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At first, I didn’t know what to expect from my AMIGOS experience. I thought I would be really homesick, and I thought that I wouldn’t make new friends. As soon as I arrived to Costa Rica, I felt the magnitude of the staffs’ and the Costa Ricans’ generosity and kindness. All of my doubts disappeared in an instant because of the warm welcome I received.

One of my favorite experiences so far has been seeing a sea turtle in its natural habitat. On Friday, the group went to the beach to do a turtle patrol. Within five minutes of walking down the beach, we saw a glimpse of a dark figure moving in the sand. To our surprise, it was a turtle! We quickly and quietly moved closer to it. Our guides, Jose and Ronald, collected data about the turtle, including its measurements. What I found really fascinating was that they took the turtle’s eggs and secured them in a turtle nursery to protect them from predators.

The following morning, our guides took us to the nursery to help bury the eggs in a makeshift shelter. I helped dig the hole that the eggs were placed in. The eggs are expected to hatch in 20-25 days.Another one of my favorite experiences was partaking in a beach cleanup. We were able to contribute to saving the ocean by filling up seven large garbage bags with trash. We found so many pieces of plastic and garbage, including water bottles, broken glass, cigarette buds, and wrappers. I am much more aware of our plastic consumption. I am really looking forward to being immersed in my community in Buenos Aires. I can’t wait to meet my host family and contribute to helping the community paint the communal salon.

P.S. I’ve acquired a new liking for rice and beans. Almost every meal includes those two ingredients.