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Location: Rio Claro

This morning began with the high pitched beeping of our alarm clock at 6:00 am. It was crucial that I woke up this early to obnoxiously awaken Max and Josh with a loud knocking on their door (revenge for purposefully doing the same thing to us girls the day before). As we all began to stagger out of our room, Savannah read in the rocking chair, Felicia hung in the hammock, and I took some time to journal. Slowly but surely, everyone made their way down to breakfast: rice, beans, fruit, and toast. The toast especially excited Savannah and Jordan because they’ve both been craving peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and was finally able to make some.

After breakfast, we started our hike to a nearby waterfall. All of us grew extremely excited at the sight of the big cascade of water pouring into the cool green pool below. It truly looked like something out of a National Geographic magazine. All of the girls jumped in right away, but it took the boys a little longer to get used to the temperature. We jumped off the rocks over and over again and had this pool all to ourselves for the majority of the morning. After the crowds began to gather, we watched as some daring people climbed all the way to the top of the waterfall. All of a sudden, we realized that JB and Anna (our counselors, who had previously told us to be cautious when climbing too high) had somehow managed to GET TO THE TOP TOO. I immediately found the alternate trail they’d used to get there and followed them up. Once I’d arrived, Anna revealed the waterfall’s secret; it doubled as a natural water slide! She then proceeded to teach everyone how to slide down the smooth surface of the rocks all the way back down to the pool. After I’d slid down, I led the other group members to the top, and they tried it too — the highlight of my day.

After our waterfall adventures, we made our way back to the hotel and dried off. We ate out for lunch, which was an array of various foods and meats that we got to choose from, as well as some insanely good maracuya (passion fruit) juice. Everyone bought a snack at a little kiosk nearby, and after we ate, we filed back onto the bus and headed south towards Rio Claro. It was a silent bus ride considering almost everyone fell asleep, and before we knew it, we had arrived at Fatima’s house.

We learned that Fatima is a woman who immigrated to Costa Rica from Nicaragua many years ago, Since then, she has established a fundamental role in helping the CR Humanitarian Foundation educate and support women and children in La Carpio, and now, Rio Claro. After lunch, we were able to play with some of the local children and learn more about Fatima and her family. Eventually, we said goodbye to the kids, and JB taught us a new way to play rock-paper-scissors. After cleaning up, we got back on the bus and headed to our new hotel to get ready for dinner. Dinner consisted of lots of chicken fingers and Anna and Josh’s usual platters of fish. Also, since it was Max’s birthday today, we all sang Happy Birthday as the cook brought out a surprise birthday cake for him! We spent the rest of the night talking about what we were appreciative of, and slowly but surely, headed to bed.

Shoutout to Isa, Mom and Dad, Tutu, Papa, y todos Nuestros amigos y familiares 🙂 and Zeena