Home Sweet Home
Welcome home everyone! As you all are getting re-settled into your everyday lives, soaking up the last bit of summer vacation and perhaps getting prepared for the school year ahead, it’s hard not to think back on the last three weeks fondly. That first night in Playas del Coco, we all came together as strangers, names on a list, and now many of you have emerged as friends, some perhaps life-long friends.
It is now obvious that Costa Rica was about more than just learning English, Biology and Math. Although the students were immersed in a condensed and demanding academic environment, through this experiential learning, they discovered so much about themselves, about the differences in others and in other cultures, and learned to accept those differences and celebrate them. When faced with challenges, whether academic, cultural, environmental or even technical (no wi-fi), the students came together and rose above these challenges, always keeping with the words “look out for each other”. Their flexibility and resilience when dealing with many changes and switches that occurred are truly commendable, and for that, the Costa Rica staff and I thank them. Such things you cannot learn from a textbook.
Typical teenagers? Yes, they are. Reminders to clean up after themselves, to be on time and to submit their work were par for the course, just like at home, I’m sure. However, hearing our local contacts and Mario and his crew complimenting what a “nice group of kids” they were, made all those things much easier to deal with. After all, they are young adults, still growing, maturing and learning about themselves and the world around them.
On departure day, emotions were intense at the airport in Liberia as the Calgary group and the Toronto group bid their adieus to each other. There was no shortage of tear-filled goodbyes, tight hugs and future plans to reunite. You see, those names on the list were more than just that…friendships and bonds that forged and flourished in Costa Rica!
Students, this program was about you! It was about providing you with the opportunity to develop yourselves, to see the world, different cultures, different people through experiential learning, while accumulating a high school credit. This was a chance for you to gain an appreciation of the world, of others and of yourself. I hope you can take back at least one or two things from this program that will help you in your future growth and success.
Thank you all for making Costa Rica August 2017 such an amazing and memorable program! I wish you all the best in your future endeavours! Hasta la vista y Pura Vida!
Costa Rica August 2017