Location: Central Valley

Day 3 of our volunteer adventure journey began at 7:45 with a buffet consisting of fruit, beans, scrambled eggs, toast, and COFFEE!! (side note: the coffee here is amazing). Soon after, we boarded the shuttle and went down to the farm, La Finca where we began weeding certain areas, harvesting celery and cilantro, and cleaning up the foliage, etc. It was hard work, but it was fun to do it with our group members as well as knowing that the work we were doing was going to pay off. After we had finished up, we took a water break which was well needed, and then proceeded to plant little cilantro, oregano, and carrot sprigs. This required a lot of patience which made it a bit hard for me but it was still a lot of fun. The highlight was the two dogs at the farm because they were just so cute and we had a photo shoot with them. We ended up leaving to return to La Carpio for lunch which was a small salad, tortilla and beans, chicken, croissants, and fruit. During that time, I shared my question, “What’s your number one item on your lifelong bucket list or what is one thing you want to do before you die” and I loved all the answers. They varied from travel to adrenaline-based experiences to just simple things, but it was a nice bonding moment to me. After lunch, we sat down to watch the play focusing on a young woman named (I think-Sorry if I’m wrong!) Felicita (update – I was right!) and her life story including her hardships, ups and downs, and how she came to Costa Rica. It was extraordinary when at the end, the real Felicita came forward – she played the father in the play. The women gave us little-beaded angels who were very special and comforting and something I will not forget. It was also pretty sweet how when Felicita was getting married she threw the bouquet at my feet, and everyone was like, “Ooooh Bella, you’re next;” It was just really cute! Next on the days’ agenda was returning to the police station to give them flowers and to just admire our work (and Hans). We eventually left, and as we were walking, it was the cutest moment when these little girls just ran up to us and jumped into our arms with hugs. It was also a bit concerning at first because they just continued to stay with us and we carried them because it felt like we were almost kidnapping them! But we just walked them down to the preschool where Gail had a small language lesson with the kids in our laps. I loved seeing the older kids especially, able to count to ten in English or French, and to say, “How are you” or reply with, “very good, thank you!” There were one or two kids with VERY interesting attitudes, but it was still amusing to see the girls’ sassing one another. We ended up saying goodbye with a hug line and just went back to the hotel. For dinner, we went to a Taco Bar where tacos varied from featuring Philly cheese-steak to breaded chicken, accompanied by different kinds of amazing smoothies. I asked another question of the day during this time, “What is your biggest regret?” and the answers were insane. Some of ours were truthful and serious but others -JOSHUA- made me laugh so hard I had tears coming out of my eyes, and I literally could not breathe. The restaurant additionally had a playset and a trampoline which made those who went on feel like little kids again, and towards the end of the dinner, us girls just sat on the trampoline and talked about random things. It was a really good way to end the day! Looking back at today, I just felt another sense of accomplishment and proud of the work we did. Spending time with the kids was the highlight of our volunteer adventures for me, but the shuttle rides were where the inside jokes were born (SCHLONDPOOFA!!!!!!), and we grew closer just in general. There was a subconscious goal for all of us to try to get Max to open up and especially smile because we just feel as if he has this insane sense of humor or a crazy side to him but at the same time, his “chillness” is appreciated because everyone else is pretty crazy. I thoroughly enjoyed this day, I am beyond thankful to be on this service abroad program, and I cannot wait to see what we will do tomorrow! Stay tuned for more stories on our Costa Rica travel log. 🙂