Saturday, March 19, 2016

Student Reflections: Sylvie and June (on Saturday)

And another day began. With it, came zip lining. In the morning, we were picked up at our homestays and driven to a large building smack in the middle of the tropics. There we put our bags in lockers, strapped into harnesses, and anxiously awaited further instruction. We were then told to get back on a new bus and from there we continued further into the forest. Zip lining is a somewhat foreign concept to me as the only one I had ever experienced was old, ten feet across, and often slowed down in the middle forcing you to get off and pull the seat to the other end. This was much different and slightly more nerve wracking. The course was made up of eight wires we would go down, all traveling deeper into the forestation. The ropes looked daunting, and seemed to disappear behind all the greenery. As I looked down I began to take note of my surroundings. For example, the ground was really far away. Really far away. That in itself was terrifying to me, as I have a chronic fear of falling. I was second in line to go and I considered moving my self behind of few of my peers as to stall the my ‘awaiting doom.’ However, I knew that if I kept putting it off, I would psych myself out. So, I allowed my harness to be strapped to the wire cables and prepared myself. It was terrifying. Terrifying and thrilling. For the first of the eight zip lines, my eyes stayed glued shut. Looking down only reminded of how far up I was and looking up was quite impossible with the bright sun. Fortunately, I made it down the first rope with no dilemmas and continued through to the second. For this one, I managed to open my eyes just enough so I saw the incoming tree before I was stopped abruptly. Needless to say, my eyes once again were closed on the third. On the fourth, however, I decided to open them again. I cannot describe how I felt in such a moment. It was brief and yet meant more to me then almost anything I have ever experienced. All around me, there was nothing but lush green. You could hear the sound of insects and the air smelled damp and earthy. There are no words to describe such a feeling. Well, perhaps there is one. Euphoria. A happiness like no other. A beauty, that counters the gorgeous night skies of Wyoming or an ocean of pure blue. Even now, this experience makes me smile. We took another bus to get to the last zip line. This one was far longer and traveled across a river before reaching our destination, where we would remove our harnesses and get back on the bus. This feeling was again new to me, but one I would pay millions to experience again. It was one I have wanted all my life. I was feeling the wind on my face, hearing the creatures that walk in daylight. I was flying. - Sylvie



In the afternoon, we all played a game of soccer. The field we played at was in a homestay family’s backyard with goals made of bamboo, and sticks holding the netting up. While we played it was very hot, as is Costa Rica, however the homemade icies helped to cool us off. When we first arrived, we were not feeling optimistic about winning. The Costa Rican families and 6-foot teenagers walked in wearing cleats, rapidly kicking soccer balls. However, we merely lost the first game by 2 goals, and continued to hold our ground, never losing too badly. We had many rounds of soccer, some of which included only younger children, older teenagers and homestay moms. At the end of the game, everyone had a great time, Costa Ricans and Berkeley Carroll students included. Everyone got involved even the less keen players. - June