Location: Boruca and Terraba Reserves

Our day started pretty normally with all of us waking up at around 7:00 (unless you went back to sleep and then woke up at 7:30). Breakfast was delicious with coffee, juice, toast, scrambled eggs, rice, beans, and probably more I just can’t remember. We boarded the bus which we have seriously grown to admire and cherish in our hearts, and just talked or napped. I don’t even know what happened but there was a little commotion, and when I looked up, we were in standstill traffic. There was a protest taking place against the harsh conditions and lifestyles of those working for palm oil companies. At first, we assumed this would only last for 2-3 hours, so we walked through the protest to a gas station for a bathroom break. It was actually kind of exhilarating walking through because all of the protesters believed in what they were standing up for. There was one main demonstrator with a megaphone who was fueling their unrest (peaceful unrest though) as well as kids and families under tarps playing music. But as the protest went on unwaveringly, we realized it was going to be a long stop. We all agreed to wait it out at Restaurant Ticolombia where we ate a filling lunch. I (Bella) shared a green salad and buttery pasta with Jordan while Amber had a salad as well. We had our question of the lunch being, What was your rose-good thing, thorn-bad thing, and bud-your growth throughout the trip so far. This ensued many varying but interesting responses which was nice to hear. One event that took place that seriously stood out was a man right outside the restaurant that had a seizure. We were at the restaurant chilling when all of a sudden, Anna came running over with an urgent look on her face. JB, being a WFR, rushed outside to help whereas we watched from the restaurant entrance. There was a small crowd rapidly drawing more people in to see what was happening and if they could help. Felicia, an EMT, also looked over the scene watchfully. I felt my throat closing up in panic as I watched the man slowly stop convulsing, but you could see his breathing was fairly normal and the people helping him were not panicked at all. He had just had some kind of attack and was still in a lot of pain, so the ambulance took him to a hospital. After that, we just hung out at the table some more and tried to cure our boredom with snacks, conversation, and building towers out of random objects.

Amber speaking now – After a solid 6 hours of waiting out the strike at the restaurant, we finally decided to head back to the bus before it got dark. Our timing proved to be nearly perfect, as the strike on the bridge dissolved almost immediately after we had settled back on the bus. The long-awaited movement of cars and buses on the bridge was exciting for everyone, and our bus driver Hugo proved to be the world’s best driver, swerving safely and tactically in and out of the energetic traffic. Before we knew it, we were back on our way towards our hotel for the night. After a while, many of us dozed off (this bus is seriously the best place to nap). We arrived at our new hotel “El Descanso” around 7 o’clock at night, and sleepily made our way towards the dinner of rice, beans, pork, and lychee! Lychee is probably one of the most fun fruits to eat. Many of us girls were taken aback by the number of large insects we’d never come across before swarming the dinner table. We found comfort in the fact that all the girls would get to share a cabin, much to the boys’ dismay (us ladies have a reputation for staying up all night talking not-so-quietly; sorry Josh and Max!). Worn out by our somewhat uneventful yet eventful day, we quickly headed to our cabins to get ready for the next day’s adventures.