This entry was written by Nicholas Kikuta of Blach Middle School
We finally arrive at San Jose Airport in Costa Rica after our second part of a red eye at 10:00 a.m. Everyone is tired, but at the same time excited and ready to explore. We exit the airport and are greeted with a warm welcome from our guides, Sammy and Allan. We get on the bus, a large van with comfortable seats that fits 15. Sammy and Allen are both young and easy to connect to so everyone is comfortable.
We then learn that the bus ride will be around an hour so some catch up on our sleep while others, *ahem* Eric and Amber *ahem* seem to be brimming with energy.
Our first stop is at a coffee plantation. Allan imitates a typical work day for a coffee field worker, even though the season is September through April. Allan becomes a Nicaraguan worker who is illegally working in Costa Rica. He arrives at the plantation everyday at 5:30 and leaves everyday between 2:00 and 3:00 p.m. Allan strips bright red fruit from the coffee plant and puts them into 28-pound baskets. For each basket that he fills and turns in, he gets $2-4. A good worker makes $30-40 a week. After these berries are picked, they are sent to a manufacturing plant where the fruits are pitted and the seeds are washed and roasted.
After learning about coffee, we drive for a while through the mountains and arrive at a park with lots of cypress trees. These aren’t any ordinary Cypress trees—they are cut and shaped into unique images. We see many different shaped trees such as a duck, a dinosaur, and a human. After a bit of exploring, we are able to meet the man who shaped all of the trees.
We later continue to lunch, which consists of a traditional Costa Rican meal (potatoes, eggs, meat, veggies, rice, and beans), or pizza. Most of us choose pizza, while Sammy and Sr. Lopez choose the Costa Rican dish. As we continue to the hotel, we stop at a restaurant called Restaurante Las Iguanas, named not for the food, but for the many iguanas that live in the canopy of trees next to it.
We later get to the hotel, get settled, and the five boys go swimming. After swimming we go to dinner at a nice restaurant where we are served chicken and rice, or another traditional meal, or pasta, or even a hamburger.
After dinner we go back to the hotel and play cards to end the day. Sammy and Allen tell us that tomorrow we will be going ecofarming and to the hot springs, an exciting day.