Costa Rica June 23: Our Last Day at Selva Verde

Today was our last day in Selva Verde and it was packed with activities.

My day began early at my home stay when I awoke before anyone in the house. The house was very quiet, but outside the daily activities were well under way. All the animals made their signature noises and rain fell lightly on our tin roof. Once my mother woke up, she began cooking a full breakfast, which consisted of gallo pinto, eggs, and plantains. Before leaving, I gave them the gifts I brought for them and thanked them for letting me stay with them. I know it was hard to communicate with me, but they were so welcoming and caring, so my visit was successful.

Once all of us who had home stays were safely on the bus we took off for the Sarapiqi River for a boat ride down the river.  The Sarapiqui is used as a waterway for people to reach the Caribbean coast.  There were lots of boats at the doc in Puerto Viejo, some commercial, and some for tourists like us.  Our captain, Jose, led us upstream and along the way we saw turtles, many birds, a caiman, and a sloth. The ride was so relaxing and an amazing opportunity to see a bunch of animals and get great pictures of them.

After the boat ride we rode to a Dole-owned banana plantation. Carlos, our guide of our visit of the plantation, told us in detail how the produce their bananas, including planting, harvesting, and packaging. Then we got to see the workers harvesting the bananas and then packaging them. Carlos was a great speaker and he did an amazing job presenting to us, saying that in the banana business everything comes in groups of three.   His energetic personality and booming voice helped in getting us to understand the banana business.

Then, after stopping to have lunch at a pizzeria  (YUM), we all made our way back to the San Isidro school to finish our service. However, before we got to work, we all learned how to make Wire scorpion crafts using colored wire. Some men and boys of the town helped us how to make them, it was really hard. It was a difficult task and many of us struggled throughout the process, but the finals products were all truly pieces of art. The activity was a cool way to have the people that we had been helping give us something we could take back home with us to remember the people, the town, and the school.

After the fun activity we all got back to work and continued our service through planting, sanding desks, and cleaning. When the work was through almost all of us joined in for a soccer game that would last over an hour long. For me, this was the highlight of my day because soccer is the best sport ever. It is such a universal sport anyone can play. It was so great to see everyone join in and play a game that we all understood despite the language barrier. Soccer, or fútbol, is a sport that brings people together.

–Qudsiyyah

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