My brain hurts thinking about all that we’ve done in the past three weeks. Trying to figure out the best way to share with you what’s been happening. Bullet points are boring, but so are long paragraphs of “And then…And then…And then….”. I’ve decided to just run through the highlight reel.
First stop was the Sea Turtle Conservancy in Tortuguero. We traded in z-rests for bunk beds. The showers would fluctuate between scorching hot and ice cold; that felt luxurious to me. We had a bunch of free time during the day. I spent the majority of that time drinking smoothies and watching Netflix at Buddha Café. I can be incredibly good at doing nothing. It came with a price, because we were on night patrol to work with the turtles. It was super hands on, and though tedious at times, really interesting. How often does one get to see a turtle lay eggs at three in the morning? And get to feel the eggs in their hands as they are being laid? It was amazing.
On our last night, the STC crew took us out on the quaint town, which ended up getting pretty weird. But, I guess that’s what happens when you’re cooped up all week playing Risk and eating Chickys. This is where Gyal You A Party Animal became my new favorite song. Insert dancing emoji.
Early the next morning, we left for EARTH University. We were introduced to two senior students who gave us a quick orientation (one who I later matched with on Tinder, just to make life a little more awkward). EARTH is a university for sustainable agriculture and almost completely reliant on their own resources. We dabbled in a bunch of different things including an organic farm, a dairy farm (fed some seriously HANGRY pigs), and even a Halloween party. The university has a grand total of only 400 students, so we stuck out like a sore thumb. Some liked us. Some didn’t.
Leaving the almost too-good-to-be-true living quarters of EARTH University was a bummer. We grabbed our z-rests once more and partnered back up with Outward Bound for a week-long hike in the tropics. Though it sounded awfully NOLS-esque, the OB hike throughout the rainforest was nothing like the frigid Wind River Range. I was able to shave my armpits on a regular basis and poop in a toilet, so if you ask me we were living the dream. We stayed at beautiful homestays along the way, who shared with us different aspects of their life in the jungle, which included killing a chicken for dinner and processing sugar cane. I wish I could adequately describe the view from these homes. It created a peaceful tranquility that I’ve never felt before.
Our last day was spent on the beach in Manuel Antonio where we surfed all day-surfing is a relative term. We did the best we could, got a little sun kissed while we were at it. Some really beautiful backdrops as the sun set. Made me feel very grateful in that moment. It was a nice way to wrap up the hike. We’ve just arrived to Rancho Mastatal, where we will be learning about permaculture and earth building. I think it’s going to be another incredible week.
That’s what I love most about this experience. Every day is extraordinary. Every day I’m doing something I’ve never done before. And that’s how I hope to live the rest of my life.