Gretchen W. wrote the following blog:
*During my trip to Costa Rica, our group took a four day excursion to Corcovado National Park to truly immerse ourselves in the jungle and understand the habitat and how certain animals live within it!*
Corcovado national park was both heaven rolled up into a present and tied with a bow. Saying I loved it would be an understatement. This place is your windows screensaver, your definition of paradise, and the very place Urban dictionary pulls when you want to know what fun looks like. This has been my favorite part of the trip so far. We arrived Thursday morning by boat. We pulled up as far as we could to land, and hopped into the warm, clear water. Afer a quick tour of the beach and kitchen, we all went straight up the stairs to claim our rooms. I immediately claimed the bottom bunk facing the ocean. Can you believe it? I woke up everyday to see the ocean first thing. That’s how crazy beautiful this place is. Pure Bliss. That’s the only thing any of us felt. While corcovado seems like all sunshine and rainbows, it also pushed me and challenged me every second. In the moment I may have been uncomfortable, but I am so grateful for all I learned. We were constantly active as we hiked each and every day through the jungle. We were always challenging our brains as we learned and made inferences on how the animals and the climate of Costa Rica interact. Lastly, we were always busy learning about our friends home towns and their interests and dislikes. Needless to say, our brains were always turned on, but in those four days, I became more patient, flexible, open-minded, and definitely more resilient. I learned to be more patient when it came to trying things. I can’t always be first to see the monkeys, or touch the bats, or jump in the water. In corcovado I learned it is just as important to take the lead as it is to let others get their chance. I learned to not only be flexible, but to also enjoy it. Our plans were always changing based on the weather, and after only a day I realized this only made the trip more exciting. I learned to be open-minded as I experienced a completely different life in the park. Showers are different, toilets are different, and even the trash! In those four days we made zero waste! We also lived without electricity and cell service. These are things I’m not used to in the states, so I learned to embrace it and take it as it is. But more than any of these things, corcovado taught me to be resilient. Whenever i felt like I couldn’t communicate with a local, I wouldn’t give up. I would think again and push through. Despite the awkwardness and discomfort, I know my resiliency helped me improve my Spanish. I can positively say that everyone else in my group experienced these same things. Four days and one national park was all it took to become a stronger person. I know I can apply the things I learned in corcovado to anything else in life, and I’m excited for you to experience the same thing!