest. I mean how many people can say that got to see a sea turtle lay eggs on a beach in Costa Rica? It was quite a treasure. The other group from GLA joined us a bit later and also got to see the turtle bury its eggs and leave for the ocean. After that the guides collected the eggs and we moved them to a safer location down the beach. What a cool and memorable experience!
A few other awesome experiences I enjoyed while in Costa Rica include:
Surfing! I personally caught a few waves on my own. It was a really cool adventure having never surfed before. It required stepping out of my comfort zone, but I loved it!
I also ate termites.
Okay, so to explain that, I personally don’t go out of my way to eat bugs or try anything this far outside of my comfort zone but at that moment I chose to seek discomfort and be brave! So I ate a few very tiny termites! I was so proud of that brave moment!
I slept under a mosquito net each night which I thought was a very cool cultural experience!
I went to an art fair where lots of jewelry and homemade souvenirs were sold by people in town.
We played soccer and volley ball with the local children.
There was just so many neat things I got to experience and I feel like I grew so much from this experience. It was so out of my comfort zone, but those are the times we grow in character the most.
The next day was sadly our last day. It was filled with a lot of traveling. We had a 6 hour drive back to our hotel. in the city We all piled into a bus and enjoyed the beautiful sights outside, chatted among ourselves and sang along to Disney songs. Once at the hotel we relaxed, ate our last meal in Costa Rica and played an appreciation game. It involved giving shout-outs of characteristics and tapping each other on the shoulder. This was an interesting experience because we sometimes don’t see some of our best traits until pointed out by someone else. I really enjoyed this game because I got to share my gratitude and love for others, plus my love language is words of affirmation, so this was right up my alley. We finished up the night with hugs and good-byes.
The following morning everyone left for the airport at different times. I left very early in the morning and the rest of my day was spent traveling on the airplane.
Costa Rica to Houston, Texas and then home. I arrived back in Pittsburgh at 10:30 pm (I had a LONG 7 hour layover in Texas) and what a joy it was to have my family waiting inside the airport to welcome me home with a sign and hugs.
Although it was sad to leave Costa Rica and say good-bye to a beautiful country, what a blessing and joy the whole experience was!
Thanks GLA for an amazing experience!
Love you Costa Rica…
I’m going to miss you!