Hola! Yo soy Felipe!
Today was one of the most laid back, do nothing days……….. for the most part.
We woke up and were greeted with the usual beans and rice breakfast and then headed to the bus from Arenal to travel to San Jose for the Student Leadership Summit at the Wyndham Hotel. The morning weather yielded a sunny sky and excellent driving conditions. We settled down in for the three hour drive to our first stop which was a quaint store on the side of a highway. I hadn’t spent any money this whole trip so a ton needed to be spent on gifts for friends and family back home. Everyone was buying coffee and clothes that depicted the Costa Rican adventure. After everyone had their fill of spending, we went next door to a small food shop that had a cafeteria-style buffet and bought a lot of junk food such as Doritos, candy, and soda. After feasting, it was back on the road to go to the most artisan city in the country: Sarchi.
In the city of Sarchi, we encountered a massive latin-american oxbow car that are prominent in many souvenir shops in the forms of small fridge magnets. Across from it was a beautiful white church with huge columns and angels on pedestals watching over the town, protecting it. We then proceeded to lunch where once again, beans with rice were served. Next to it was a souvenir gift shop which we stopped by but did not spend much time at because there was an even bigger one five minutes away. After shopping most of the day away, it was off to to the INBio park.
For all of the days with the exemption of today, my friend and I brought our rain gear with us, always never using it and taking up space in the backpack. So today, we decided not to pack it in the EF backpacks. Well obviously because of this, the latter half of the day decided to rain. As a result, my friend and I went on the tour of the bio park outside in the pouring rain, trying to seek cover wherever possible. Thankfully, there were some buildings that we ventured into to seek vital refuge. For instance, we went into a research lab and saw numerous insects of all kinds of species documented in cases and glass jars. There was a spider bigger than my hand in a glass jar! Bugs are so gross!
After that, it was off to the torrential downpour in the rain forest exhibit, where fire flies and endangered, nocturnal tree frogs flourished. Thankfully, this only lasted about five minutes until the tour was over. When this happened, my soaked friend and I ran to the bathrooms to dry off. We somewhat accomplished this nearly impossible feat by crouching under the hand dryer for five minutes and taking numerous paper towels.
We ran back to the bus, trying to remain dry out in the open, and took a quick ten minute trip to a local supermarket. There, everybody raced through the isles, grabbing various assortments of junk food quickly off the shelves and then heading back to the bus. Some spent almost sixty dollars worth of food!
In arriving at the Wyndham hotel, we were greeted with various bellhops marble floors, elegant glass chandeliers, and air conditioning! We discovered about three different pools. Two small and one gigantic one right next to a fancy restaurant. We settled into our very nice suites with granite counter tops, cherry cabinets, and Jacuzzi.
Dinner was served buffet style with the as one could guess, rice and beans. At eight o’clock, all of the student journalists came together to meet in person, and were briefed on how to report as much as possible on the student summit.
I cannot wait for the leadership summit tomorrow to begin working with students from Canada, Costa Rica, and the United States to try and solve specific environmental issues!
Thanks for reading!