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As the final days in Costa Rica fly by, I am torn between two emotions. Part of me is very ready to go home, and see my family. The other third of me longs to stay here. I am having so much fun. Hanging out with my friends and being in an amazing country is the best way I could have ever spent two weeks of my summer vacation. I have gotten to know the nine people in my group very well. Most of them I don’t normally spend time with. I don’t want to leave this beautiful place. It is weird knowing that I will most likely not see this town again. I hate looking at all the places that I loved hanging out in and knowing that that is the last time I will ever be in that particular spot. I will miss feeling the clouds on my face, rolling in as fast as I have ever seen them move. The daily game of soccer will be missed by my routine that I have grown so accustomed to in these last two weeks. Even the evil kitty that scratches me and pooped on my bed will be hard to part with. I wish that I could bring all the things that I have enjoyed here back with me to Portland. Although I wish I didn’t have to leave, I am super excited to see my family. I feel like it has been months since I have seen them last. The part of Costa Rica I will miss the most are the Ticos. They are very friendly and the ones that I have known never cease to make me smile. I hope that one day I will be able to return to Monteverde and revisit the many memories I have made in the last two weeks.
DUCK!!!! (That was for my sister, Cydney.)

The heart is a bizarre thing if you think about it. There is your heart which pumps blood continuously to your major organs and sends it through your arteries. Then there is the figurative heart… the one that coincides with your brain. The image of the heart, that singular shape. Is it a real being on its own? I’d like to think so. A piece of my heart forever rests in Costa Rica. Even though I showed up here as a bundle of nerves, I have made the best of my stay. I have made so many friends and done so many things I never thought that I would ever do. When it was announced which people were going to Costa Rica in March, even though I hadn’t applied, I have to say that I was disappointed that I couldn’t go. So were Anna, Mackenzie, Taylor, Walker, Grant, and so many others. I didn’t let that disappointment stop me from having a great rest of the school year though. I continued to be the optimistic person that I am and hoped for the best. That dream was finally answered when Spencer announced that there would be a summer trip to Costa Rica. I applied as quickly as I could and thanks to some miraculous occurrence, I am now in Costa Rica. This trip has been all that I could have ever dreamed of, plus more. I have lived with people I didn’t know, I have spoken more Spanish than I have in the course of a lifetime, and I have flown over the Costa Rican Cloud Forest. A person couldn’t ask for much else. I have had the experience of my life and I would do it again in a beat of my non imagery heart. I now have another family here who I consider my own, I have new friends, and lastly I have new experiences under my belt. These memories I will forever hold dear and whenever I am feeling as though my life is a boring mess… I will see myself suspended over the canopy and dancing in the warm rains of Costa Rica. Pura Vida Mae.

Wow last blog. Some people have a hard time dealing with home sickness. I am the opposite, I get scared, nervous and sometimes angry when hearing the words return, home and especially goodbyes.
This experience was at least ten times better than I thought it would be. The first few days I thought the March trip had a better trip but it is now and has been apparent to me that for my personality and uniqueness, this was the best itinerary and travel companions for me. First of all, I feel my Spanish has gotten a lot better and in the best way because I felt I became better with others. Today I was walking up the giant hill before school and I was breathing heavily and I wanted to stop. Right as I started to stop Taylor grabbed my arm and said, “Don’t give up, come on I’ll pull you.”
Usually when you are paired in a group you can find a few people you like. In this group I really don’t have a problem with anyone, I like everyone. I feel so comfortable here with this group of people, not only that but each of them individually can make me laugh or cheer me up. In Spanish class, [today I have been a little down] Jackson asked me, “are you okay.” I replied, “oh yah just nervous for the game we are about to play.” He said, “no I meant the whole day, is something bothering you?” Jackson has only known me two weeks and he can judge my emotion better than some of my very close friends.
I will never forget certain memories made on this trip. Such as a dog attacking Walker’s leg, Spencer putting dirt down the back of Kate’s jacket, sliding across a wet basketball court in a thunder storm and many more. I have bonded so much with this group whether it was pulling all our skills together and trying to speak to a local or reassuring a friend that their harness wouldn’t break on the zip lines. For the March trip this day for them was like oh yah back to school. However, for me it is like ending the first book in a series of books about my life, and I wouldn’t have wanted to end this part on any other chapter.

It’s the last full day in Monteverde and emotions are close to the surface as we near the end of our final day at Centro de Educacíon Creativa. Today, we finished up our service project painting the fence, said our thank-yous to the project leaders Eduardo and Milton, played a long soccer game and had a short Spanish class; needless to say, nobody wants to write a blog right now. Rather than spending some of our precious few minutes at La Creativa in an unlighted room full of computers and sad faces, we would all much rather have a few more minutes on the fùtbol pitch, some time to relax in the beauty of the one-hundred and eight acre campus, or even more work on the barbed wire fence, that left all who worked with it a cut or scar to remind them of Costa Rica in the summer months to come. Small interruptions liven up the time: Eduardo coming in to say his last goodbye, and soon after Milton. It saddens me to contemplate leaving this country, but rather than letting it ruin my time here, it will make me enjoy my last moments even more. With that, I bid you all adieu, (or rather adios) and will now leave this room, lest it ruin my mood. I will see you in Portland soon, I am sure.

Sheesh, this has been the trip of a lifetime. I never dreamt that I would do something this great. I made so many long lasting friendships, all of which have changed my life for the better. The idea that we’re going home is too hard to believe. This is my home; I wouldn’t want to leave it for the world. I have a sister here. A little girl who is always laughing about something, she has the cutest little nose I’ve ever seen, and she calls me Ana banana, Anita, and Chicitina. I have a mom and dad here. They are always willing to help me. Whether it’s correcting my Spanish, telling Fiorella that I’m too tired to play, or making sure I have my glasses and lunch before I step out the front door. I also have memories here, great friends that live in Costa Rica that I will never forget. One great memory was buying fried chicken, donuts, pastries, neon bread, and ice cream with Taylor and Allison. We ate it all in about one hour in Santa Elena. Another one was playing soccer after lunch every day. Even though I’m not a soccer player I still had a great time. Going to eat pizza with Walker, Jackson, Allison, Mo, Leslie, and Marlon was a great one. Spencer and Kitty had just walked in when Barbie Girl came on the radio. We were all singing along when it comes to the part when Ken talks. Then Leslie goes: Come on Barbie let’s go party: in a really freaky voice. That was great. I’ll also remember singing at Moon Shiva with Spencer. That was definitely something to remember. I love the people that came on this trip like family. All of us will keep this trip in our hearts forever no matter how far away we’ll be from eachother.

Guess what Kitty did this time, she told Spencer to put dirt in Mackenzie’s shoes, how lame! Ok just wanted to say that. Al;skdfj;sldkfj don’t know what to say. I guess I’ll just talk about this trip as a whole. I’m really glad that Spencer and Amy put together this extra trip because I was really sad when I didn’t get to go. The only thing that I’m sad about is Kitty, just kidding. The only thing that I am sad about is that a few people who wanted to go in March like Grant or Andrew S didn’t come with us. This trip has been a really awesome experience. I guess I’m also sad because there are four people from my class on this trip who won’t be coming to Catlin next year, but I’m also happy to get to have this extra chance to say good bye. On a brighter note I met two of last year’s freshmen (Mo and Jackson) so it will be cool to have friends in upper classes at the start of high school. This has definitely been my all time favorite school related trip, and probably in the top five over all. The part that made this really special for me has been all the people that I have met, and how even though we come from totally different backgrounds it’s still just like hanging out with friends. Thank you Spence, Amy, and Kitty for a really great trip.

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