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On our way to the airport… pura vida Costa Rica! 🇨🇷

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Day 9: white water rafting

Today we traveled to where we would go white water rafting, our final adventure!

We passed the amazing Rio Sucia.

Rio Sucia drive by

Rio Sucia gets its color from the iron, sulfur, and other minerals. It comes from a volcano. The other river is rain water from the mountain and they meet right before the bridge we crossed.

We also stopped at a fruit stand and got to try new and exciting fruit such as guanabana, bejibaye (peach of palm), star fruit, sour guava and many coconut treats. Click the link below to see how not sour we found the sour guava:

We try sour guava

Our final destination: white water rafting

Pre rafting high five

Day 8: Sarchì (a haven for artisans) and folklore evening

Today we went to the famous ox cart factory in Sarchì. Ana Castro was our guide.

They support local artists and buy their work because they have 500-800 visitors a day. The decoration is a traditional Costa Rican design which artists train 5 years to learn how to paint.

She told us that for 96 years they have been making ox carts. 60 years ago they created a wheel with 16 pieces and a metal hub which was from Philadelphia. The iron ring is hot but they douse it with water and then the ring shrinks. The wheels last 15-20 years.

They use hydrology energy to make the wheel.

Hydraulic machine in oxcart factory

The biggest ox cart in the world ⤵️

In the evening, we dressed up and went to dinner and enjoyed a traditional Costa Rican dance program. Click on links for videos!

Mrs. Rodriguez, Mr. Dolan and I would like to thank our “repeat offenders” who were on last year’s trip (and some on the one to Spain and Portugal, as well!) for their super thoughtful gifts! They got us each a hat, a thoughtful souvenir (Mrs. R got a beautiful sequin hummingbird, Mr. D got a wooden pit viper to remind him of the one that almost fell on him 😳, and I got a little wooden cat ♥️ because I miss my babies so much and have annoyed everyone with pictures of them 😂); but most importantly, they picked out beautiful post cards that matched our passions on this trip and wrote such touching messages! We are speechless and so grateful. We hope you know that we love traveling with you guys and treasure the memories we are making just as much as you do. We really are so lucky to get to know such incredible kids and watch them learn and grow and experience new things. Muchas gracias!

Links to videos are below!

Costa Rican dancing

Costa Rican dance 2

Costa Rican dancing 3

Costa Rican dancing 4

Costa Rican dancing 5

Mrs. Rodriguez dances with Maky!

HHS does the Cupid shuffle

More Cupid shuffle

Day 7: Carara National Park and Mantas Beach

Today we slept in a little and visited Carara National Park. On the trail were little cravings of different animals and birds so that blind visitors could also enjoy the natural beauty of Costa Rica.

Jessica is holding the sweet fruit of the Guasimo (Gua means trees;) the seeds are a favorite of animals and birds.

Cuevos de caballo tree

the philodendron, Swiss cheese plant, has holes in it to repel creatures that want to eat its leaves because they think the plant was already someone else’s lunch!

After the walk, we went for lunch and on our way out, we spotted a macaw we looked at it through Gustavo’s scope.

Mantas Beach

Capuchin monkeys misbehaving!

Capuchin beach monkeys

Capuchin monkey steals banana

Mischievous monkey peels stolen banana

Then we took a picture at the Jaco overlook

Day 6: crocodile tour and air tram and butterfly garden

Video links are in blue/green

On our trip, we saw howler monkeys! There was a cute little baby! The pics don’t do it justice.

Howler monkeys

We also saw a cashew fruit and learned that Costa Ricans eat the fruit, and the cashews are toxic unless they are roasted.

Below is a guanoabana fruit, or soursop

Our first view or the pacific!

we went on a crocodile tour and saw 30 out of the 61 birds in the pamphlet they gave us. Thank goodness for Gustavo; he knew EVERYTHING about the birds we saw.

And we saw this guy! 😳😳 the river king

Croc!

Then we went to lunch and went on an air tram and nature walk which included seeing frogs, snakes, and a butterfly garden.

Plant cutter ant crossing boomerang

Butterfly boomerang

In the evening after dinner, we enjoyed marshmallows and a dip in our pool

Day 5: zip lining, farm tour, planting trees, dance lessons, and frogs

Video links are in blue/green

Today was jam-packed! We started our morning with zip lining! Gustavo took video clips of everyone and the kids will receive them . Mrs. Rodriguez also bought a cd with crystal clear pictures, so we will develop that when we get back.

After that adventure, we went on a farm tour where we milked cows, fed calfs, pet horses, went through a greenhouse, and saw some oxen with a traditional Costa Rican cart.

After that, we made our own tortillas which got cooked over a wood-fired stove and filled with cheese which was made with milk from the very same cow we milked!

In the afternoon, Shayne, Jessica, Jadyn, Leah and Coco (the cat) joined me for yoga.

We went into Monteverde down town for a quick scavenger hunt and ice cream and then went to go plant a tree in the biological corridor.

The purpose of the Biological corridor to connect Monteverde to mangrove park. There was massive deforestation in the 1950s in which 70% of the trees were cut down. The reforestation program helps mammals to be able to be safe and migrate appropriately.

Kenyon, Shayne, Abbey, Aleah, Carlie, and Jonàs with their tree, Pèpe.

Aliyah, Audra, Emily, Briana, Kyndal with their tree, Cow.

Akira, Kameron, Leah, Jadyn, Kaylin with their tree, Ganepito suavemente Quinto.

Maky, Sam, Franco, Travis, and Jessica with their tree, Peppa

After that, we had an hour-long dance lesson which we paid for using our activity fund. We learned merengue, salsa, bachata, and Cumbria.

Macarena

Dancing

Dancing 2

Dancing 3

Our final activity for the day, which we used our activity fund for, was to visit a frog sanctuary where we got to see some of ten frogs we saw on our first night walk, but many more as well!

Frog yawn

We finished the night with games: one Mr. Dolan taught to us and another, Mafia, which some of us have never played before. Below is a picture of the 6 winners of the bag tmr, and under that, Jessica instructs players in Mafia.

Day 4: Monteverde cloud forest and night walk.

Video links are in blue/green

Today we made it to Monteverde.

On our way, we stopped to see a porcupine, some guinea hens, and we also saw a Palm Sunday procession.

At our lodge, we were greeted by capuchin monkeys! We even saw a mama and her baby!

Capuchin mama and baby!

we watched the sunset before we went for our night walk.

We used our activity fund to go on our first night walk as well as this one! We got to see a sloth with her baby and another sloth eating! (Video to follow 🤦🏽‍♀️) we also saw scorpions, a huge tarantula, snakes, a mot mot bird sleeping, and a hummingbird sleeping!

Baby sloth!

Sloth eating!

Technical issues!

It wouldn’t be fun if I didn’t have tech issues! WordPress has a 3gb media limit and I am at 94%. I’m going to upload all videos to YouTube and then just link them. This process will take a while considering we don’t have the best service and I uploaded a zillion videos from Day 3. Thank you for your patience!! 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽

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