Thursday, August 11, 2011

Just border for MSP

...I cried as I put the most outstanding group of 39 middle school students and 5 teachers on their American airlines flight. It was an amazing week; smiles, laughter, encouragement, teamwork, inquiry, thoughtfulness, service and risk taking. They ALL arrived With great attitudes and a willingness to try anything- and they tried EVERYTHING! Thank you to the moms, dads, brothers, sisters, grandparents and supporters who entrusted your loved ones to Discovery Student Adventures!

PURA VIDA! -Alix Lee

Back in the USA

Our last trip with Julio

Heading to the airport!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


We arrive in Dallas at 2:40pm, after clearing customs we'll head towards our gate. Flight Leaves DFW for Minneapolis at 6:20pm. We ARRIVE in Minneapolis on AMERICAN FLIGHT 1344 at 8:40pm. We will head straight to baggage claim. Please meet us baggage claim at TERMINAL 1.

get ready to greet some tires kids!
see you soon!

Last night in costa rica

Today was our last full day in costa rica. It was a ton of fun especially rappelling down the waterfalls! They were absolutely beautiful and we got pretty drenched! Later while we were driving back to San Jose we got to stop at a souvenir shop and a wood shop. It was fun buying souvenirs and getting colones back! I'm definitely going to miss costa rica and all the travel guides and people that were with us along the way! :)

Meagan McRae
EC, Wisconsin

this was easily the best vacation ever!!! this place is sooooo cool. its warm during the day and cool at night. then yesterday we were in these little huts at the base of the volcano!! we were zip lining the the other day and that was so cool!! oh i forgot i already blogged about this. hah. well today we were repelling down a water fall and that was also amazing!!! Adios bros i'll see you when i get home.

The end to our week is here ;-)

This week has been wonderful! The kids have been great-not whining, doing all activities, and trying many new foods and juices. Thank you to all of the parents for allowing us to share in this fabulous experience with your children. They are amazing young adults and it has been a pleasure getting to know each and every one of them better. As they say here in Costa Rica "Pura Vida", see you maƱana!
-Mrs. Traynor

Costa Rica=love<3. Maddi S.

Today we woke up late compared to usual!:b we drove to a canyon and went repelling!:) it was so nice and way fun! I was pretty nervous at first but it was way worth it to go!!! I'm super sad that today was the last day though:( I want to see family because I miss them like crazy but I want to stay in Costa Rica because it's a ton of fun!:D I'll see you tomorrow parents;*
Love you lots! <3 Maddi Scheppke

Allison once again

hello everyone! It is so sad to think that today was our last full day in costa rica!! I miss home but I love it here too! I did not blog last night because I was so tired. I thought it would be better to get some sleep. Today we got up pretty early in order to get to the waterfalls to repel off of. I was so nervous at first but every time I finished a waterfall I loved it even more! I all it was definitely my second favorite thing! Move over ziplineing! The rest of the day we spent driving I the bus and getting out places to souvenir shop. I think I did a good job! Tonight Aubry and get to room together in a fabulous room! Today was a fabulous day! Yesterday we went to go milk cows and learned about pineapples and we made cheese, visited the school and went to this cool waterfall! Mr. Traynor was upstream and we were all downstream Nd he said you guys I just peed! Omg who does that! Then we went to go get a coke that our fabulous travel guides bought us! We saw cool iguanas there and then we went to the hot springs! They were really warm! I went into allnof them!!! Then we ate dinner at the restaurant there and went back to our hotel. We got back at about 8:30 and we all crashed! That is why I didn't blog! You should all be very excited to hear from me this weekend! I know I cannot wait to see you! Love Allison :D
Sent from my iPad

Last Day:(

Alright, I'm pretty bummed that today was the last day! I am excited to see my family again, but I don't want to leave. The canyoneering was super fun! We repelled down 5 waterfalls and I was drenched. I took a lot of pictures of each person repelling. I want to go back! I'm super tired though so I'm not going to blog a huge paragraph. So goodnight! Miss my family! See you tomorrow.
-Danielle Carruth

I love Costa Rica

Pura Vida! Is just one of the things they say here, and I've learned so much here its been absolutely amazing. Our time here has been filled with experiences i thought i would never get to try but i did here in Costa Rica! White water rafting, ziplining and lets not forgot what we did today, repelling down waterfalls! This is definitely one of the best things I've done here! We arrived their and got fitted for our helmets and our harnesses then they gave us a quick demonstration and then we were off! They explained that the first platform was the steepest one out of the 5. It was exactly 165 feet in the air. Once i was over the edge i tensed up, but quickly adjusted, and had a great time!! The 5 platforms got easier as we continued on. It doesn't seem like it's our last day here and I'm sad to leave! I had an fantastic time this week! Cya tomorrow parents! Love, Anika Reinsch

Last Night In Costa Rica

Today went to the rappelling place and it was so much fun! We took the bus for a few minutes and when we got there we split up into groups of eight and sat in the back of this wagon truck thing. It was kind of a bumpy ride but it wasn't that bad. The first rappelling wall was the worst. I mean it's not like it was absolutely horrible but it was kind of rough going. All of the other ones were much better and once you got used to it it was really fun! After rappelling we stopped at two stores and went shopping. I got some things I really think that my parents and brothers will like. After shopping we went to the hotel we stayed at on the first night. Tomorrow we have to get up really early and head to the air port. That makes me sad because this place is pretty mint. So bye for now. Oh wait mom or dad can u please bring my phone with when u pick me up. Now that's all bye. It's going to be really mint to see my friends again.
Emma T.

Had a great time

Wow! It's been a great week.
This vacation has been the absolute best vacation that I have ever taken. Thank you Mom and Dad for your hard work to raise the precious money that has allowed me to have such a great experience. Happy birthday Macey!

-Brandon Wekkin


while on the night hike sam f kevin h and i saw a creepy white shadowy figure at the end of the suspension bridge and the ziplining fast and fun same with the rapelling today and i am so ready to head home

Deric A

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dinner at the Hot Springs

Mmmmm GOOD! Steak, chicken, rice&beans (shocker), salad and tortillas! Wonderful food with wonderful friends...Lots of laughter!!!

Ice cream stop!

Following planting trees, visiting and learning about pineapple farming, enjoying a traditional family lunch, milking cows, making cheese, and eating some...we headed for the hot springs...but a stop was needed! We stopped to see about 50 iguanas hiding in the trees (do u see the one in the backgrround?) it was really cool!

Leslie's Day 6 Blog!!

Pura vida!!

Today has been very, very fun!! It's crazy to think that the day after tomorrow we are going to be coming home!! I have had an amazing time!

This morning we left at about 7:00 to start our busy day! Breakfast was yummy, again, where we had watermelon, pineapple, pancakes, toast, and, guess what else? Yes, you got it! Rice and beans!!

We started out with planting some pineapple trees. Because of recent storms, many of the pineapple plants were killed, so we were helping reforest Costa Rica.

After planting the trees, we went to visit an elementary school. It was pretty small (in 1st through 6th grade there were about 45 kids), and the kids spoke very little English. They knew as much English as we did Spanish, so it was hard to be able to communicate with them. After we all introduced ourselves and we gave them the supplies we brought, we all started playing different sports. A soccer game was going on (very fun!), jump roping, and so on. Then I went and got my string off the bus and a bunch of us taught the kids to make bracelets (without talking because no one understood the other language) and gave them all some finished ones we had had from before. They all seemed to really like them!!

Next, we went back to the pineapple plantation to learn about how pineapples are produced. It was crazy how much he a pineapple was worth though - a 1 pound pineapple only cost 28 cents, about 60 cents if it was organic. Back in Wisconsin, it costs about $5 to get a one pound pineapple!

Then we went for a small hike to a waterfall! It was very pretty and super fun to swim in!!

After that, we went to a different part of the farm to have lunch. After a delicious homemade lunch, we milked cows and learned how to make cheese! It was very interesting to see how it went from milk to cheese. And it only takes a few hours!

On our way to the Hot Springs, we stopped and our tour guides bought us all ice cream or pop! It was very good!! The hot springs were very relaxing and the strawberry smoothies were very yummy! It was probably my favorite swimming experience in the whole trip!

And now we are all sorting through and packing our suitcases and blogging!! Tomorrow is repelling down waterfalls and then souvenir shopping!! Very excited!!

With love,
-Leslie K.

Today we got to help replant the rainforest and we planted 2 trees each. It was really cool, but i couldn't believe how dry the soil was. Then we got to milk cows and learn how to make cheese. We also walked to a really pretty waterfall and swim in it. Then we went to the hotsprings and they were so warm, it was really relaxing. They had really good strawberry-banana smoothies. They also had very good steak and chicken.

Deidra Gibson

Maddi Scheppke's blog

Today was absolutely amazing! It was perfect weather...maybe just a little hot but over all very, very nice. We planted trees right away in the morning so I felt so good about it!:) yay!! Then we donated different school supplies to a rural school. The kids were so cute and nice! Even though they couldn't speak any english..the little Spanish that I know worked very well! We also went to a waterfall that was beautiful!! It felt so good because we were hot and sweaty from hiking there! Then we went to a village and milked cows! It was SO WEIRD!!! But a good experience to have under my belt;) then late tonight we went to the hot springs...they were aaaahhhhmmazing!;) like I want some in Eau Claire when I get back!
I'm sad that this experience is coming to an end and that we only have one more day but it was way worth it so thanks Mom and Dad<3 your awesome and I'm excited to see you on Thursday and tell you about it all!:) I'm gunna look for stuff for you tomorrow:b love ya lots! Talk to you soon!!
Maddi S.

Ahhh! Fast!

So the other day we went ziplining! It was soo fun nut really scary too! Today we went to visit a schoon and the kids were so nice! We planted trees this morning too, and listened to a talk about pineapples! Then we went to visit this family an they made us lunch, I think I'm costa rica the people live off rice and beans! I'm ready for different food! Then at their house we milked cows and learned how to make cheese! It was really good! After that we went to see a waterfall, and the hot springs after that! It's soooo beautiful; I can't believe how fast it went by! Tomorrow I'm going shopping and getting souvenirs! The stuff is so different here I hope you all like everything! But anyways, goodnight!


That went by really fast

okay so Bailee hasn't blogged in lke forever so here is my sssssummery

so we went to the Proyecto ASIS and that was very amazing. First we met yessica and Hercules. hehe. they were spider monkeys. yessica knew english, like if you gave her your hand and said hi im... she will shake your hand and hold it. sooo cute!!! then we met a a parrot. crazzeee beautiful! then we saw a kankajou named benjamin and I guess hes famous or something. but guess what. when the owner was like taking him out of the cage Benjamin like crawled off his shoulder and onto mine and he like body surfed back to his cage. It was totes amaze until he crawled up on a branch and ummmmm shook the dew off the lilly if ya know what I mean. hehe. anyhoo that was cool but today was totes craz!!!!
First we went to a pinapple ranch thinger and and helped with the "Reforestation" project. After than we went to a local school and met all the kids. don't worry mom I got tons of pics:) haha but then we played soccer against them and got our butts totes wupped. HAaaa jorje was beast!!!! anyhoo some of the gils who went to the school. They were the cutest things! After the school we treked through the rainforest and got drenched in sweat but it was totes wort it brcause we went to an amazing waterfall. but then we went back and drove to a pinapple plantation. HAHA they also had cows. They brought then in and were like do you want to milk?? and i was like heck yeah. Im sooo beast at that game!!!!haha then the family cooked for us. did you know there is a such thing as fried cheese???? dudeeeee! but we said goodbye to them and drove away to the hot springs!!!!! that was like the single most relaxing thing i have ever done. ahhhhhh i would totes live there. well miss yall and I cant wait to see you in like two days. love my rents and mange!!! say hi to giz for me mom! Oh and make sure the pillows on my bed are extra fluffy for him K?

Bailee <3

Making Cheese in Costa Rica!

As most of you know, Wisconsin is known for it's cheese! So it was quite a coincidence today when they told us that we would be making cheese here in Costa Rica.
We arrived at a Costa Rica family farm sometime around noon today. We ate a delicious lunch that consisted of beans, rice, plantains, beef and a frozen drink. The family prepared the lunch for all 46 of us! I was very thankful for that. After lunch we milked cows. So, another coincidence right?! We picture Wisconsin and think...COWS! And well, cheese of course! We then used the milk that we milked from the cows to make cheese. You start by pouring the milk into a pot. Then you add a bacteria that thickens the milk to make it into a thicker substance. After that, you cook it for about 45 minutes then slice it into cubes, and then cook it for 15 more minutes and it's done! It was super good and just writing about it is making my mouth water. I can't wait for canyoneering tomorrow, but it's sadly our last day of wonderful adventures here in Costa Rica, and I still do not want to leave:(
-Danielle Carruth

School and hot springs!

Today we visited a school in jualiana. I met a ten year old girl named Priscilla who was really sweet. I gave her sillybandz and it was cool to see her face light up when I gave them to her. we took a picture together and she thought my name was negan! We played soccer with the kids at the school and it was a ton of fun! Jorge our travel guide has some major soccer skills! He told us he played professionally when he was 19 and 20. Later in the day we went to the hot springs by arenal and they were absolutely beautiful! Today was a lot of fun and I'm gout to be sad when we leave!

Meagan McRae
EC, Wisconsin

It Was A Big Day

Today was a pretty packed day today. The first activity we did today was plant trees to connect the ecosystem and bring he macaw back to the area we were in. After that we went to another school and gave them the remaining school supplies we had. This included some toys like squirt guns that the kids LOVED. After we were introduced to each other we were able to play with the kids. Most of the kids played soccer. After the school we went to a pineapple plantation and learned a lot o facts there. Then we hiked to an amazing water fall. I would have loved to take pictures but, sadly my other camera has stopped working too. I was very dissapointed. Anyway after we spent some time at the waterfall we hiked back to the bus and went to a ranch. When we got to the ranch we learned how to milk cows and make cheese, so that was pretty cool. After the ranch we went to the hot springs which were amazing! We are back at the hotel at the moment and I am tired so I have to go.
Emma T.
This is the first time I have blogged this week, so its going to be a little rough. To sum up the week in two words "good week" to sum it up more I would say I had a great time in this new country, hanged out with people I didn't know too well, and had many great expirences. I had so much fun in this great nation and would like to do it again.

Samuel Siewert Augest 8th, 2011

Second to last full day in Costa Rica

The day started with breakfast, which was delicious this was the best hotel that we have stayed in all week. We drove to plant little trees they were about a foot tall. We visited a school next. The school system works a lot different then how it does back home. Then we went to a pineapple tour, but it was supper hot and I was so dehydrated. Alix Lee is the bomb the best and so many more awesome words. I am so glad she came to Costa Rica with us. We hiked for a really long time to a waterfall. It felt so refreshing. We hopped back on the bus and it smelled terrible. We drove to a farm where we ate lunch. They had made a hamburger beef type thing. It was so delicious and reminds me of our American food back home. I can't wait to go home and have a glass of ice cold milk. The high light of the day was being able to milk a cow and watch the process of making cheese. We were able to try the cheese, but it was a little chewy. We drove and stopped to see a dozen plus iguanas in a tree. The wonderful tour guides bought us ice and it was interesting ice cream. We drove to the hot springs that felt wonderful some were supper hot that you could hardly be in there for 5 min. We ate supper there but I wasn't really hunger so I don't know if the food tasted good or not. Can't believe the trip is almost over:(
See you soon
Aubry B. Wisconsin
Today was a very long, busy day! We started the day by planting trees to help connect the ecosystem. It was SO HOT, but it was a great feeling to know that we were helping out nature. Afterwards we went to visit an elementary school. We brought the students some school supplies and sport equipment, then we all played a game of soccer. (We won!) Then we visited a pineapple plantation and went to swim under a waterfall, which was totally incredible. From there we went to a locally run farm, where we had lunch, milked cows, and learned how to make cheese! Then it was time for the hot springs. They were so awesome!!!! We hung out and relaxed for a while, then had a delicious dinner and drove back to the hotel. What a great day! I can't believe the trip is almost over! -Roz Faulkner

Sent from my iPad

Dude!!!!! This trip Is amazing!!!! My favorite part has got to be the ziplining! we were going about 40mph!! and we were about 200 yards above the ground! it was scary but fun!!! then today we milked cows!! I want a fake so I can milk it!! see yall when I get back bros
this trip was amazing, my favorite part of the trip was the white water rafting on the first day. I really enjoyed the zip-lining. I just want to say the food is "intresing." I like most of the food, unless it is green or I really don't want it.

Carl Folz
today was so fun!!!!! I caught up on some sleep this morning on the bus :) and then we were in juanilama!!!!!! the kids at the school were so sweet :) and they are so good at soccer!!!!! they almost beat us!!!! but we won :) we also went to a waterfall. it was really refreshing because the water was cold and the air was so hot! but my favorite part of the day had to be the hot springs! they were so refreshing :) today was so relaxing and amazing!!!!!!

Dinner at the Hot Springs


Mmmmm good!!! Hand milked cows=homemade cheese....and we learned a lot too!

Learning about organic pineapple farming

Do you see the sunshine? It's a beautiful day...NO rain!!!

Making bracelets with school children

Are you kidding me?

This jumped onto Mr Traynor in the Lobby of our hotel!

Next up

MiLkInG cows & making cheese!
Oh what fun, not to mention HARD work!


set out after a tour of the school and a lesson on organic pineapple farming we set out on a hike through the rainforest where we ended up swimming in the waterfall...TONS of fun!

Breakfast omelet bar!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Great travelers!

Students from delong have been as I expected... Fantastic. I have not heard any whining about busy days, food, early mornings or strict chaperones! Students are up and going ahead time with plenty of positive vibes. Just as I was writing this the custodian of the lomas del volcan brought a colorful frog in of which I can't pronounce however it is the one you see in all of the posters. It jumped from person to person and brought a few screams and laughs. The day typically starts about six and as you see does not stop until we say lights out.

Mr long

Sent from my iPad

Day 5..Already?!

This week has been going by so fast! Day 5 has come and gone...It all started with breakfast at the Tirimbina Hotel. It was very good! Then we left and drove 2 hours to the zip-lining place. The drive wasn't bad at all! When we arrived we got our supplies for the zip-lining and took the sky tram to the top of the first cable. When we got to the first platform we were given the best ice tea I have ever tasted. The first two cables were only like 20 feet long and called "practice cables." But the third one...that's a different story! I believe Alix posted a video of me screaming on the blog. I actually don't remember screaming at all! The third one was definitely the scariest though. The highest one was 1800 feet high, the fastest one was up to 55 miles per hour, and the longest one was 1/2 mile long! That was the scariest thing I have done in a long time, but when we were done, I wanted to do it again! After zip-lining we went to our resort. It is really nice here. We each have our own little cabins and bodays in our bathrooms. We ate lunch and left to go see the ASIS project. The purpose of the project is to help retrain animals that have been taken in as pets. I got to hold a spider monkeys hand and see a lot of animals really close. Afterwards we went back to the resort, ate and went swimming! The pool was so sweet! Now I'm getting yelled at to finish writing and to bed! I miss you lots but I dont want to leave!! -Danielle Carruth


Today was absolutely fabulous!:) we woke up pretty early and then went ziplining! There were fast ones and slow ones and far ones so it was so so so much fun! I took many different videos and pictures so thats goooood:) We also ended up going to the Project Asis which was animals from the forest that the people saved and were rehabilitating. It was super hot though so that wasn't so fun. We had a fun pool party later tonight and tomorrow we go to the hot springs!:D yay! To mama, please send those letters:) thanks!! Xoxo, say hi to Dad and Logan too! Miss you and talk to you soon!
Love <3
Maddi S.

Sent from my iPad

Day 5 ZipLining

Today was sooo fun!!! ZipLining lining was a blast, but I don't know what's better white water rafting or ZipLining. I liked the thrill, speed, and hieght. White water rafting was just plain out fun. After ZipLining we went to our hotel, which are like cabins. It is the best hotel ever. The bonus is that the bathroom is huge and has a badae in it. Isn't that awesome? Well then we ate lunch and went to the animal reserve. I go to hold a spider monkey's hand. That was sweet. We went in town to go walk around and go shopping. I was starving by that time and was so excited to eat the food and it was so delicious. The hotel is located at the bottom of the volcano and has this pool with like a little waterfall but it was pretty chilly. I am really sad that it's already day 5, but I can't wait to eat something else besides rice and beans and sleep in my own bed.
See you soon.
Aubry B Wisconsin

Day 5!!

I'm so sad that our trips almost over!! Today we went zip lining and it was amazing!! We were SO high up!! We just got done swimming at the hotel. The pool and hot tub were super nice! Today when we went to the Asis center we got to hold hands with monkeys and feed a kinkajou. They're super cute! We got to walk around a small city called La Fortuna. It was really pretty, especially when it got dark and the fountain lights turned on.

Deidra Gibson

from my iPad

I was really looking forward to today, and it definitely lived up to my expectations! The early start was a little painful (especially after our extremely wet canopy night walk) but zip lining was worth the lack of sleep! Being so high above the rainforest and zipping past Arenal volcano was AMAZING!!! The views were great. To balance the exhilaration and excitement of the morning, in the afternoon we went to the Asis Project home, where many injured or sick animals were being taken care of. It was really sad to see what people had unintentionally done to some of those animals, but also great that the people at the Asis Project were working so hard to fix other peoples' mistakes. I hope that someday I can make a difference like that! -Roz Faulkner


Heyyyyyyyy! Yesterday I got pummeled (good word right;)) with giant waves and the day before we visited my tribe (BriBri. Hehe:)) but who wants to hear about that! Just kidding:) But today we went ZIPLINING!!!!!! Craziness, right!? All 45 of us went and NOBODY chickened out! YAy!
I absolutely loved it and it was SOooooooo beautiful! By the way, I never knew that I could scream as long and as loud as I did!!!! Like I said... craziness! After ziplining we drove to the hotel which is spectacularly amazingly magnificent! It has a fabulously (is this a word?) magestic view of Arenal Volcano! ( don't worry, taking lots of pictures) we had a delicious lunch at the hotel which, surprisingly, didn't include rice and beans! We then drove to a reserve where the ASIS Project was taking place. There we saw sooo many cool and interesting animals! I even saw some sloths! Yes yes yes! *Mom And dad-my camera has some sand in the lense and the shutter won't open. I think it is something we can most likely probably fix at home we just didn't have the right tools here. I am sooo sorry! Love you!!! Mr. and Mrs. Traynor graciously and kindly let me use one of their cameras and put my memory card in there. The sand got in there when Jack was trying to pick up a giant crab (crazy) it pinched him and he flung his had back! I have grudgingly forgiven him! (sarcasm) on the optimistic side ( also known as the bright side) I got some really awesome pictures on the beach! Yay!* Well i've got to go back to swimming!

Love from Brie Jol

Mr. Traynor and I are wondering about something:
* What do fish who live in saltwater when they get thirsty??!*
please give me your best guess!!!!!

Leslie's Day 5 Blog!


Today has been super fun!

Breakfast was really yummy! We had watermelon, pineapple, eggs, toast, cereal, and, surprise, surprise, rice and beans!

After breakfast, we headed to the zip lining place. I was a little nervous when I saw the really long and really fast zip lines (the longest almost a half mile long and the fastest about 55 miles per hour), but after I did the first longer one it was really fun!!! Everyone in our group did the zip lining - no one took the chicken path back down! I also heard almost everyone in the group scream, including myself...

After zip lining, we came to the hotel we are staying at tonight and tomorrow night. I really like it here! It's at the base of the Arenal volcano, which sadly hasn't been active since last October. But the hotel is still really nice and really pretty and the pool is super fun, too!

Next, we went to ASIS, which is a reserve that takes wild animals that have been illegally taken as pets and trains them to go back in the wild again. It was really neat to see and touch all of the animals (I got to hold a spider monkey's hand!!), but it was sad to see how many animals are illegally taken from the wild. We also learned that for an animal to be taken from its habitat, the mother of the animal is usually killed. I think it's horrible that people do that, but I'm glad there are reserves like ASIS that are helping stop it.

After dinner (where there were no beans, which is my first meal here without black beans), we all went down to the pool and jacuzzi. Now, we are taking turns blogging and swimming!!

Tomorrow is going to be a very busy day of seeing waterfalls, meeting new people, visiting a school, enjoying hot springs, sight-seeing, and picture-taking!! Very excited!!!

-Leslie K.

P.S. I never got a chance to blog about the night hike last night... It was wet. We were the only group of four groups who got rained on. It actually poured. We weren't able to see very many animals, but we did see 3 big grasshoppers, a cricket, a frog, a possum, 2 spiders, and lots of flowers! And on the bright side we only saw 2 ants, and they weren't fire or bullet ants!! Woo hoo!!

Hello from Mr. Traynor

Hello parents!

I just wanted to send you all a message to let you know how proud I am of your kids. They have truly exceeded my expectations on this trip. They are being active learners and are truly having an amazing experience. It has been fun watching them make new relationships - and accept new challenges. EVERYONE has participated in every activity. Thanks again for giving them this opportunity.......they are going to have a lot of stories to share!

See you soon!

I cant beleive it is already day 5! I have had so much fun over the last five days. Today we went ziplining at first I was pretty scared but after the first long line I was having such a blast seeing the trees and the volcano I did not even notice the extreme height. We also got to tour around a small town for a while it was so interesting all the people and how they shop. Then we also got to go and see many animals through the asis project. The project takes in animals that are illegal to have but the animals are domesticated. I saw spider monkeys and other cool animals. I also have to talk about tommarrow because it was so much fun! For the first time ever I swam in the ocean! The waves seemed pretty big but everyone said they were medium. I body surfed and dove in and out of the waves. Yestarday we also went and saw a coral reef. It was a little hard to see because it was cloudy but I still got some great pictures! That night we went on a night hike it was so cool I saw many spiders including a tarantula and a very rare poison dart frog. Over all I had a great time!

-Madeleine M.

Hey yall

Hi everybody!! Today was sooo the second best day ever on this trip!!! We all went zip lining and it was just fabulous! No joke! I am so hyper right now because I don't have a lot of sleep and we are swimming!! Yipee!! :D dont worry I am perfectly fine! The hot tub is the perfect temperature right now and the pool is freezing, but I had to go into it because it has a miniature waterfall!
Anyway ziplining was a thriller. My abbs do nit hurt like at all because the harness holds you up completley!! Everyone got to do it! Nobody chickened out!! Every new line I was just so excited. After we got done doing that we left and went to this cool place call ASIS I have no idea what it stands for, but it was awesome!! It was like this reservation for lots of animals that they are training to go back out in the wild! We got to see all sorts of monkey types and parrots and dogs. They made us lemonade, but I didn't have any. I am bug bitten and ant stung. The ants weren't awful. I got lots of pictures that I can't wait to show you!
Oh yeah! and the hike last night! Good news. I didn't get hurt. But I got drenched. I took a shower, washed all the sand out of my hair and was going to go to bed, but I had a kankor sore. That was quite the event. Long story short, I took some iB profen. It does wonders. I am having a blast and am going to go swimming again. Days fly by like miniutes here. I miss you all and love you. I can't wait to see you again! Yours truly, Allison P. :D

Dan's day(s)

Hey mom and dad, and anyone who is following me!!!

I've been having a great time here!!! I will tell you what I did.

The first day we white water rafted, (so fun)

the second day we visited the awesome bri bri tribe, and we learned a lot about all the works of chocolate making. Then we played some sports with the kids of the tribe.

the third day we snorkeled and saw the coral reef, again, (fun) and then we swam in the ocean. yayy!!!

then today we went zip lining and i did not pee my pants, but i screamed!!! Then after we traveled to the asis center and saw domesticated wild animals being rehabilitated.

I am having a great time!!! I'm so thankful i received this opportunity to be on this trip! :)
thanks mom and dad!!!

Zip Lining Today

Okay so hi agian. Today we went zip lining on the Sky Trek system. It was really cool and really pretty once I got over my fear of hieghts. The view from most of the platforms was super amazing. We took the Sky Tram to get up to the first platform and the view was so beautiful. The first two lines were practice lines so you could get used to the positions and decide whether you wanted to go the rest of the was or not. Everyone from our group went on all eight of the zip lines and I'm guessing every single one of them is glad that they did. Half way through on the second to last line I managed to get a wasp to fly down my shirt and sting me a little bit below my neck. It hurt so bad and I couldn't let go of the handle so I had to deal with a wasp stinger jabbing in to my skin for the rest of the way. When I was able to get off the line I got the wasp out of my shirt and I had to pull the stinger out of my skin and it was big too. It was not my most pleasent expierience on this trip, but I suppose it may have been worth it because I got a Sky Trek pin as an award. We are going to the school, a ranch, a water fall, and the hot springs tomorrow. I can't wait. Well thats all I have to say for now.
Emma T.
OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!! Ziplining was so much fun! There were eight lines that started small and then got oober long and fast :) it was such a cool experience! an then our hotel!!!!! it is beautiful! each group of us (2-3 kids) has our own hut. the huts are wood with plasma screen TVS and HUGE bathrooms with a boudais!!!! we went to an animal rescue center where we got to see a bunch of native animals :) it was pretty neato! up next (After dinner) is a pool party!!!! can't wait!!!!

~Hannah W
Today was a really fun day. We went zip lining this morning which was amazing. I had done it before but that was way cooler!! There were 8 lines and the longest was half a mile long. Then we went to the ASIs project. That was really cool. There were a lot of neat animals that we could get up close to. I even got to hold a monkey and it crawled all over me and didn't want to leave me. It was incredible!! Now we are at our hotel at the bottom of the volcano and we are goin to eat supper. It was an amazing day and I can't wait for tomorrow!
-Megan H

Megan H holding the male monkey!

Project ASIS

Learning about the Scarlet Macaw and how they are working with her to rehabilitate so she can return to the wild.

Just finished lunch- off to animals

And moms&dads this is the hotel pool where your children are staying...they are speechless& loving it!

Just finished to see animals!

SIX ziplines DoWN and LOVING it!

Danielle C. On the zipline!

This is SO fun!!

Mikayla on the zipline

Up,up and away!

This is the largest manmade lake in costa rica producing 40% of the country's energy!

180ft up heading to the first zipline!

Waiting for the sky tram up to zipline

YES, that is are arenal in the background!!!!

Heading to the sky tram all GEARED up

Heading to the zipline course!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Costa rica now

It's me Tiffany and I'm loving it! Everything is great and the rafting is awesome and snorkeling is even better. Just wish my camera was waterproof. Miss and love you guys!

Day 4: Snorkeling and Night Hike!

The day started off with a nice breakfast at Almonds and Corals, then we headed off to the snorkeling place! The coral reef was nice and the waves were really big. After snorkeling we went back to shore and body surfed for a while until it was time to leave to go eat lunch. The drive was about an hour and 15 minutes to our lunch buffet. It was really good! There was fish, fruit and rice. After lunch we drove an hour and a half to our new hotel called the Tirimbina Reserve. As soon as we arrived, we split into groups and went on a night hike through the forest. We saw spiders, frogs, bullet ants, and even a tarantula! It was actually quite frightening! Now we have our evening meeting and we are hitting the hay soon! Super excited for zip lining tomorrow! I can't wait!

Fire Ants!

After snorkeling today, we went back to get our backpacks to shower and wash all of the sand off! I picked up my backpack and started walking towards the shower, and then I felt my back stinging. All of the sudden my legs and my arms were stinging, so i took my backpack off and told Anika to see if there was anything on my back. She told me that I had ants EVERYWHERE! Than it started burning, so I ran to the showers to get all of the ants off. After all of the ants were gone my back and arms i had small bumps all over that looked like mosquito bites, and they burned! Mr. Long gave me anti-sting wipes and that really helped! Apparently I had been stung/bitten by fire ants.

Do not like ants anymore!!!


Snorkling was great today except I kept swalloing sea water which burned my throat and it also got into my eyes which kept burning most of the day. We then were able to go swimming and Kevin and I went body surfing and caught some big waves about 6 feet high. We then got sick of the water and got out and I got buried in the sand and was made into a mermaid. I then got into the water again and got some more waves. The busride to our hotel we are at tonight was great. I just talked with my friends and listened to music and then fell asleep all while alix lee was licking Mr. Long's elbow. The hike we just went on was fun and some some neat insects and animals. I did not get stung by any ants unlike some others on the hike. The food was good again especially the french fries.

Kyle Balash EC, Wisconsin

Body Surfing!!

Today right after we finished our amazing hike through the rain forest we went body surfing on the beach. It was absolutely incredible how much fun we all were having riding the waves up to the shore line. The waves were at times very big, around 5 feet tall at times, and had the power to knock all of us off our feet. This is an experience I will never forget. It's stunning how much fun we had doing something as simple as body surfing.

Adam Kumar Nijhawan

Leslie's Day 4 Blog


This morning wasn't anything too different than the other days of the trip. We had to have our suitcases down at the bus at 7:30, and then we went to eat breakfast. We had watermelon, fried bananas, pancakes, and beans and rice. More beans and rice. Hurray!! :)

Then, we got on the bus and headed to the place where we would be snorkeling and hiking. I was in the group that would be hiking first. It was really cool to see everything; there were flowers, spiders, howler monkeys, sloths, leaf-cutter ants, hermit crabs, and so much more! I took lots of pictures!!!!

After we were done hiking, we went swimming in the Carribean Sea. It was really fun, but the salt water stung my throat and nose. Soon after, we went snorkeling! It was my first time snorkeling in an ocean/sea and the fish and coral were super pretty!! I wish I had an underwater camera so I could have taken pictures to share with everyone!

After a short bus ride, we went to a restaraunt for lunch. We had fish, beef, steak, mashed potatoes, fruit, and, of course, rice and beans. When we were done with lunch, we got on the bus and prepared for a 2 1/2 hour bus ride. It wasn't too bad - the plane ride here was about 3 times longer!

Now, we are waiting for the other group to come back from hiking. We ate dinner (chicken, salad, cucombers, french fries, and, once again, rice and beans) and now everyone is journaling or blogging. I'm very excited for the night hike and ziplineing!!!!

-Leslie K.
today we went to the carribean sea and went on a walk along the ocean to spot animals we spoted a lot of anamails and ended up swimming in the ocean crashing into the waves for half an hour then we went snorkeling then taking a 1 hour drive to lunch and then another 2 and a half hours and got to our hotel and split into 2 groups and went on a night walk thruogh the woods when we got back it started to poor and we sat and waited


Day 4

Today we went to one of Costa Rica's national parks. We went off in to the sea and went snorkeling. It was so cool! There were so many kinds of coral and so many different kinds of fish too! I took some pictures, right before we got to the coolest spot my camera broke. It was quite tragic. I still can't get it to work so I'm getting really worried about it. I'm hoping that I will be able to fix it. Anyway tomorrow is zip lining. I'm worried and excited about it at the same time because I'm afraid of heights. After zip lining we are going to the animal rehabilitation center, so that should be really cool too. I can't wait to get back and see friends and family. Bye for now.
Emma T.

Allison is in Costa Rica!

Hey everyone!!!
Today was an action packed day full of fun adventures!!! Including what felt like a four hour drive!!! we went snorkeling and on a little mini hike around the ocean. Then we went swimming in the ocean!!! That was a lot to handle!!! I got SOO much sand in my swimming suit and hair!! The worst thing is that I CANT EVEN SHOWER YET to get the sand out! I can't do that yet because we are waiting to go on an hour hike yet tonight. We have to split into two different groups. The other group is going right now! We had to split because not evnough people had shoes to hike in. Our glorious alternative is RUBBER BOOTS!!! Wha Hoo!! We stopped at a little restaurant today for lunch and we got to drink coke out of a real glass bottle!! The bummer was that we couldn't take the glasses home because they recycle them. Thats a good idea, but now our collection can't grow. At least we got to have fun blowing in the bottles and making tunes!!!!
Last night in our little cabin thing an ant like stung madeliene and we stayed up another extra hour just trying to get back to our normal states. What a proccess that was! I have the honerable glory to say that I KILLED IT!!! The ant that is. like 30 minutes after it happened. Well thats all for here. Almost halfway done with the trip!! Love you!! :D Allison P.

costa rica

yesterday we visited the bri-bri tribe and although we could not understand the native children we still had alot of fun playing with them and we also shot their native bow and i was the only one to spear the banana flower. then today we went for a walk thruogh a national park and then snorkling and i an about to go on a night hike


Today was a totally different experience but a good one at that! We went snorkeling today as well as a short hike next to the beach. I thought that snorkeling was the best though. We got up close and personal with the coral reefs, which was pretty amazing! We looked at the different types of coral that was cool. I felt like I could just reach out and touch it! Overall I would say today was a pretty awesome day!
Love Anika!!!

Elbow lickin

somehow everyone started licking each others elbows because you can't feel it! While mr Long was talking Alix came behind him and started licking his elbow-- pretty gross! anyway now everyone's watching out so they don't get an elbow licking. eating dinner right now getting ready for a night hike, they have French fries here!

-- Meagan McRae
EC Wisconsin

Hey guys! Today we went to the ocean and swam, then went on a short hike through the coast! After that we went snorkeling! The food here is really good, and everything's so beautiful!


As good as McDonalds

Right now we are eating supper at the hotel. They have super good french fries that are just as good, maybe better, than McDonalds. Today we went snorkeling and we swam over a coral reef. It was really cool and there were a ton of fish. After that we went swimming in the ocean and there were huge waves. It was really fun!

Deidra Gibson

Thoughts before Dinner...guessing rice and beans?!

So the past two days have been mind blowing!!!!yesterday we went and visited the bribri tribe( I think that's how you spell it:p) and just the hospitality was incredible!!! Then today We went snorkeling and it was amazing but the salt water was ickyyy!!! So still have amazing thing ahead can't wait!!!:)
Mikayla Otto

Checkin into Tirimbina Hotel!

Heading to room, dinner at 6pm, night hike in the dark!!!!

Fun in the Costa Rica sand

A MONKEY on the way to the reef!

And off to hike!

Off to snorkel after breakfast!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

No mints on the pillows- only grasshoppers!

Leslie's Day 3 Blog!

Hey everyone!

So, this morning we had the option of going for a walk on the beach. If we wanted to we had to be ready at 6, so two of my roommates set an alarm on one of their I-Pods because there was no alarm clock. In the morning, I woke up when the alarm was going off. I sat up and noticed that one of my roommates was still waking up and the other two were getting up to get ready. I also noticed that it seemed to be pretty dark for almost 6 in the morning. I grabbed my watch, and it said 3:45. I asked them if it was really 3:45. They replied, shocked, "It's 3:45?!?!" I didn't know how my watch could get off, but I figured that it must have happened! Then they asked if the time here was an hour ahead of the time in EC. Guess what? It's not. It's an hour behind. So we resent the alarm clock and got a few more hours of sleep.

The activity for today was visiting the Bribri tribe! It was so cool to see the difference in cultures between us and them. We got there by canoe (which were carved out - they used to be tree trunks) and then got to make chocolate sauce. After that, we played different games with the kids who lived there, including soccer and four square. We also got to try to shoot a handmade bow! I didn't do very well, but it was still very fun!!

I can't wait for snorkeling and hiking tomorrow!!!

I love and miss you Mom and Dad!!!!! (And Annette too!)

-Leslie K.

More video FUN!

bribri tribe adventure today

Today I was going to get up and go for an ocean side walk but it was raining and I wanted to sleep. So we ate breakfast where we are staying then loaded these little busses to head to where we loaded the dug out canoe, which I do have to say was a little creepy. On the way to the bribri tribe cummunity I was in a tiny canoe and it was rocking back and forth. Plus we were getting stuck in the rocks because the river was so shallow and the person in the front was using a long stick to push us out...oh by the way the canoes had motors on the back so we were just able to enjoy the senerey. In one part of the rive one side was Pannama and the other side was costa Rica. Then we finnally arrived at the bribri tribe comunity after an hour in the canoe and a little walk to the village. All the people there were so nice and welcoming. We were able to help make chocolate and shoot a bow made out of a tree stick and and arrow. It was really fun, but the best part was playing ball with the kids from the bribri tribe. On the way back it was bumpy but i fell a sleep and then stopped at a market and got costa rican money. Finally back at the cabin things, and were able to go along the beach and go in the ocean. It was so much fun. The food is great and can't wait to go snorkeling and hiking tomorrow, but is sad because we have to move all our luggage again.
Well I will inform you guys later...
With love...
Aubry B. Wisconsin

Hi from Allison!

Hi everyone!!!! Today was soooooooooooo informational!! I hope that you all get to see the videos! After every shower that I have taken and fire ants
That I have seen I'm a bazillion times more thankful for every thing that I have!!!! Even paved roads! We got to meet the bribri tribe and gave them some sports equipment. They told us a little bit about their culture and gave us some lunch. We eat a lot of rice and beans here! I have been journaling too. This afternoon a lot of us went to the beach for a walk and ended up swimming with our clothes on! So much fun!
Tomorrow we are going snorkeling, hiking, swimming, and night hiking! I cannot wait! I miss you all and love you! Allison
Sent from my iPad

Updates from costa Rica

After dinner meeting!

Mr. Traynor is covering our day tomorrow...breakfast at 7:30, hitting the road for snorkeling, hiking...and more!

This group is GREAT! Moms, dads, friends, family, blog followers...EVERYONE is having fun, EVERYONE is eating, EVErYONE is trying everything- and with a GREAT'd ALL be proud!!!

Costa Rica:)

Today was amazing!:) we woke up and went to the BriBri Tribe to deliver donated things that we brought from home. We also made homemade chocolate from the cocoa beans that the tribe had grown. It was an eye-opening experience because I guess I never realized just how lucky I am in Eau Claire. The kids we're so excited to get the soccer balls, frisbees, and footballs. They don't take anything for granted and that's so valuable now days! We ended up playing soccer with the children and it was a blast(: later in the night, we went to the beach and some watched the sunset while people(like me) body surfed!!:D I'm missing family and friends like crazy but I'm having a ton of fun here! (don't worry Mom:)) love you all lots<3
Maddi S.

Sent from my iPad

Day 2!

Just got done eating dinner at Almonds and Corals, had a blast today! Started off with an hour bus ride to the start of the canoeing area. Each canoe held 5 or 6 people, not including the 2 drivers. It took about an hour to canoe up the river to the BriBri tribe. When we arrived, we took a quick tour, then ate some bread and lemonade. Afterwards we made chocolate from roasted cocoa beans and it was very good(: Then we played with the little kids and the supplies that we donated to them. We had a delicious lunch and the left to come back to our hotel. It was such a fun day and I can't wait for snorkeling tomorrow! Miss my friends and family dearly, but I don't want to leave! -Danielle C.

Sent from my iPad

My Day!

HALO. It's Colin Swiler at the mermento... Today I woke up at 5:15 to the sound of howling monkeys. Normally I would be angry to wake up that early, but this is kind of a one in a life time deal so I wasn't to mad. After I took up shower, about half of our group headed to the beach. The rest of the gang were to lazy! Anyway, on the beach we saw some pretty cool stuff. After the beach, we all got packed up and headed to the Yorkin river. It was GORGEOUS. The second I had seen the mountians and water, it was speechless. As we boated along, we eventually got to land and visited the BriBri tribe. They were really cool. All the kids were playing soccer, and having a good time, and all of us just fitted right in. On the way home, it had to be the funniest boat ride ever. In our boat was Derek, Rosalind, Madeleine, Carl, and Sam S. We all just joked and joked, as we watched the beautiful scenery pass on by. As of right now, we just got done eating (a really good dinner at that) and now were all chatting and having a good time. I'll blog more tomorrow! Seeya PEOPLE!

P.S. There was a dog riding on a windshield of a car today, and the car was going pretty fast! Funny, but kinda scary for the dog...

BriBri Tribe

Homemade chocolate equals.....LOVE
Played soccer with some of the little kids from the tribe!

Sent from my iPad


Today we took a bus ride to a river where we took a canoe to a village. The people there are the BriBri tribe. On the canoe ride there we went right in-between Panama and Costa Rica! It was really cool. Then after the boat ride we walked a little and we saw a kit of cocoa plants andnwe watched how to make chocolate. We woke up this morning to Howler Monkeys right behind our bungalow!! That was really cool!

Sent from my iPad

News from Madeleine

Today we went to see the Bribri tribe. We got there from a dug out canoe. That is the only way to get there. On one side of the Yorkin river was Panama and on the other side was Costa Rica. Did you know Costa Rica means rich costa.the Spanish named it when they first came here because so of the native people had precious gold necklaces. It turns out those were from Columbia. I am having so much fun here, but also learning. I met some people in the village one was named Fabien he was 8 and was so polite. I was amazed at how happy he was playing with us. We are all safe and having a blast!
-Madeleine M.

Sent from my iPad

Day 3

Today was a great day! We went to visit the Bribri tribe, who live on the Yorkin River. We rode upstream to the village on traditional dugout canoes - which luckily featured motors! The ride to the village was amazing. On one side of us was Costa Rica and on the other was Panama. When we arrived, we walked through the village and then made some chocolate! We also ate lunch, tried to hit a fruit with an arrow, and hung out with a few of the villagers. It was really cool to see the little kids playing with some of the soccer balls and stuff we brought them. Now we're back at our hotel (which is great, by the way) eating dinner. This trip has been amazing so far! I'm really excited to snorkel tomorrow! -Roz Faulkner


Today was a really really fun day. We took motor powered canoes to where the BriBri tribe lives. This is the only way to get there. It was a beautiful ride through the river. Once we got there we walked through their school which was hard to believe that it was a school. All it was was a couple of raised huts where the kids learned. Then we walked to a different building called the women's house. There we ate really good food that was made over a wood stove. It was amazing that all of the food was made there! Then we watched how they make chocolate which was really cool. Then we played with some of the kids and teenagers there. It was really fun because we couldn't understand each other because we spoke different languages but that didn't matter. We brought them soccer balls, frisbees, and other things so it was really cool to see them playing with the things that we brought for them. It was an amazing day!!

~Megan H
haven't blogged in a while, white water rafting yesterday was incredible!!!!!! don't worry mom, I only fell out twice :) the first time I had to be rescued by the kayaker and then pulled up by another raft. It was so much fun!!!!!!!!! all of of were soaked!!!!! today we visited the bri bri tribe. we made got to crush cocoa beans and make them into fresh chocolate! yum!!!!!!!! :) we also got to play soccer and frisbe with the kids on the reserve. although there was a language barrier, we all got along great! I can't wait for tomorrow!!!!
~Hannah W

Almonds&corrals LOBBY!

I'm waiting at the hotel, for everyone in my room to get back! We didn't see the howler monkeys but we heard them, and we still have another night here; so we still might!

Local stop, apparently not for local treats!

The BIG hit- smurf Oreos...all the way in costa rica!

Lunch time!

After an hour ride UP the Yorkin River we arrived at the base of the Bri bri's home. We then hiked about 15 minutes up to learn about how this tribe of 500 live. After meeting with a few women and learning about how they make chocolate; step by step we enjoyed a DElicIOUS lunch they prepared sans electricity and modern conveniences we use daily- put best when Mr long toured the kitchen, which consisted of three HUGE open fires, did I mention IN a wood hut, he stood in amazement and the women just nodded there head at him as he stood puzzled by their method and control of the fires and preparation!

Making chocolate with the Bri Bri Tribe

My trip so far

Okay so this is my first time blogging so I might be kind of bad. Yesterday we went white water rafting, and it was really fun. I'm a little sore this morning but I don't care because I'm having so much fun. The hotel we are staying it is really cool. It's in the middle of the rain forest, and each room is like a little house type place. It's super cool! This morning I woke up to the sounds I woke up to the sounds of howler monkeys in the trees. I've been taking lots of pictures and I can't wait to show them to my family and friends when I get home. Well that's really all I have to say right now.
Emma T.

Yesterday white water rafting!

Yesterday we went white water rafting! It was all much fun! We saw sooo many waterfalls! Right now were sitting in a bus on our way to visit a tribe! Last night we slept in bungalow and woke up to howler monkeys this morning! Everything's so pretty here!
This morning I was woke up by howler monkeys! They stayed up alllll night! It's so fun and beautiful here and so fresh! I'm having a great time!


And we're up and at 'em, Off to Day 2!

Okay guy. First off the howler monkeys really hate us because they woke us up crazy early this morning. Anyhooo yesterday we went white water rafting and it was crazy funnnnnn!!!! Today we are going to the Bri Bri tribe and visiting a school out there. Wish me luck!!


Friday, August 5, 2011

The amazing first full day in Costa Rica

Well today we woke up super early and ate breakfast. Then we loaded onto our coach bus, learned about Cosa Rica while on our way to our second breakfast. We saw a sloth in a tree were we ate and it was still there when we were done white water rafting. To get to were we load the rafts we had to take smaller busses because we drove on like a rocky trail, which was an interesting ride. We finally made it to were we hopped in the rafts and it was time to float down the bumpy river. It was sooo much fun but we were there for what seemed a short time but really was a couple of hours. Now we are chilling in our cabin type places were we are staying tonight and tomorrow. The best part is you can hear the ocean's(well technically Carribian Sea) waves crashing in and it's peaceful because you can just sit and listen to nature. It is a nice beak from the long time on planes and in the airports yesterday. It's just the start can't wait to see what happens next.
Hi everyone back home xoxo pura vida
Aubry B...Wisconsin

News from dinnertime

Costa rica is love. The food this morning was delicious. All the fruit was incredibly fresh and juicy. The rafting was one of the most exciting things i've done and I won't forget it. The hotel we are at is amazing and is just like camping in the rainforest. Dinner was out of this world.
-Adam nijhawan

Whitewater rafting was much funner than I expected. The rapids were amazing and had many different obstacles to overcome.
It was a great day to start the trip.
Kevin hogan

Today was, in short, scary awesome because of the white water rafting! I fell out on the first class 3 rapid and floated down the river a bit and ended up getting picked up by the raft ahead of us. I had to get back in my raft, it was fun and I can't wait to get more than 5 hours of sleep tonight.
Deric Andre

More news from dinner!

Flip'n sweet.
- Sam Flaten EC, Wisconsin

Whitewater rafting was amazing wish i was still doing it. Traveling takes forever and is the worst part. Dinner was crazy good ate fried plantains, rice, and vegetables. Now just chilling with my amigos and of course blogging.
-Kyle Balash EC, Wisconsin

Whitewater rafting is just touching the tip of what we are going to do and yet it was one of the best times I have ever had. This is truly a great experience, and the foods good too.
-Brandon Wekkin EC, Wisconsin

I had a blast white water rafting. It was out of this world! The guides were so nice and I couldn't have asked for a better experience. The supper was amazing and the tree houses are awesome. I am excited to see the bribri tribe tomorrow!
-Morganne Gruber EC, Wisconsin

White water rafting was an amazing experience! The rainforest that we went through was super pretty and there were waterfalls everywhere!! The travel guides were super nice and easy on the eyes;p our first full day in costa rica was great!
-Meagan McRae EC, Wisconsin

Pura vida!!
Today we went white water rafting, which was amazing!! The river we went down was in the middle of the rainforest and it was super pretty! The guides were very nice and the rapids were really fun!! This was a great way to start the trip! I can't wait to visit the Bribri tribe tomorrow!
-Leslie Kent EC, Wisconsin
P.S. Mr. Traynor, Mrs. Traynor, and Alix Lee are really awesome too!

Sent from my iPad

Pre dinner trip to the beach!

More thoughts from the bus...

I just passed out for an hour on the bus and was awakened by Henry throwing his pillow at me.

Jack V

Today we went white water rafting and I got to ride on the bow of our boat. I hope you are having as much fun as I'm having. Hows liesl?
Taylor kemp

White-water-rafting is much more fun that I would have thought. Although I didn't fall off, our instructor asked us to jump off the raft several times. The water felt really nice. Despite being on a bus for most of the day, today was really fun.

Alex Whitis

"never have I ever..."

Had SO much fun whitewater rafting with such amazing kids! This group started out apprehensive, scared, anxious, and brace yourself...QUIET. 18miles, 4 hours, I meal, countless intentional dips in the water, and a couple unintentional, they all rated the activity a 10!!

We are now on the bus on our way to the hotel playing "never have I ever..." and let me tell you they are a savvy group- finding ways to knock everyone out! Sending love and tons of smiles and laughter from costa rica!
Pictures to come tonight...Alix

So today we had to be in the lobby at 5:55 to set off and start our adventure, white water rafting!! We loaded all of our luggage onto the bus and headed back into the hotel to grab some quick breakfast, and I might add it was delicious! It consisted of pancakes, rice, toast, and lots of different kinds of breads as well as juices that were very good!! Soon after we loaded back on the bus for approximately 4 hours to go white water rafting. About 2 and a half hours into the bus ride we stopped for some usual fruit called, lichi a.k.a porcupine fruit! It was deferent but very good. Then we stopped for yet another breakfast!! They wanted to fill us up 18 mile rafting journey! Once we got to the place that we were going to start the rafting they loaded us into small white buses and drove us down the gravel road to the river, and once we arrived the instructors fitted us for helmets, and life jackets along with our paddles! So all of us nervous and everything jumped into the raft and listened to the safety speech! And then off we went down the river... Which I might add was super pretty! We stopped on the side of the river for a bite to eat at 12:15! Then right back into the raft! And soon our white water rafting trip was over but not any words can describe how awesome the scenery was. That's it for now but we will keep you updated!! Lots of love!
-Anika Reinsch-

Oh my goodness gracious tarter sauce, we are in Costa Rica!!!!!!!!! It is soooooooooooo beautiful and sunny (because of our shining faces!) and I love it here! Yesterday we got in and had fun all day hanging with our fantastic groups! Toooooodddddaaaayyyy we had to get up at 5:25am! You hear me people?!?! 5:25! Over the summer! Crazy!!!!!! Anyway, we went white water rafting and it was spectacularly refreshing, wet (no duh:)), and amazing! We saw birds, butterflies, and waterfalls. The rapids were just right, and the guides were great. Lunch...was delicious;) I didn't fall off, kind of surprising knowing me! Well, gotta pass this on, but today was a blast and hope to have some more fun tomorrow!!!!! Much love.........
--Brie Jol

It just recently hit me that we are actually in Costa Rica! Yesterday was a long day of waiting and sitting and it felt good to get to our hotel last night. We had another early morning, but it was totally worth it; white water rafting was LOTS of funn! The road to the river was gravel and bouncy but it was so much fun in our van! When we got to the river the guides got us prepared for our 18 mile adventure. Once we got on the water and into the rapids it was a blast! I got to sit on the front tip of the raft through some rapids and it was awesome! The guides were so nice and made it lots of fun! Hope it is as much fun tomorrow!

Emily Way xoxo

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Hi from the bus!!!

Hey everyone! It's Allison P. Today we white water rafted and had a blast. To sum all of today up in three words... I FELL a lot! I fell of the raft four times and on land twice. You know it happens. Like literally it was all worth it! tons of fun! I will come home with a few bruises. Ooo speaking of bruises last night in our hotel room at bed check Emma and I laid on the floor and Brie answered the door and said I don't know what happened to them. Then we laughed!!!!! Mr. Traynor bought it! Fun day it was. We are making our way to the hotel right now. Love you all! Allison P.

What an awesome day. It's Colin Swila by the way. Today I woke up with worry about white water rafting. I heard stories about people falling off, and it really didn't sound like my cup of tea, haha. When we started rowing away on the tube, I was kinda nervous but once we got past the first gust of big waves, I knew it was gonna be fun. Mikayla Otto by my side, Sam seiwart in front of me, Brie Joel to my left, and Logan dodd behind me, and were all just screaming so much. When lunch came we all wanted to go back out, and then we did. This is where the funniest part of my day came. I turn and see mikayla Otto fly out of the tube! I first saw if she was ok, and when I found out she was, I gave her the hardest time ever.:) now heading back to hotel for dinner and other things to come. Maybe mikayla will fall out of something again.....:)


Rambo? Wishful thinking, Mr. Long!

Emma discovering some native sights!

Off to raft...and it's hot, humid and SUNNY!

Hi Aubry B

Glad to hear you've arrived safely & how beautiful it must be there. What a WONDERFUL adventure. Keep us updated with what you're doing. I heard White Water Rafting is on the agenda for today. Have fun! Aunt Amy

Costa rica FLAVOR

LICHI fruit- mmmmm good!!! "wish we had those in Wisconsin" (said best by Brie :)

Up and at 'em

Long plane ride, but worth it!

Jack voller

Amazing scenery, just a beautiful place

Henry Eilen

I love this country!
The plane ride was very acceptable, and I had fun!!!


This country is freaking awesome. On the plane ride in it was seriously the most beautiful site I have ever seen.

Derek Mroczenski

Well I haven't even been here that long and I'm already lovin it! We've only been to the hotel now but on the plane ride we could see the country and it was beautiful!:)


Waking up was so crazy because we set our alarms but they were still on eau Claire time so we woke up an hour too early!!!;) but that's ok because today we are going rafting and it's going to be a blast!:)

Mikayla Otto

We woke up soooooooooooo early today and got practically no sleep last night! I'm so excited! Costa Rica's beautiful!

Erin Walker

Last night was very cool! I got to catch upnon some sleep! This morning we go white water rafting and that will be quite an adventure! The showers here are made for short people!!!! I miss you but I'm having a blast!!!

Allison p.

The plant life here is already incredible!!! The hotel were in for the first night is absolutely spectacular this place has tropical charm all over in the most artistically captivating ways I've seen in awhile it's like a breath of fresh life here and it's perfectly crafted.

Emily b

Everything here is great! The airplane ride was awesome and the best part was the landing. Right now we are eating breakfast and the fruit is amazing. The air is cool and refreshing. Miss you mom and dad, oh and boots too. I am having fun so no worrying.

Tiffany m

hey everyone back in america! Yesterday traveling went smooth. In the plane on the way to costa rica I saw ocean for the first time. seeing it At 37000 feet the ocean probably looks a little different. Our hotel is wonderful, it is beautiful and all the people are so nice about speaking English. I can't wait for today! We are all safe and well.

-Madeleine M.

Breakfast time in San Jose prior to out departure!

yesterday was a very long day! After the car ride to the airport, we had a 2 hour flight to Dallas, where we had a 3 hour layover! After that it was time for the 3 and a half hour flight to San Jose. After going through customs we made it on the bus to the hotel (Country Inn Suites). I'm looking forward to whitewater rafting today! -Roz Faulkner
I'm having an amazing time in costa rica!! The planes were very smooth and the wait in Dalas was a little long but it was okay! We met our fun travel guides and headed to the hotel! Then we got settled and crashed. We had to be downstairs at 6am for an early morning and then a fun day of white water rafting!!
-Megan H
yesterday was so much fun! it was great just to be around our friends again :) I can't even imagine how great today will be! white water rafting!!!!!!!! Mikayla, Tiffany and I got up nice and early because we were all so excited!!!!..... or because we accidentally set our alarms an hour ahead.... no worries though! we figured it out after about ten minutes and went back to bed :) despite the rough start, I'm still positive today will be great! 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Finally here!!

The flight went better than I thought it would! I talked to people I normally wouldn't talk to! The hotels pretty on the outside but not so big on the inside. I can't wait for the rest of the week to come! This is going to be a great week!!

-Deidra Gibson

Sent from my iPad

We Are Finally Here!!!

Hi Everyone,

We have officially arrived in Costa Rica!! I am super excited to be here! Everything is so pretty and everyone in the group is so nice!! I can't wait for the activities coming up this week!!!!!

-Leslie K. :)

HAHAHA. Were finally here!!!!

Okay so getting to Minneapolis was crazy boring but we got over that at the airport. Texas was really big! Holy wow! Haha. Well we finally landed In rica and we met our guide George. He's soo funny!! Haha. Finally got to shower when we got to the hotel. Relaxxxxxx:). Haha for all my peeps out there thanx for your support. And for my rents...... Say hi to Giz for me!!

Sent from my iPad

ALL accounted for and THRILLED to be here! too!

We have ARRIVED!

Getting ready to board the plane!

The dream team from DeLong!

Safe and sound in Dallas!

And they are off

See you all in Dallas- more photos, adventures, stories and experiences to come!

And they are OFF!

DeLong Middle School students are headed to Costa Rica!
See you in Dallas, more photos to come! Looking forward to meeting the group, Alix

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Eric’s Blog Repelling

Today we went to a place where we got to learn how to repel. To get up there we drove the bus for about fifteen minutes and then stopped at the bottom of a gigantic hill. From there we took 4x4’s to the very topSAM_0218

SAM_0217 When we got there we were instructed on how to do it. It was really fun because we got to get hit by the waterfall. I enjoyed it very much and was astonished by how high they were.

Last Day

Today is the last day in Costa Rica.  I am sad to go but I cannot wait to see my family.  Costa Rica was the first time I left the U.S.  I  am so thankful to have had this opportunity.  Thank you Mom and Dad for all your support.


Waterfall Repelling

Today we repelled down waterfalls.  We first drove to the hiking trail in the back of a pickup trucks.  Later we put on are harness, helmet, and gloves.  Next we hiked to the first waterfall and repelled down.  Then we went to each waterfall and repelled down them.   Last we hiked for 15 minutes to the exit.  Today was awesome.


Repelling (And Bragging Rights)

We went repelling today.  It was pretty cool.  It wasn’t even as close to as scary as I thought it would be.  After twisting around a few times, I started to get the hang of it.  We also got soaked on a few because we went right in the waterfall.  Repelling wasn’t as good as ziplining, but still really fun.  Also, my team won Quiz-o.  We have bragging rights and I’m using them.


Hot Springs

Yesterday we went to hot springs after zip lining.  The hot springs were heated by the Arneal Volcano.  I had the best day ever!  The hot springs felt amazing.  They were like giant hot tubs.  Yesterday was the best!


Eric’s Blog Games

Every night on this trip we have occupied our nights by playing games. We have played a huge variety of games. it has been very fun because they are all new to me. They are all very funny and keeps the energy in the room up.

Eric’s Blog Hot Springs

We went to the hot springs today in Costa Rica. It is a system of pools that get warmer as you go. The very top one is a real hot spring that supplies the heat to all of the other pools. They also had a bar that supplied every drink possible. The money portion was based on the trust system. It goes like this, after you are finished you give them your locker key and towel. Then, you tell them what you ordered and pay for it there. It was very fun because we switched back from freezing cold to very very hot.  

Eric’s Blog Rain

To us rain pretty much means no sports, hikes, or outdoor activities. But when you live in the rain forest like these people do, it doesn’t affect your daily schedule.  So far during this trip it has only rained twice and the first time we did our normal schedule, but today since there was a lot of rain and lightning our plans were delayed for a little while.SAM_0215 SAM_0216

Eric’s Blog Down Time

I think the best part of having no activities to do on this trip (which doesn't happen often). You can use this time to show off your pictures and even talk about what exciting things you will do the next day. I use my time to blog and read. I also use it to gather up my clothes for the next day or to pack up so i am ready for the morning when we change hotels.

Eric’s Blog Blogging

I think that blogging for this trip is a great way to remember what we did and to not forget anything. It is also good to look back on is i get any questions about my trip from my friends and or family. I like the idea of having something to look back on when this once in a lifetime experience is over.

Eric’s Blog Rooming

I believe that one of the most important things to us students is rooming. It is all about who you are friends with and who you get along with the best. The trip is one million times better if you are having fun and you do not want to wake up in a bad mood because you had an argument with your roommate. I have enjoyed my roommates very much because i was with all of my friends every night.

SAM_0212 SAM_0213

Adventure Details

Duration 8 days
Destinations San Jose
Arenal Volcano
Caribbean Coast
Focus Ecology/Conservation