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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

On The Road Again-Community Service Costa Rica

Hola family and friends !
Our first day of service started off with a rousing breakfast song of “Happy Birthday!” for Allison (and ended with an amazing tiramisu birthday cake).  Once at Habitat we began work on the foundation of a house and helped dig out a new septic tank.  Working together, Nick and Lola were amazing on the septic tank project and made a ton of progress in just two days.  Jack was a beast at taking the old foundations out; he went around our site with a huge pick ax and helped everyone who needed it.  What we were really excited about with Habitat was the opportunity to meet families of the community that were moving into these homes and working with them was a highlight.  Their kindness and smiles were a warm welcome for us and it was an awesome time volunteering for their community.   Lexi and Abby befriended a local boy named Jackson and his smiles and attitude were infectious on the work site; we had a great time.  We also became good friends with our Habitat coordinator Wadel, a hilarious and insanely enthusiastic Tico-Canadian who helped us with the different Habitat projects.  After a day of hard work, relaxing in the pool was a great cool-down and no one loves swimming more than David; he is always the first into the pool!  Our second day and final day at Habitat was a blast as well; we were thrilled to have Emma and Perry join our family and they had a great time making new friends and helping out on the Habitat projects.  We worked hard and finished taking out the old concrete and cleared a bunch of land for the next new house to go up.  Lola, Daniel and Jessica volunteered their DJ-ing abilities and kept up the energy with fun playlists from their iPods.  It was a job well done and we celebrated with some kids in the neighborhood by playing a friendly game of soccer.  Brooke, Sarah, and Anthony represented our team and probably learned some new fútbol moves from the local boys.  After another gourmet Italian dinner from our chef Sergio at Bolanos Bay, we had some laughs playing a few improv games from Whose Line Is It Anyway?  Val should be an actress on the show; she did really well in the Question game!

We have the travel bug and were on the road again to Rincon de la Vieja where we are staying at La Hacienda Guachipelin, an eco resort with live music, land for endangered species, and great views of the surrounding mountains.  Exploring the rainforest canopy through zip-linesLa Hacienda Guachipelin was easily a highlight of the trip and Lloyd loved the challenge of climbing the canyon walls to the next zip-line platform.  After an awesome time hanging and soaring above the jungle floor, we explored the mountains on horseback.  Daniel and his horse led the trail ride down to the beautiful La Victoria waterfalls.  The horseback riding was so much fun and Emma said it was highlight!  At the hotel, we enjoyed the pool and are playing card games in the evenings.  Some relaxation time is well earned and today we enjoyed a leisurely hike back to the waterfalls where we swam and enjoyed the warm sun.

Perry and Val enjoyed shooting pictures with the underwater camera and we’ll be sure to post those for you to check out!  The real relaxation time came this afternoon though when we went to the mud baths.  After opening our pores in the sauna, we painted volcanic mud on our bodies and washed it off in hot and cool pools.   Obviously it has been another awesome day here in Costa Rica!  Pura vida,
The Westcoast Blogger