By Annemarie Graham and Amelia Stotland
Our day promptly started at 5:15 when everyone arrived at the airport with big smiles and great attitudes. Not really, but we eventually got there. We said our final goodbyes to our parents and the siblings who were nice enough to come. We filled into the security line right behind a large group of D.C. bound students. Although this process was quite lengthy, we managed with small conversations about past traveling experiences, and what we wanted out of this trip. Once through security we made our way to our terminal. Of course, with a few stops at Aunt Anne’s for some cinnamon sugar pretzel bites and frozen lemonade. We boarded without issue except for some spilt change, and we were in Houston before we knew it.
Because we landed in Terminal C in Houston, we needed to go all the way across the airport to get to Terminal E. With the idea that we had plenty of time to spare, we stopped at a small store so those who needed gifts could get them. While we did get our gifts, the main objective was clearly snacks. Realizing that our plane was beginning to board in less than 5 minutes, on the other side of the airport, we booked it to the Skytrains. We all crammed into the small train car as it promptly lurched forward with alarming force, rendering quite a few of us off balance. We finally get to the other side of the airport and hustle to our terminal just in time for us to board.
We make ourselves comfortable in the very back of the plane preparing for takeoff, but it does not come. We continued to wait and heard quite a bit of commotion behind us with the flight attendant screaming, “We can’t leave with empty spaces; we’re missing too much stuff”. Thirty minutes go by and still no take off, but we cannot leave out the maintenance lady who came to help and solve the problem. While she did eventually solve the problem, first she had to start an argument with the attendants about their miscommunication and whether or not they did not have the correct things. We eventually took off and hour later and safely made it to Costa Rica.
Everyone found their bags, and we managed to keep everyone’s passports in their possession. We boarded the bus with our leader Javier as we continued on our route to Santa Maria de Dota. Snacking on Oreos, special Costa Rican bananas, juice boxes, and delicious Costa Rican chicken and cheese pastries, we played games, took naps, read books, and any other sort of thing to keep us busy. Javier told us that the reason why some of the roads were under construction is that Costa Rica sits on the faults of many different tectonic plates that cause earthquakes. We made a quick stop at a local shop before arriving at our home for the next few days, Cabinas Cecilia.
Cabinas Cecilia is in the middle of a big coffee plantation, so there are beautiful gardens, many different species of wildlife, and all the decorations in the adorable cabins are homemade by Cecelia. We unloaded the bus, placed our bags in our rooms, had a short meeting, and from there we had a little bit over an hour before dinner of free time. We started by playing basketball and passing the soccer ball around, until we all merged together in one group, and played some sort of soccer related game in teams of 2, and boys vs. girls. The weather started out with a light drizzle, but progressed quickly to a total downpour. We kept playing until about 20 minutes before dinner, and we took that time to clean up and get ready.
Cecelia prepared a delicious dinner of rice, beans, and chicken with tortillas and vegetables. We all ate so much and even went back for seconds multiple times. After diner we played a few failed games of Uno and B.S. (bologna sandwich) before we had our A.N.C.H.O.R. talk with Javier. We discussed our appreciations, news, concerns, hopes, obscurities, and read a few quotes. Then, we all went back to our cabins to get some sleep and prepare for the adventure of tomorrow.