Day 8: Reflections on our Costa Rica experience

I can’t believe that this is our last blog post and our last day in Costa Rica! Our groups are getting ready to board our flights home, and we are feeling tired but very grateful.

Mr. Pryor Lorentz and the rest of our chaperones led an exercise this morning that allowed us the time to reflect on what we want to take with us from this trip and what we want to leave behind. I’m sure your students will have a lot to tell you when they return home!

Here are our last guest bloggers’ perspectives:

Sean Mendiola

Looking back at my Costa Rica experience, I want to ensure my newfound mindset of being more ready and more adventurous. There aren’t any words to truly encapsulate the feelings that I experienced throughout my trip. Seeing all the greenery, purity, selflessness, and a sense of a real community makes me happier than ever. I’m away from all of the competition and tension back home in San Francisco. The whole Costa Rican atmosphere reminds me that it is OK to take a step back and become more present with myself. It’s relaxing and rejuvenating. Looking into the future, I want to help more people, more specifically the kids here and other foreign places. Since I grew up in the city, I realize that many of us take our materialistic items for granted. A week into this trip, I’ve adapted to become more thankful for what I have, and I even see myself living more simplistically. Overall, this immersion trip has helped me change my mindset to be more outgoing and true to myself.

Abby Widjanarko

My Costa Rica experience was one that has been truly unforgettable. I had never been on a trip outside of the country without my parents so that was something new. Even though there were some days of long traveling on the bus, I felt that it allowed for a more peaceful way to bond. One of the most memorable experiences that I had was the night where the musicians came and played music while we all danced. It was quite cool to see how as a class we were not embarrassed to just dance with each other. This experience was, in short, an outlet for us sophomores to ground ourselves and debrief in the middle of our second year of high school. It made for opportunities for self-reflection, community building, and a development of self-awareness that is so easily obtainable in an environment of Pura Vida.

Cole Slater and Elsa Hagstrom

On Tuesday, we went to the Nayuca Waterfalls. To start our day off, our group traveled to a horse ranch to saddle up and venture to the roaring waterfall.  Along the way, we were able to work on creating new relationships with our peers as well as with the guides who were accompanying us to the waterfall. When jumping off the waterfall, we had to rely on our peers to help us climb to the jumping point. By the end of the day, and by the end of the trip, we as a whole group were able to bring back a sense of an even stronger community than before as well as a sense of bravery and openness to try new things because of our willingness to step outside of our comfort zones.

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