Sunday, March 20, 2016

Student Reflections: Callan, Aidan, Charlie (for Sunday)

This morning we woke to the smell of chocolate by going to the Sarapiqui Chocolate tour. During the tour Willie taught us about how to pick the fruit. We also learned how to grind the cocoa beans into cocoa nips, and then blend the nips in a process called conking. To me this was one of the highlights of the trip because I love chocolate. I was really surprised to learn about how bitter the chocolate is before you add all the milk and sugar. It was also really interesting to drink cacao hautl which is the indigenous version of hot chocolate, which was one of the first beverages that chocolate was in. Pura Vida. - Callan

After a great community lunch we split into teams to start our afternoon activity The Amazing Race.  We moved through the community in groups to build our teamwork and have fun.  There were five activities: dancing, milking a cow, making tortillas, flipping a raft, and a Spanish interview with a Chilamate community member. My personal favorites were milking the cow and rafting.

Milking the cow was more of a personal activity than a teamwork exercise; however, I enjoyed it very much because I have never milked a cow before before.  It was a strange experience, the utter of the cow, once you started touching it the utter filled with milk and I had to squeeze it out gently.  It was a little odd at first but I had a great time.  I never knew how creamy milk was before being pasteurized.

The rafting was hard work!  Our kicking in the water was very ineffective because we had to wear water shoes.  Without the speed of our feet, we couldn’t climb on the boat.  My team ended up using our tall teammates, Kira and me, as structures for our shorter companions, Henri and Piper.  Once they climbed on top, our shorted friends pulled us up.  Once we did that, we fell off the raft, flipping it the process.  Once we did that, we repeated the same climbing process and declared our victory on top the raft. 

- Aidan

     The next activity in the "Costa Rica Amazing Race" was dancing. There were three different types of dance we learned: bachata,  merengue, and salsa. For each dance there were three moves, and at the end we danced these new moves with our partner. Our teachers were two local dance enthusiasts, Ilena and Erica. We learned in the living room of my home stay (with a loud sound system). The energy was fast tempo and the vibe of the room was a mixture of excitement and nervousness. 
     The next activity was tortilla making. Our teacher was a lovely homestay mother named Dinora. The ingredients were masa (corn meal) and water. The first step was putting masa in a bowl and adding water. We had to mix the masa with water and then spread it on a cellophane wrap on a plate. We needed to turn the plate and at the same time press down on the masa. To end we put our masa on the stove and let it cook and then we had our delicious homemade warm tortillas with cheese. 
     In conclusion, the vibe of the day was a mix of taking responsible risks as well as having tons of fun. Pura Vida.    
  - Charlie