Hello family and friends of the Calvert School program in Costa Rica,
The group is at the airport in San José and checking in for their flight to Ft. Lauderdale. Their flights are on time so far and everyone is in good spirits! We will update this blog with any schedule changes or delays. Please see below for the current flight itinerary.
Don't hesitate to reach out to the WLS office at 303-679-3412 with any questions or concerns.
Thank you for your continued trust and support,
The WLS Team
This morning after breakfast we left Chilamate and drove for forty five minutes past the mountains on our way to a tram tour. On the tram tour we went through the rainforest and saw many animals, insects, and plants. Our guide pointed out many things such as the leaves that had bat bites in them, that the tallest trees are called broccoli trees, and the many species of fern, vine, and tree. After the tour we had lunch at the cafe by the tram. Later we had a nature walk that was hosted by the same people who ran the tram tour. We saw many beautiful frogs, hummingbirds, and butterflies. We also saw a variety of snakes, which were in cages. Ashton made a rattlesnake mimic him which he learned from Karate Kid. About two hours away, we arrived at the Adventure Inn. Once we settled in we went to the pool. We stayed there for about an hour, and afterwards we took showers and went to dinner. We had our closing session. After enjoying our eventful days of the Costa Rican experience, we are getting ready to head back to Baltimore.
Madison, Ash, Wes
After having breakfast at Pozo Azul we transitioned to staying at Chilamate. There we had a hike through the jungle where we saw bullet ants, spiders, toucans, turtle, a variety of small birds, tasted termites, and saw a bat in the termite nest. We had a delicious lunch. It was rice and chicken, like the one we had made the day before with Mayre, tostones, salad, and lots of fruit. We continued our day with a chocolate tour. We learned the five different steps to make cocoa. Fermenting, drying, shelling, roasting and grinding the beans. We ate lots and lots of chocolate and were also able to see howler monkeys that were in the cocoa forest. After buying lots of chocolate we returned to CREER to have dinner, followed by a presentation by Dr. Paolo Segre. He talked to us about some of the animals that he has been researching the last few months. He has researched animal locomotion in humming birds, whales, dung beetles and bears. Then a night hike! We saw spiders, eels, ”poisonous” leaves that Ashton used thinking that they (before he knew) were nature’s napkins, green eyed tree frogs and many katydids. We had quite an eventful evening!
Today was a busy day. We had a late start, and after breakfast shared our leadership stories with each other. We have written these stories the previous day. We then drove to la casa de Mayre where we learned to cook arroz con pollo (rice with chicken). We also visited their 4,300 chickens all of different ages. After a delicious lunch that we helped cook, we left their house only to begin a special Costa Rican Adventure Race. As three groups we went and visited different houses where we learned how to milk a cow, learn traditional dances, make tortillas, interviewed people (IN SPANISH), and much more. After a bit of down time before dinner, we ended the day with ANCHOR and headed to our tents to pack before bedtime. It was going to be our last night at Pozo Azul.
Julia & Henry
This morning we had a wonderful breakfast of eggs, rice and beans, toast, and fruit at Pozo Azul. This will be our second-to-last day staying here. After we ate breakfast, we left at 10 o’clock to go to an ethno-botanist, Jaime, where we learned about different uses for a variety of native plants. Some of the major things we tried were natural red dye, an extremely sour fruit which tasted better with sugar or salt, leaves that numbed our tongues, and fresh coconut. Before we left we ate homemade banana and coffee ice cream in a plastic bag. (The recipe will be listed below). After our visit, we walked as a group to the Chilamate Eco-Rainforest Retreat. There, we had lunch and got dressed to prepare for the major activity of the day… white water rafting! Two of our friends from the Paraiso school decided to raft with us, Kiesha and Ruth. We took a bus to the starting location on the river where we learned the basics of white water rafting from a guide. We stopped at multiple intervals during the trip. These stops consisted of swimming, jumping off a mini cliff, and even snacking on expertly carved watermelon, oranges and pineapple, or sandías, piñas, y naranjas. During the adventure, we met the white water and were often met in the face by the unforgiving waters. As we departed from the river the water level started to rise because of an oncoming storm, luckily we got out in time before it got dangerous. After we took off all of the gear we got on the bus to head back to Chilamate to get dried off. Soon after, we got on the bus, dropped off our local friends, and got home. We rested for about an hour, and ate a delicious dinner. Then we went up to the classroom and played games, and did ANCHOR. Our reading was The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost.
Here is the recipe of the favorite dish we had today – homemade ice cream J
3 to 4 bananas
1 cup of coffee
½ cup of vanilla
Sugar to taste
Mix, place mixture in small plastic bags, freeze…ENJOY!!!
Beth & Warry
Sorry we could not blog yesterday. We had a long day and needed a full night of rest. Yesterday, we had a late breakfast and then we went back to the school. First we had lunch, which was rice, pork, and chick peas. There we finished our posters and presented to a class. They were about electrical consumption in El Paraiso. The presentations were a great success! Then we had a get together when they thank us for coming and we thanked them. This took place in front of the whole school. An El Paraiso student played the guitar and sang some songs, as did Tolliver. A group of girls from El Paraiso and Calvert sang and performed the cup song from Pitch Perfect. As a parting gift we gave each kid some Calvert merchandise. After we left the school, we had a meeting of “one’s own”. This was a conversation between all of the boys we have met in Costa Rica and all of the girls we have met. The boys of the group went with the boys and the girls of the group went with the girls. The girls played hot potato and telephone to get to know each other. They talked about how the women had met their husbands. The coffee was amazing there and we had a great conversation. Danielle, the farmer gave all the girls pineapples which we cut in the evening. The boys went to Claudio’s house where they share information about jobs, hobbies, professional roles of men and women in the work force, and played the guitar and sang songs. After that, we all returned to Pozo Azul, had dinner and played some games in the “classroom”. That was our day 6 schedule.
Kiara, Henry & Tolliver
Today we woke up earlier than usual to spend part of our day with a local organic farmer named Daniel. Daniel was the first organic farmer in Sarapiqui, Costa Rica. While we were at his farm we made an organic fertilizer, fed pigs, walked through a vanilla agriculture forest, harvested and ate peppercorns. After working we sat down for lunch, which was arroz, frijoles, pollo, picadillo de chayote, pimiento y tomate, tostones, y jugo. We listened to his impactful story about his journey to where he is today and how he went from destroying forests as an employee of an American company working in Costa Rica, to building the first organic farm in Sarapiqui. After enjoying a wonderful lunch, we went zip lining! We drove two miles to the first part of the zip line and another mile for the second part. The first few lines were quite fun, but the last one was the best, it had a beautiful view of a large river. After zip lining we went back to our tents and had down time. Tonight we had had dinner by the river at the Pozo Azul restaurant. After dinner we got together, had some A.N.C.H.O.R time, and played some games. All that is left to do now is go to sleep.
Madison & Wes
Today we went to Liceo Del Paraiso and went the community asking people questions about their electricity use and how they manage it. This was a part of our collaborative partnership in helping them become a Bandera Azul “Blue Flag” School. This is similar to Calvert’s Maryland Green School certification. After the interviews we went to the homestays and had lunch. We had pasta, black beans, and pork. After lunch we hung out with the families, got to see the chickens and left them our homestay presents. When we got back to Pozo Azul, we took a tour of the grounds and were treated to some ice cream. We also went on a narrow suspension bridge over rapids. We came back and had some downtime before we had afternoon activities. During the activities we worked on our leadership styles and played some fun games before dinner. For dinner we had fish, salad, mashed potatoes, and plantains. After dinner we played a few more games, went over today and discussed tomorrow’s schedule.
Benham & Ian
This morning we had a wonderful breakfast of arroz con frijoles, eggs, toast, fruit, ham, and sausages before a quick drive to Liceo el Paraiso, the school we are partnering with during the trip. We got to introduce ourselves to the entire school at a quick assembly, and then got to get to know the seventh graders with some fun games. We next were put into groups and collaborated ideas of questions we could ask families when we interview them tomorrow. Their school is aiming to become a blue flag school, a reward given to schools that concentrate on saving electricity. The questions will be based on how much electricity they use a day and how they are aiming to save it. We then went outside and played fun game before we headed to our home stay lunches. We went in three groups to different homes where we were served delicious home cooked meals! We talked to our families and played games (UNO, learning traditional dances etc.) and then headed back to the camp. When we arrived we played a variety of different team building activities, reflected on our day and started our leadership work. We had a quick break period before dinner, and are looking forward to tomorrow and the rest of our trip!
Julia & Ashton (Leaders of the Day)
Hello friends and family of the Calvert School program in Costa Rica,
The group is out on adventures and hasn't gotten access to reliable wifi yet, but check out the photo below of the group at a waterfall! Everyone is healthy and in good spirits. They will post once they have wifi connection!
Thank you for your continued trust and support,
The WLS Team