Location: Orosi

After a restful night of becoming one with nature, the girls’ cabin woke up to the comforting sound of screaming monkeys(?). The morning began with our typical breakfast, accompanied by some traditional hot chocolate! Once everyone had eaten, we looked at the crafts made by the residents of the reserve, including dream catchers, bracelets, and other assorted jewelry. We made some purchases, and then moved into our next activity: learning to make our bracelets! Our teachers for the morning spread out lots and lots of beads and cord in various colors. We learned how to knot together the patterns in the bracelets, and string some seeds and beads into the designs. The indigenous women helped us to finish them, using a lighter to melt the wax coating and seal off the knots. When everyone had successfully(?) completed at least one bracelet, we began our chocolate tour! The indigenous Costa Ricans of the mountains are famous for their chocolate, and we had the opportunity to make some of our own with their traditional methods! The tour started with some facts about the cacao tree itself, such as what ripe cacao pods look like, and how much chocolate each one produces (ten pods = one kilogram). We saw the beans get roasted, and then we peeled them and ground them twice (once using a traditional grinding stone, and again using a machine). This created the finished product, which was used to make another chocolate beverage that we enjoyed before our departure. The rest of the day was spent on the bus, save a stop for lunch with a great view of the mountains — the long trip of naps and popping ears ended when we pulled into our next hotel. We were pleasantly surprised as we pulled into the Rio Perlas Resort and Spa! We settled into our rooms and enjoyed a relaxing night of hot springs and a delicious three-course meal. Our last activity of the day was a “movie night” of marathoning our favorite youtube videos, featuring Neature Walk, Prince Ea, and Barbie: Life in the Dream House (#schlondpoofa).