January 26, 2015

Friday was Molly’s last day at the orphanage so we had a huge water balloon fight with all of the kids. Everyone was laughing the whole time and we all got soaked!

It’s so sad to think this was my last weekend here. We went to this national park and the beaches in Manuel Antonio which was so incredible! After lunch we left home base to catch our 4:30 bus in San Jose. It was a very long afternoon on the bus but it was all worth it when we were greeted with 90+ degree weather when we got there. Once we got settled in our hotel room we all got dressed up nice and went to this bar/dance place for the night. It was a very touristy area so we met a lot of other people there who spoke English. At the end of the night we walked the short distance back to the hotel. The atmosphere here at night is very different from back home but I felt safer since we had Colin and Russell with us. We could hear the waves from our hotel room but it was too dark to see where they were coming from at night. It was a very comforting sound for me to fall asleep to because it reminded me of home.

Saturday was our first beach day of the weekend! We changed into our swim suits and walked down the street to this ocean side restaurant that served breakfast. All of the food here is so fresh and delicious, which is something I’m definitely going to miss. After breakfast, we walked to Manuel Antonio National Park. It was about a 20 minute walk through the park to get to the beach and everyone was sweating! I didn’t ever think I would say this while I was here but it was miserably hot. As soon as we got to the beach we all ran into the beautiful aqua blue ocean. The water here is so much warmer than it is at home during the summer. When we got back to our bags I was startled to see four or five monkeys standing not even 3 feet away. The beach bumped right up to the national park so when you looked up into the trees there were monkeys swinging around right in the trees above your head. We spent the day swimming, tanning and exploring the beach. My friends and I walked down the beach to these huge rocks with these huge tide pools. The boys went farther to a cave in the rocks. A lot of the caves here are full of tarantulas and bats so there was no chance I would have done that. We were all salty, sandy, sweaty and exhausted from being in the sun all day so around 4 o’clock we walked back to the hotel to shower and chill out for a little before going out that night. We walked back down to the stretch of restaurants over looking the beach for dinner. Once we got back to the hotel we stayed up talking till 3am. I’m going to miss all of my friends here so much. It’s weird to think I’ve only known them for two weeks because I feel like I’ve known them for so much longer than that.

Sunday morning we woke up, got smoothies and coffee for breakfast and then went to the public beach. Lindsay, Jenna, Colin and I went paddle boarding which was so much more fun than paddle boarding through Marblehead harbor. There were fish jumping out of the water just a few feet away from us and the views were absolutely stunning. The surrounding beaches were covered with white sand, the water was a beautiful turquoise color and there were palm trees everywhere. Later that morning once we were back on the beach, Lindsay and I spent an hour doing beach yoga. It felt good to get in a workout and it was also one of the most peaceful moments I’ve had this whole trip. We didn’t know but the entire time we were practicing there was a little Costa Rican girl behind us who was following all of our movements. It was a very cool feeling knowing that even when I wasn’t trying to, I was inspiring the youth here.

The bus ride home was very long. It’s so strange looking back at my first few journal entries and seeing how scared I was and now I don’t want to leave. I do miss my family but I am definitely not looking forward to coming home to 2+ feet of snow! It’s sad to think this is my last week but I am going to make the absolute most out of my last few days here!

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