Written by Carolyn C. of Head Royce School
Day Seven: Saturday June 21
We awoke to a scrumptious breakfast of eggs, rice, beans, and mango juice. Once we gathered our bags and were dressed, we waited on the porch with our luggage for the van and talked with the host family’s grandmother and her son’s girlfriend. We admired the plants on their porch and the garden around us. Soon, the van came around the corner, and we waved goodbye to our host family and climbed aboard. Inside, we exchanged stories about our experience with the host families, especially about playing with some of the host families’ children or helping prepare the always delicious food.
Soon, everyone had been picked up, so we drove back to the animal sanctuary to help feed the animals. First, we cut up a variety of fruits and vegetables: bananas, watermelon, papaya, cucumber, and more. Next, we set off towards each cage to offer the food to the animals. We left food for Perla, then some volunteers were allowed inside a cage of green parakeets to place fruit on the wooden planks that lined the side. We visited the blue macaw, who got some pieces of fruit, and we were allowed to approach Hercules and Jessica with a piece of banana or some other food and hold it flat on our palm. The peccaries would then reach through the bars and snatch it up.
We continued on to a larger cage of parakeets, the difference being these parakeets could fly. They flapped to and fro and to the wooden planks as we left watermelon and papaya chunks for them. The keel-billed toucans, with their rainbow-colored beaks, also received bits of fruit, as did the rainbow-feathered scarlet macaws. Lastly, we distributed the rest of the food to the collection of monkeys in the farthest cages. We watched, amazed, as they grabbed beans, cucumber, and fruit pieces straight from our outstretched palms. Soon, all of the fruit was gone, and our time at the animal sanctuary was over. We said goodbye to the animals and staff members and clambered back onto the van to the next hotel. We drove for hours, stopping occasionally for lunch, van fuel, snacks, and souvenirs (especially Costa Rica soccer jerseys). We even passed the Continental Divide!
In the early evening rain, we arrived at the hotel at last, and we quickly dove under the nearest awning to shelter ourselves from the storm. Once we got our room assignments, we peeled off towards our rooms, and settled into our bunk beds before dinner. Once it was time to eat, we devoured the rice, beans, avocado, and cooked vegetables, which were, as usual, quite toothsome. Once we were stuffed, we met to go over the next day’s plan (snorkeling!), and sand down shiny plastic boards to create waterproof writing surfaces.
The day had passed so quickly in a haze of dreamy green countryside and glimpses of blue seashore, which worked their way into my dreams and made me anticipate the next day’s seaside venture even more.