|Name: Turner Paine||Project: : Sports Education|
|From: USA||Age: 21|
Come Monday, we were ready to start our project. On Mondays and Tuesdays we would help with the gym class and on Wednesdays and Thursdays we helped in English class from eight to twelve pm. AVIC also offers free English classes to the local adults who want to try to learn English. These classes were for two hours Monday through Thursday, and were a lot of fun because everyone there really wanted to learn and loved our help.
Although no day was exactly the same, our project's four weeks flew by and were over before we knew it. Since our project was only Monday through Thursday, we were able to use the weekends to travel. Our first weekend we visited Puntarenas, our second we went to Las Musas waterpark and waterfall, and our fourth we went to La Fortuna to see the Arenal volcano, something I recommend. While there, we went zip-lining through the canopy as well as class IV and V white water rafting, which was insane. Definitely recommend that trip!
Our second week in Costa Rica was holy week for Easter, known as Semana Santa. During this week all school is closed so we did some more traveling. Going with a group of about seven we went down to the Caribbean, Puerto Viejo and also into Panama to Bocas del Toro. For me this was incredible. The way of life and timelessness pulled me in and I fell in love. So much so that I decided to cancel my flight home and to go live in Puerto Viejo and become a certified SCUBA dive master. I came here hoping for a month or so of new adventures and turns out it has sent me on my second adventure. All of Costa Rica has the pura vida charm, but I love the fact that different areas can still be so different from each other almost a whole new experience.
Our few days in Panama (Bocas del Toro) were definitely wild, culminating on a Wednesday night at a club on the water jumping off a fifteen foot plank into the water below while the other two hundred people there took pictures. Crossing the border into Panama was also a cool adventure in itself.
Our last week in San Ramon was nothing close to a slow, boring time either. The city had a huge festival, one they haven't had in over fifteen years. Complete with music, culture, a parade of over 2,000 horses ridden by anyone who owns a horse, and bull fights. Not your traditional bull fight in Spain a huge bull with massive horns is released into a ring as people who are also in the ring tempt their fate making runs past the bull trying not to get hit. Definitely one of the dumbest, most awesome things I have ever done.
Overall, I accomplished everything I came to do. I volunteered for less privileged children, met awesome, down to earth, real people, had some crazy adventures, went white water rafting, tempted my life with the bulls, experienced a new culture, and loved it so much I'm going to stay longer. I can't wait for what's to come.