We stood at the base of the waterfall, feel the mist spray on our faces as the water crashed against the rocks. It cooled us off after trekking down 500 stairs to reach the base. It was truly breathtaking. It is called La Fortuna waterfall, and our director explained to us how it is a magical waterfall. If you watch one spot of the fall between the black rocks without blinking, then shift your gaze to the left, it looks like the land is shifting up and down. It was a crazy effect.
The water was absolutely freezing. We couldn’t swim in the waterfall due to the dangerous whirlpools, but we could swim in the river next to it. The water would go from shallow to deep fairly quickly, so we had to be careful where we stepped. After we were done swimming, we sat by the waterfall enjoying nature and having a picnic. We had a group of the visitors go with us on the trip, and I think they enjoyed it.
There was a man from Missouri State among the site visitors who was a Royals fan. On Thursday he and 6 other visitors ate a dinner at our house that our host mom prepared. We talked a lot about the program and our time in Costa Rica. It was fun to have so much company here and giving them tours of our lives here. It was also interesting to learn about other school’s programs and how their fresh eyes saw Costa Rica. It was strange to get a glimpse of what we must have looked like when we were first experiencing Costa Rica. We got to re-experience some of our favorite activities with the visitors, like a city tour and cooking class, but everyone was exhausted after such full days. I loved getting to share my experiences with so many people this past week.
During the weekend, we all stayed at a beautiful resort called Los Lagos. This trip was more like a vacation than any other excursion. They had dozens of different pools, ranging from the hot natural water from the volcano to the ice-cold swimming pools. They even had giant slides you would soar down as if they laced them with some oil. It was so much fun. They even had an animal walk where we saw giant crocodiles, a butterfly room, a room full of frogs, and an ant display. My favorite part was the frogs. They hide so well it was a challenge to see them, but our co-director Jessie was a professional in finding them and pointing them out to us. It was such a cool experience.
The natural beauty in Arenal contrasted the detailed architecture of the National Theater in San Jose. In Arenal, the land was the emphasis of the trip. In the theater, every corner was marked with artistic details. We saw a one-man show about Japanese children’s stories. There were a lot of kids there, which was opposite of our weekend trip. I mostly saw adults at the hotel.
Our final activity of the week was a zip lining tour of the rainforest. It was a fantastic experience. They even had helmets you could attach a goPro to so you could film the experience. Of course, it was raining, but it made the experience authentic. They had several surprises for us, one of which was a Tarzan swing where we were attached to a rope and pushed over the trees of the rainforest. IT was terrifying but great. The workers were amazing at getting us through the lines efficiently, and I am sure they were exhausted by the end of it. At the end, they surprised us one last time with a superman zip line: we rode belly down with nothing but the air and rainforest beneath us. It was breathtaking (and only a little scary).
This weekend has been great, but it’s sad to think we only have five weeks left. We have something planned for every weekend to try to experience as much as possible. I’m excited to see what this final month has in store! Pura Vida!
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