March 28, 2010
Our last day on the Osa....it seems like so much has happened in just one week! Today was our "chill" day. We had a group go into town to go shopping, and others that just stayed at the Lodge to enjoy the final day at La Finca Guanabana (Morgan's Jungle Lodge). The talent show was on the agenda for the evening so we all had some practicing to do on our routines throughout the day. After a delicious dinner of fresh Mahi-Mahi that "Uncle Gary" grilled on the beach, and excellent Gallo Pinto made by Jacky, we had the evening entertainment with the talent show! Prior to the show, our driver Marvin had a lottery where he had us all pick numbers out of a hat. The winning number was....Ariel(our little Mermaid!). Marvin had gotten some souvenirs from town as the prize(after pretending like he gave an empty bag of some trash!). Even though he doesn't speak a word of English he manages to make us all smile and laugh!
The talent show had a surprising amount of inventiveness! We started out with the "Stawberry-Cicle Girls" (because they were all a nice shade of pink and white) singing it's "A Party on the OSA" with lyrics to the tune of Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA". This was performed by Abby(Mr.Schnure's daughter), Crosley, Maryn and Mary Cate.Then we had Shelby,Ammarin,Melanie and Graham singing "Nature"(an orignal song they wrote). Very clever and funny. Next up was Ariel and Walter singing "Summertime" which was sultry and just right for the weather. Chas and Adam did a dance-who knew these soccer dudes can dance like that? Mr.Schnure,Jane,Walter and Nick entertained us with "Hey Hey We're the Monkey's"...singing into their banana microphones. And last but certainly not least we had India performing a rousing edition of Tina Turner's classic"Rolling on the River" with the Hot Mama's as the back up(Arienne,Briaonna,Moira,Ann and Linda) dancers.
Our CostaRican judges took their jobs very seriously as you can tell from the picture....The winners were:
- India and the Hot Mamas-1st Place!
- Chas and Adam-2nd Place
- Ariel and Walter-3rd Place
A good time had by all.....
Next we had a bonfire on the beach and roasted marshmallows. We said our good-byes to our new CostaRican friends. I think the girls will especially miss Killian who they all think is "muy Guapo"!
See you back in Cincinnati!!!
March 27, 2010
Our big adventure today was a visit to the Finca Kobo Organic Chocolate Farm. This was a great adventure and educational experience. Our beautiful guide Flora led us through the farm and explained farming practices in Costa Rica including growing pineapple, bananas and plantains. On to the chocolate partÖ.they explained the different ways of growing cocoa trees. In Costa Rica, the cocoa trees have been attacked by a mold that has limited production of cocoa beans so that Costa Rica imports chocolate rather than exporting it. They showed us how the beans are fermented and then de-shelled and ground. We had a chance to taste the raw cocoa bean. After the tour, we sat at a long table and ate chocolate cake and fresh bananas, pineapples and watermelon that we dipped in pure chocolate sauce.
After the tour, the bus drove to the public beach near the harbor in Puerto Jiminez and lazed around for several hours, playing in the warm water and having a picnic lunch. Adonnis brought us his two foot long pet iguana and he passed him around. Mid afternoon we headed back to the lodge, washed up and rehearsed for Saturdayís talent show. It promises to be quite entertaining and we should be able to get some of it on video. Following a pizza dinner, we are sitting around the lodge and chilling (in a warm sort of way).
-Walter and Linda Grayman
March 26, 2010
Moira and Gary at the internet cafe, sharing our adventures with you!
Hi all, what a trip we are having! Gary and I have been having fun administering this blog....as you may tell from the photo, the open air internet cafe is right on the beachfront and the view is just gorgeous! Not a bad place to blog! We have to come into the town of Puerto Jiminez in order to connect to the internet.
The kids have been great and it has been fun to watch how they have all bonded and become friends over this past week! It is hard to believe that just a week ago, most of them barely knew one another. They have been so much fun.You would be proud of them...they often come to ask if they can help and we often take them up on it! They all have been eager to try all the new experiences and have learned why this is such a special place on earth! They also have learned that the people here are happy even though they don't have all the "toys"like Wii's,cars, iPhones and in some cases, not even any electricity!!
Today we have had a tour of an organic chocolate and coffee farm called Finca Kobo. The tour explains how they farm using organic techniques. You'll hear more about that later, but I have posted some photos in my previous post as a preview!
The trip is winding down, but the memories will last a lifetime! Thanks for sharing your children with us.
March 26, 2010
Graham and Chas writing the blog while Crosley helps edit!
Graham and Chas were our student bloggers today....with a little help from Crosley!
This morning was filled with the harmonious sounds of howler monkeys, crashing waves, and the dinging of the breakfast bell. We had been expecting the obnoxious howling of the monkeys. (The loudest land mammal and sleeping teenagers are not a good mix, LOL!!). After a delightful breakfast of eggs and fruit we headed down to the hammocks for a lesson in rainforest culture. Adonnis, the guide, taught us about chart crabs, sea turtles, jaguars, and much, much more! Once the insightful nature hike was finito (finished LOL!!), we boarded the bus and headed for the beach front of Iguana Lodge. At the beach of Iguana Lodge the waves were HUGE, but thanks to the life jackets provided by Captain Morgan we were prepared for anything! Just in time, a beautiful buffet of local Costa Rican cuisine was there to pleasure our stomachs. After dining on a nice lunch we headed back to crash through some hard core waves.
Once our time at the lodge was complete we headed to the local supermarket and were granted 10 minutes of shopping time. CANDY, CANDY, CANDY!! (DULCES, DULCES, DULCES!!), that's candy in Spanish. LOL!! Once we returned to Morganís Lodge, it was a mad dash for the hammocks to have an afternoon siesta. After a long day we just chilled out and ate our market purchases. Mr. Schnure eventually gathered us up and organized a ping-pong tournament. The final game was between Adam and Crosley. After a grueling match Adam rose victorious. Miss Linda wanted everyone to know she came in 5th....not bad!!!! Pura Vida (Pure life) is the perfect explanation of this excellent day. TOODDLES!!!!!!!!!!!!
-Graham and Chas
March 25, 2010
Maryn and Abby are our student guest bloggers today!
Waking up to a refreshing sunrise walk on the beach stimulated our senses for our rigorous day of adventure. Our breakfast consisted of homemade pancakes (thanks to Gary, Moira and Jackie) and fresh fruit. We piled onto the bus, and the drive into town was fairly short. From there we split up to go into different cabs. The road to the zipline lodge was very steep and bumpy. As we disembarked our rides, very friendly natives, who were workers on the zipline, greeted us with enthusiasm. Our gear was laid out on the picnic tables for us to choose and the workers helped us into our harnesses and we were then ready to go.
Walter, leading the first pack, was a little tentative about the heights, but eagerly stepped up to the platform and took off. The rest of us followed but had an extensive wait at platform 2 because we were the first group. The next few platforms followed at a quicker pace. Taking a rest at platform 6 everyone was getting anxious for the next zip. Abby, Maryn, Crosley, Melanie, and Ariel hung back in the waiting line in order to get a picture with the guapo (Spanish word for cute) worker. He gladly agreed and the rest of us completed platform 6.
The last two ziplines were the fastest and longest ones of all 8. Once our journey through the rainforest canopy was completed, we soon began yet another. Meeting and attempting to converse with the workers, who spoke very little English, made the hike entertaining. As the lodge came into view, we quickly sprinted to the water cooler. Who wouldíve thought that zip lining could make you so thirsty. After cooling off and removing our gear, the steep and bumpy ride back down the mountain was made. Marvin (the bus driver) was waiting for us to board his bus and take the group to our next destination: lunch! Eating at the cafÈ in town was very authentic. After our Costa Rican lunch, the group was able to do some shopping. Abby, Crosley, and, Maryn had an incident over inflatable floaty beach animals. The owner of the store spoke NO English, not even hello.
We were trying to negotiate the price for 3 of them but he was stubborn in lowering his price. The language barrier did little to help. Finally we said ìno graciasî and quickly walked to our bus, which led us to our crocodile encounter. Adonnis, a Baruca Indian guide and friend of the Morgan's, fed his pet crocodiles with fresh meat. Due to the hot weather the crocodiles were hiding under the leaves in the lagoon, so we only saw 3. From there we made our trek back to the lodge in our bus. We are currently relaxing and playing movie charades. Looking forward to a good day at the sandy beach tomorrow!
-Maryn Lowry and Abby Schnure (baby schnure)
March 25, 2010
Our adult blogger today is Caroline Driscoll
The adult chaperones are having no trouble with these smart, well behaved, adventurous young adults. They are so eager to try new experiences and new foods. It was quite easy to get them up and ready for the zip line this morning. Gary set us up with Costa Rican coffee made the authentic way (a sock full of grounds ñ water percolated through). Iím told itís amazing. Iím a tea drinker. When we got into our taxi, our driver, Marcos started chatting with us. We told him that Costa Rica was Muy Bonita. He corrected us by saying chicas (pointing at the 5 females in the car) are bonita, the country is BONITO. Zip line - amazing! At the first and second platforms we were in the tree canopy. By the 5th platform we could see the ground about 30 feet below. A couple of the students and a couple of the adults were then able to relax and enjoy the trip a little more. At the 8th stop we were sad that it was the last.
The town of Puerto Jimenez is very small. We shopped for 45min and I believe that most folks picked up souvenirs. Adonnis gave us a tour of his eco friendly campground and coaxed 3 alligators out for us to see. Returning to Guanabanna (Morganís lodge), everyone scattered, we needed water to cool down and clean up. The cool pool, the ocean or the showers claimed all of us. This helps us to deal with the humidity and heat. The students read from their journals before dinner. Each person shared what they remembered from day 1 to 4. Bill Schnure and the Morgan family have set up a Spring Break adventure that has been a great way to experience the Costa Rican way of life.
March 24, 2010
Mr. Morgan and Mr. Morgan enjoy a cup of coffee on the beach at sunrise!
The kids have taken to calling Mr. Schnure "Papa" Schnure which makes Mrs. Schnure "Mama"!
Today our group went horseback riding in Corcovado National Park. Our group also saw monkeys called the Squirrel Monkey. Unlike the creek group our monkeys stayed up in the trees and did not interact with us. So far we as a whole have now seen three different species. The vistas we came to while riding were breathtaking. The vegetation is so thick and green. We have some pictures that we will try to get on the blog. Some of the riders also came across a long bright green snake called a parrot snake. (not poisonous) We had lunch at very nice lodge called Rio Nueve, swam in the creek and panned for gold in a former gold mine and found a few specks of gold. We then rode back on our horses to our pick up point and returned to town where we did some souvenir shopping and returned home to our lodge for kayaking, swimming, napping, etc. It was Italian night so we all enjoyed a heaping plate of spaghetti & meatballs.
I just want to mention that these kids are wonderful, very polite and well behaved. Makes my job here very easy.
March 24, 2010
Crosley and Melanie cooling off in the crystal clear creek!
Today's students bloggers are Crosley and Melanie! I think they were utilizing some of their writing skills they have learned in English class!
Our heads bobbed side to side as we drove in the back of the old, blue Toyota pick-up truck, down the dusty gravel road. We parked at Esperanza, an open-air surf bar, and began our trek to the waterfall. In a single-file line, we hiked through the rocky creek and green rainforest, stumbling along the way. Suddenly, we spotted the innocent faces of the white-throated capuchin monkeys. Swinging down from the vines, they bathed their babies and frolicked in the pristine water. Standing in awe, we snapped our photos and mistakenly forgot to turn off the flash. The next thing we knew, there were twenty monkeys surrounding us with their fangs clearly visible; we were truly one with nature. Not only was this a once in a life time experience for us students, but Captain Morgan, himself, had never encountered such wild activity. The monkeys swung from branch to branch clearly marking their territory. We held onto each other, slowing backing away, when one jumped in front of our path. Not until Cap. Morgan banged the tree with his bamboo stick were we able to scurry past the frightened yet territorial monkeys. We kept eye contact with them until they were out of sight; it was as if we were having a staring contest. After trudging through deep water and climbing slippery boulders, we finally reached our destination. The waterfall was gorgeous. Morgan used his stellar, adventure skills to maximize the experience for all by capturing the poisonous dart frog by its hind legs. We climbed the waterfall and took turns jumping into the refreshing, crystal clear water. Fifteen minutes passed and we hiked back down towards the direction the restaurant. We ended our adventurous day with a hot plate of chicken, tomato, and avocado quesadillas. What a wonderful world. Hope youíre having as much fun as we are in Cincinnati!
With MUCHO love,
Crosley and Melanie
March 23, 2010
Las Chicas en la Golfo Dulce!
Heyyy family and friends it’s India, Briaona, and Arienne! From India- Mom I miss you and Anaya so much!!! Last night they played a horrible trick on me before dinner!!! They took a big robot spider and scared me with it! I HATE SPIDERS!!!!! I ran and jumped on the back of this boy Nick that’s how afraid I was!! I was dancing on the boat today trying start up a party lol.
From Briaona- I miss you mom, dad, and Charles!! Tell my sister I miss her. Today I went snorkeling even though I can’t swim lol!
From Arienne- I miss you mom, dad, bubby, and Dyah.
Today we went on a boat, went snorkeling and got tanned. Arienne—some of us got a little burned!! We had so much fun on the boat!!! We saw lots of fish and coral reefs it was beautiful. The only bad thing about snorkeling is the jelly fish that sting you. It’s nothing major they just irritate your skin for about five minutes. LOL .India kicked one jelly fish that made her mad and Arienne had to get away from some too. We met three locals-- Adonis, Akillian and Jordan! They were super nice. The boat was about 40 feet long and we were in about 500 feet deep.
When we were snorkeling it was only about 10 feet. We are having a great time, except for the Halloween crabs! :P Adams smiling!! Lol Miss you guys! Love you guys! See you soon!!!
March 23, 2010
Linda Grayman and her husband Walter-los chaperones!
The chaperones are going to take a daily turn as well. This is Linda Grayman.
Day 4 was beautiful. We all took the bus to Puerto Jiminez driven by our wonderful and funny driver Marvin. He speaks very little English and still manages to tease the kids.We boarded the 40 foot boat with room to be in shade and out on the sun. Our hosts were Laura and Captain Bob who have lived here for 8 years from the states. We did our very best to order sunscreen frequently applied and t shirts as well.
By the end of the day we had some sunburned students in spots that they had missed. We went snorkeling in two spots with masks,snorkeling tubes and especially for me, life jackets. Our non-swimmer Briaona did beautifully. Mama Schnorr, as she has been nicknamed swam with her and she was kicking and looking at the fish. Some of us saw a black eel and a colorful blue fish. We feasted on PB & J on the boat with lots of water and fruit.
After we got off the boat, alas without seeing any dolphins, we shopped at a little gift boutique and returned to the lodge. Dinner was by the beach with burgers and hot dogs for a change of pace. It is amazing how the adults are ready to go to sleep by 8PM. Not so amazing the kids can last until 10 having a great time. The adults wake about 5AM although the howler monkeys have not been too loud…..must be further away in the rainforest. And the Costa Rican coffee is all it was advertised by Gary, hand drip and strong!
The two groups alternated going horse back riding or the creek walk today. More later on that. Please comment back to us. We had a group reading of parent and friend’s comments last night. It is great fun!!!
March 22, 2010
"home" for the next week!
Hi guys! Great to get your comments!
The group divided up yesterday into 2 groups....we had a group going to the creek/waterfall hike and the other 1/2 going horseback riding. Everyone very much enjoyed their experiences. The horseback ride was up in the mountains with gorgeous vistas of the rainforest and the Golfo Dulce beyond. The horses were hard workers as they climbed the steep mountain. After the horseback ride,a refreshing dip in the clear pristine,cold creek waters cooled everyone off!
The other group was led by Gary down a creek and ended up in a beautiful clear waterfall. The water cooled everyone off and was enjoyed by all. A poison dart frog was spotted along the way by Mr. Schnure. Just about everyone jumped off a ledge on the underneath side of the waterfall into the small pool where the waterfall!
Please check out the photo gallery...we will post more tomorrow. We are a little tight on time!
March 21, 2010
ARIEL IS OUR GUEST BLOGGER TODAY....
The sun is shining for another very warm and muggy day in Costa Rica after some adventures with crabs in our tents and a nice down pour of rain last night. We had chicken and veggies for dinner with a brownie and ice cream as dessert.
The tide is coming back in and the first group is leaving for a creek hike and lunch and a bus ride back to the lodge. The other group, in which I was put, is staying another few hours before leaving for a horse back ride up into the jungle and jumping into a pool of crystal clear water. We’ll have lunch once we get to the place where we’ll start the ride, and come back around 3:30ish. The lodge is so cool, and the area is so gorgeous. There are hammocks in the trees and the ocean is in the background all the time. I am in the lodge writing this on a word document with Graham and Adam playing ping-pong right by me and Crosley and Melanie sitting at the same table. A few others are scattered around as we wait to leave. This will be quite an adventuresome trip. After we get used to the heat :)
Ariel signing out!
P.S. To my mum and brothers and Jason – I wish you could see this place and be here, it is so cool. Mummi, I am drinking coconut water, and eating fresh fruit, I know you’ll be jealous haha.
I miss you and send you my love!
March 20, 2010
Dinner at Roca Verde
Hello friends and family! We have arrived on the Osa Peninsula! Everyone made it down just fine with the flights! Gary was waiting for us with the bus which all 25 of us piled into (including our driver Marvin).
Our first night was spent at a lovely little spot on the Pacific, in Dominical,called Roca Verde. The kids enjoyed the pool and walks on the beach this morning and then got back on the bus and headed south after a yummy breakfast of huevos (eggs) and guaya pinto(rice and beans).
After a flat tire, we made it the lodge around 2pm. Ariel spotted a sloth as she was resting on the hammock! The kids played in the ocean and we had a great lunch. Different students will take turns with writing on this blog, but today we are giving them a break and letting them stay back at the lodge and relax! All are safe and happy. We are having barbeque chicken tonight, and tomorrow the group is divided up with some horseback riders and some going on the creek and waterfall hike.
At a later date these groups will switch so everyone experiences both activities.Check back for more tomorrow.....
Love the rivers
Our heritage is based on a profound love of our rivers. The founders had it in their blood and it is here where we like to cast light on the great outdoor experience.
P R E V I O U S P O S T S
- FLMSP Trail News, April 2016: Monarch & Bee Lifeline
- Walnut Hills Students feeling the Pura Vida
- Have you fooled with Mother Nature Lately?
- St Mary's Group arrives safely in Costa Rica!
- The St. Mary's School's 8th graders Prepare for their Big Adventure!
- Friday March 30- Our last day: Community Service
- March 28 update from John and Peter
- Day 3 - Creeking and riding in the Rainforest
- Day 4
- Walnut Hills High School Arrive in Costa Rica
A R C H I V E