Day one of the Costa Rica service trip consisted of sleep depravation, A Dogs Purpose, Panda Express, humidity, beautiful forest, captivating views of mountains and volcanoes, relaxing hot springs, a mud treatment, demonic bugs, singing, delicious food, a lively old dog and some quality bonding time. Quite a busy travel day, with our final destination being the Guachapelin Lodge, which sits next to a national park in the Guanacaste Province of northwestern Costa Rica.
Our flight was scheduled to leave Newark’s airport at 6:00 a.m. so at the ungodly hour of 3:00 a.m. all ten students and three chaperons meet up to begin our journey together. Fast forward a bit, we all settle on the plan preparing for departure. When I say I was knocked out, what I mean is I slept from the moment I sat down till the moment we landed in Atlanta, Georgia for our connecting flight. Next Panda Express happened, courtesy of GS. Move forward a little bit, pass our seat swapping adventures, we arrive in Costa Rica to a town called Liberia! Tired and still a little emotional from my plane-movie-choice, A Dog’s Place, I prepare myself for a day of adventure.
The car rides were one of the parts of the trip I was nervous about because carsickness is serious and forever a factor for me. Luckily the beautiful scenery was enough to distract me. I am talking luscious green trees and picture worthy mountain scenery. We traveled to a hot springs close to the Rincon de la Vieja volcano and it was magical. The hot spring was located adjacent a fast flowing mountain stream, one hot and the other cold. I was hesitant to get in, but in the end it was worth it. The water was soothing to my tense shoulders and my aching back and the walk there was exciting. For example, there were the suspended bridges taking us to the Aguas Termales of the Rio Negro. All in all our first day activities were amazing.
Now, there are many things I left out about our big first day, such as, Khalil drooling over our first traditional Costa Rican meal, the van breaking out into song, our cool Twin Hawaiian brother friends, the delicious brinks, Brian cracking all types of jokes, Connor’s Spanish skills, and the flash rainstorms. Yes there are many things I could tell whomever about our big first day but its late, its raining hard, and its hard to focus with the gang playing Marco Polo in a downpour, so good night.