Thursday, March 12, 2015

Students' Journal: Day 2

After we arrived in at the Ecolodge in Chilamate, Costa Rica, we were arranged in our rooms and treated to a fabulous dinner. Then, we were sorted into groups to go on a night hike!!! The two guides escorted us through the rainforest, and we learned so much about the wildlife, and the eighth graders kept comparing everything to Lord of the Flies. The hike lasted about an hour, and afterwards we got a good night's rest. There was tons of rain in the night, helping everyone to fall asleep.

The next morning, we had a great breakfast before going on our daytime hike and seeing lots of millipedes and poison dart frogs. We learned all about the wildlife of the rainforest, including that sloths sleep for 16 hours a day and that there is an ant called the Bullet Ant that, when it bites you, makes it feel like you're being shot (don't worry, we weren't bitten!).

After our hike, we came back to the lodge and cooled off because it was SCORCHING HOT!!! We played games, went over some leadership story and risk management curriculum and, most importantly, cooled off. Part of this cooling off included an amazing lunch filled with delicious rice and plantains. After this we got ready for our next activity, visiting the Chilamate Elementary School.

At the Chilamate Elementary School, we introduced ourselves to the students there and did a variety of activities. We took tours of the school and learned that the younger students go to school in the morning (from 7:30-12:10) and the older students go later-on in the afternoon (12:10-4:20). They do this because there aren't enough classrooms or teachers for students to go to school at the same time, the way we do at Berkeley Carroll. The school had few resources compared to what we are used to (no instruments, 3 classrooms) and it made us feel very grateful for everything we have. The people there were very thankful for everything we have done for them as well. We had the opportunities to play soccer with the kids and work on their soccer-field. We all spent several hours clearing rocks out of the soccer field, so that an assembly-space could be built. We also worked with cement mixers and got very, very muddy. There were even some mud fights. It was an amazing experience and we all came back happy, yet a little bit tired. Part of the reason it was so amazing is because we had the chance to interact with the Costa Rican kids and adults from Chilamate and work on improving another school that is so different from ours, yet so similar, in a completely new environment.

Overall, today was pretty awesome.
--Emmi Dudley, Emily Lucas, Isabel Mudannayake, Kylie Conner-Sax


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