Here are two updates from our Costa Rica crew (no pics unfortunately due to very limited internet bandwidth):
Family & Friends:
Even with the vicious mosquitoes, random bouts of rain & soaked sneakers, Costa Rica has been magical! Yesterday, we started our morning with yoga. As we hoisted our partners into the air we caught a glimpse of the jungle surrounding us filled with a cacophony of birds, monkeys, frogs, & cicadas. After our final downward dog pose & a strong dose of savasana, we ate breakfast & headed to Don Daniel’s farm. Here we harvested heart of palm, yuca, & much more for a cooking lesson back in the kitchen. Once there, we helped Dona Theresa cook & then feast upon a delicious meal of rice & beans, pork, salad, & cinnamon rice milk. We then trekked across his farm to the riverside, where we planted cacao trees & vanilla vines. We were shocked to discover a family of howler monkeys hanging out above us. Following our final afternoon coffee & arepas, we said a bittersweet goodbye to Don Daniel, his family, & their kitchen.
After dinner back at the Chilamate Ecolodge we were led into the jungle for a night walk. Our chatty guide kept us all on our toes as we came across a wide assortment of animals. We saw poison dart frogs, snakes, sleeping geckos, dancing daddy long-legs & beetles that glowed green & orange! Once we came back from the night hike we settled into our rooms to rest up for another lovely day.
That next day we were blessed with an opportunity to sleep-in. With that, our morning was very chill. We ate breakfast, had a 90 minute yoga class, & then it was already time for lunch! Next, we headed out to the surrounding community for a scavenger hunt race. Each team had to milk a cow, make a tortilla, salsa dance, paddle-board, & interview a local! We then did the “Awakening the Dreamer” workshop which displayed what’s going on in the world & what we can do about it. This led to a lot of in-depth discussions.
We closed out the evening with the same community members that we went to during the race. At one of their homes, we danced & ate dinner. Now, we’re all back at Chilamate packing for the next leg of the trip. I’m definitely looking forward to more of what’s to come.
Family & Friends:
For the past two days we have been staying & learning at Rancho Mastatal, which is definitely one of the most fascinating places we’ve been able to visit throughout our whole time in Costa Rica. They grow mostly all of their own foo, compost all of their organic waste (including human!!), build with all natural materials, & are heavily involved in supporting the local community. They do all of this on 300 acres of land— all of which is protected & restored rainforest.
The first day we were here we kicked off the day with a delicious breakfast & a short hike out to a beautiful waterfall & swimming hole! We spent most of the morning diving off rocks into the refreshing water & marveling at the gallons of powerful water flowing beside us. That afternoon we ate chocolate from a local cacao grower (amazing) & played an activity with Tim, one of the owners of Rancho Mastatal. We had the rest of the afternoon free, so me & a few others went to play soccer with Tim, his daughter (Solé) & a few of the locals. We returned to the ranch as a couple of sweaty losers.
Today we learned a lot about permaculture & natural building techniques from some of the workers at Rancho Mastatal. I think I can speak for all of us when I say that I was completely fascinated & inspired by the systems & the people that support them. Our time at Rancho Mastatal has been so informative & so much fun! I can’t wait for the next few days here.
See you all soon!