We are only three days into this 10 day journey and this CALUE Service Break (CSB) has been an outstanding experience. Everything from our immediate stop in San Jose (Costa Rica’s heart and capitol city) for some American fast food on day 1, to the a second day filled with more Costa Rican history, perspective-expanding, sea turtle interaction anxiousness building, and hip-shaking salsa lessons than you can imagine has successfully deepen this experience. I now feel a connection with not only the potential sea turtles that I may encounter; but this country, it’s intriguing people and the importance of environmental conservation.
Today, day 3, our main objective was to travel to our ultimate destination, Juquillal.
For the second day in a row I was awakened at 6:00 a.m. by the faint sound of various species of birds and the soft glow of the sun peaking around my poorly drawn curtains. It reminded me a lot of the alarm with which my cellphone disturbs my slumber. However, it was a welcomed symphony because this time it was the real birds in the real place – paradise.
After floating though my morning grooming routine, accompanied by the symphony, I headed down to our group’s meeting place to eat breakfast. That was followed by a couple hours of free time for the group before our departure. Most of us sat by the pool and chatted about things like the previous day’s events or the symphony that was, in fact, not just a performance for my personal enjoyment.
During all of the small talk it did cross my mind that we would now be heading to do what we came here for, serve. All of the beauty, intrigue, and exoticism would now be accompanied by uncomfortableness, hard work, and hopefully the reward of seeing a sea turtle. Fortunately, yesterday’s orientation made me feel at ease with whatever was to come – especially the reward.
Following pool time, we ate lunch as a group. We even got to eat with our tour guide, German, and awesome driver, Oldemar. Bellies full with a meal that included chicken, rice and beans (the Costa Rican staple), and yucca (a vegetable that was new to most of us), we hit the road.