Day 20

August 4, 2017

Hola, a todos!

I know I say that “today was incredible” almost every day, but I don’t know how to describe every day down here as anything other than incredible. So, today was incredible.

Today we met at the university at 5:30 AM, which was way too early for some–but nothing out of the ordinary for yours truly! I had woken up pretty early this morning to say goodbye to Kailey as she was leaving for the airport—I’m really going to miss her and Sarah these next two weeks.

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After getting up and ready Heidi and I headed over to the university. The sky was absolutely beautiful this morning.

Once we were all together and the bus had arrived, we boarded and headed off for the Río Pacuare for whitewater rafting! We stopped about halfway, somewhere in Cartago, for breakfast, drove the rest of the way—and then it was river time. I cannot even express how excited I was or how much fun we had.

Once at the drop-off point for Costa Sol Whitewater Rafting we split up into our rafting teams, got our gear, and learned how NOT to die on the rapids. I was on a raft with our guide, Diana, and my Sol-Mates Emma, Callie, Heidi, and Ash.

We dubbed ourselves the adventurous raft—all of us wanting to get the biggest adrenaline rush that we could (while still being safe). We got our instruction and we were off down the river!

We stopped about halfway down the river for some lunch!

Photo credit: Costa Sol

We traveled 29 kilometers downriver going through rapids class 1-4 and two beautiful canyons. In one of the canyons, we got a chance to jump off of our rafts and float down the river for awhile:

On our way, we saw numerous majestic waterfalls and connecting streams, beautiful huge rocks, different species of birds (including a toucan!) and kilometers of virgin rainforest that have never been touched. I really wish the videos and pictures could do justice the pure beauty we saw, felt, and heard but the memories I have from this day of aquatic adventure will do.

Once we made it all 29 kilometers downriver—which wasn’t nearly enough, but then again I don’t know if any number of kilometers would have been enough—we climbed off of our rafts, got changed, and pooled our money for the pictures the company’s photographer had taken during our time on el Río Pacuare. All of the following photos were taken by the photographer for Costa Sol:

It was then time to load back up on the bus for our journey home. On the trip back to Heredia, our estimated time of arrival went from 6:00, to 6:40, to finally actually arriving home around 9:00. Some heavy traffic, an accident (not us thankfully), and a broken down bus accounted for the discrepancy in time—but we made the most of it! We played headbands, told stories, laughed, shared snacks, and failed to realize that it was the last time we would all be together as our Summer IV group. Upon arrival at the U, we were all exhausted. We collected our Sol Education Costa Rica shirts and turned to head off to our respective Costa Rican homes all saying “see you tomorrow” when we realized that we would not see everyone tomorrow.

While Callie, Heidi, MaKayla, Leslie and I are staying for Summer V, our other nine Sol-Mates are headed to the airport first thing, bright and early tomorrow morning to head home-home. With heavy hearts, we gave our hugs and said our goodbyes. I never thought it would be so hard to say goodbye to a group of strangers I had known for a total of three weeks, but those strangers had turned into some of my best friends over night. I know the remaining two weeks in Costa Rica will be just as incredible as the first three, but they will not be the same without Ash, Emma, Isis, Jessica, Lauren, Lisette, Mallory, Sandeep, Teresa, and Vanessa.  Moreover, I know I will never be the same for having known all of my incredible Sol-Mates, even for the short three weeks that I have known them. You will all always have a place in my heart, and I hope I will get to see you all again—can we start planning our reunion now?

Until tomorrow—or the next time we meet,
Pura Vida
-Shea

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