Fearless Flying Over the Forest Canopy- Costa Rica Community Service

Hola familias! Monday was our final full day in Costa Rica. It was filled with adventure, fun, relaxation, and memories.

 We started the day with a fantastic breakfast made at our hotel. Everyone loved the made-to-order pancakes and omelets! After breakfast we headed to the adventure center to get suited up for zip-lining!

Zip-lining was an exhilarating experience! Everyone loved the very first line, a long one that flew us over the forest canopy. During the second line, our trip members had the choice to zip-line UPSIDE DOWN! Steph and Courtney immediately volunteered, along with Jordana, Charlie, Nick, Josh, Juliette, Jillian, Frankie, and Emily. These kids have NO FEAR!

img_3850 During the zip line we also had the opportunity to do a little rock-climbing and rappelling. Mikayla and Charlie bravely conquered both! Mallory T was voted to be the new advertising model for zip-lining, she always flashed a huge smile for the camera, despite her fear of heights. During the last line, Michelle decided to try going upside down. Though she was nervous at first, she did not regret the decision.

After zip-lining our group took a hike to a nearby waterfall. The falls were gorgeous, though Steven thought the water was a bit chilly. We all had fun taking a little swim near the bottom of the falls. Mallory W and Morgane are both such water-lovers, neither of them wanted to leave!

Once our bellies were full with another delicious meal from our hotel, we got to have a little R&R at the spa. Our group experienced a mud bath and a dip in the natural hot springs. Frankie got everyone laughing with her talent at impersonating the trip leaders. Everyone really enjoyed the experience and loved their soft skin afterwards.

That evening we had our end-of-the-trip banquet after dinner. Trip members planned a short skit or song to perform for the group. Jordana, Dana, and Julia kicked it off with a game of “Would You Rather”! They really got the group thinking when they asked the question… “Would you rather be able to talk to animals or speak every foreign language?” Another group created a set of awards for the rest of our trip members. Steven won the “Most Likely to Return to Costa Rica” award because he makes friends with everyone he meets and will have to come back to visit! Isabel won “Most Likely to be Happy” for her constant smile, and Hailey won “Most Likely to Skydive” because of her fearless zip-lining style. Our performances ended with Will, Josh, Steven, and Nick’s very creative lip sync. Their choreographed dance moves blew the audience away!

After our performances the mood became more serious as we each shared a special memory we made with someone on the trip and spent a few moments recapping our 10 days together. We’ve made some wonderful friendships and even more wonderful memories during this short time together. Even though we are leaving today, we will each carry a part of this trip with us for a lifetime.

Thanks to everyone for a fabulous 10 days! Continue to serve others as you did here in Costa Rica and you will make the world a better place!

Adios amigos!

The Westcoast Blogger

Helping Hands – Community Service Hawaii

The last few days spent in Honolulu have definitely been busy. We have spent them volunteering at Habitat for Humanity. Our work consisted of priming, painting, cleaning, lifting, wiping, moving, staining, sorting, and organizing. What impressed both the trip staff and the organizers at Habitat was by the initiative shown by our group. Trip members took charge of organizing themselves and worked tirelessly. They, on their own volition, would ask for more work and would execute their tasks in a professional manner. A thank you goes out to all trip members who volunteered to pack extra lunches for the staff at  Habitat.  Because of all of our hard work, Habitat has a store that is easier on the eyes, a bathroom that is both clean and freshly painted, shelves that are well organized, and a staff that was well-fed.

Amelia, Jonathan, and Jess K. did an excellent job organizing the refurbishing and moving of commercial air vents. Taylor C. took command when reorganizing the shelves in order to stock the vents. She led by example and set a quick pace for her crew. Kudos to powerhouses Mika and Samantha for doing some of the heavy lifting required. Emily and Remi, great job organizing and lifting those sinks! Porcelain is heavy! Jacob, Alex, and Mireille, that wood that you stained looks good as new. To everyone here the organizers at Habitat also thank you for the cleaning and renovation of their restrooms. Your work was much appreciated. Remember how we found them?

After Habitat, on our final day on Oahu, we got to relax. It began with brunch at a charming place by Waikiki Beach called Lulu’s that looked out onto endless blue. Omelets, pancakes, waffles, and French toast were served for all to enjoy. The more adventurous asked for extra coconut shavings, guava syrup or even sliced papaya served with a side of lime (which is delicious, by the way).  After brunch, we headed to those very same waters we looked down upon from Lulu’s for one final swim in Waikiki. The water was perfectly refreshing and quite active with schools of translucent fish. Mireille and Sean used their goggles in an attempt to track them and catch our dinner. Needless to say, they were unsuccessful at catching the live fish with their bare hands.

Community Service Hawaii

The last night in Oahu was spent at Dave and Busters, a restaurant that doubles as an arcade. It really allowed the group to bring out their inner child. Jonathan and Taylor J. could be found shooting hoops. Ally, Sophie, and Alex were busy slicing up virtual fruit in Fruit Ninja. Hannah and Jen looked for small children to whom they could give away any prizes they had won. Emily and Amelia used their hacking skills (perhaps just excellent eye-hand coordination) in order to repeatedly win “jackpots”. Then it was off to the hotel in order to tackle the most difficult challenge the group had yet to face; the seemingly impossible task of packing for a flight.

We have bid farewell to Oahu, moving away from Honolulu’s skyscrapers and bustling streets, to the calmer and more serene paradise that exists on Maui. Oahu, you treated us well and you will be missed.

The Westcoast Blogger

Fearless Summer! – California Extravaganza

An update from California Extravaganza Day 5 We made our way to Salt Lake City this morning, but not without a stop for some class 3 white water rafting! Our guides went through the safety procedures with us and we split up into 5 boats to try the fun. Heading up the “bro” raft were […]

An Amazing Adventure! – U.S. Explorer

An update from the U.S. Explorer Welcome back U.S. Explorer parents! Our 3rd stop in Cleveland has come to an end, and as we embark on our next journey to Ann Arbor, Michigan we are all going to miss the KOA campsite! In Cleveland we experienced a mix of city and camping life.  Before arriving […]

An Amazing Adventure! – U.S. Explorer

An update from the U.S. Explorer Welcome back U.S. Explorer parents! Our 3rd stop in Cleveland has come to an end, and as we embark on our next journey to Ann Arbor, Michigan we are all going to miss the KOA campsite! In Cleveland we experienced a mix of city and camping life.  Before arriving […]