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Field Notes from Dean:

This trip, one of my favorite things I did was ziplining, as well as exploring the hanging bridges at Selvatura Adventure Park. When we went ziplining, we had the opportunity to soar through the sky like a helicopter in an action movie. The feeling of wind pressing against my body – while I flew through the air — was almost therapeutic. The views were astounding, like wallpaper on a computer. I felt so alive.

After ziplining, we split into two groups and began to walk through the cloud forest on foot. During this walk, we had the amazing opportunity to traverse across eight hanging bridges that connected various trails of the cloud forest. The bridges that we crossed were semi-sturdy, but it made the experience so much more memorable. I remember walking across the bridge, the breeze swaying it from left to right, and as I lift my head, I see a beautiful canopy below and the growing sound of rushing water overtakes my thoughts; I feel euphoria.

Field Notes from Tres:

The date is August 6th, and it is Day 11 of this beautiful, life-changing trip. Over the past week, I have participated in various activities that range from combating climate change at a local level to soaring through the sky on ziplines. However, the most amazing activity that I have been able to experience on this trip was the hike we did today.

Beep…beep…beep. The sun blinds me through the window as I reach to turn off the alarm. The grease on my face and messy hair is calling for a shower. The next thing I know, I hear Zyro (our Project Director) yelling, “Five minutes to breakfast.” I check the time and it is 6:25 AM. I rush to breakfast, hoping I am not late. I grab a plate and load up on my favorite breakfast: Gallo pinto, eggs, toast, and coffee. After a hefty breakfast, the group loads up onto the bus and we take off for our daily excursion.

The bus ride is bumpy and filled with laughter and music. We finally reach our destination, Cataratas El Tigre, and unload off the bus. I hear the group scuffling together as we start our scenic hike. This excursion that we began had waterfalls and bridges awaiting us throughout the forest. As we neared our first destination, the sound of falling water filled the air, and the feeling of mist hitting my skin was alarming. A couple more minutes passed by, and we reached the first of two astounding waterfalls. The view was something out of a movie – it felt surreal. The water hitting the ground below from the towering waterfall was a little deafening but comforting. I closed my eyes, inhaling for five seconds and exhaling for another five seconds. The mist hitting my face – more vigorously now – was a way for me to wash off all the anxiety and stress I had been feeling about being homesick during the duration of the trip.

We finally reached the bottom of the hike and had the rare opportunity of riding horses up the mountain, where a delicious lunch filled with delicious Costa Rican cuisine awaited us. We ate it as if we had not eaten a meal all day, and now with our stomachs bloated, we piled into the bus and headed back to the hotel where we would regroup and reflect on the amazing adventure we had just undergone.

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