The Costa Rica Experience

Dan O'Brien

I did my Darndest to remember one of the great adventures we had. Now I appologise, its not the most interesting or longest memory, but its the best I can do right now... ...How about the time at Arenal after we all had finally made our grand appearances at the pool? We were all in, around, or at least deeply interested in our little haven of non-muddiness, and for the most part enjoying ourselves. Like all good things, however, it had to end. Yes, we got bored. Not wanting to let this opportunity for making friends and bonding to go to waste, someone came up with a grand idea: CHICKEN FIGHTING. Yes, many of us formed pairs, and proceeded to do our best to drown one another. Weather on top and pushing, scratching and clawing or on the bottom tripping and, well, trying to get from one breath to another, there was fun to be had by all. Personally I remember being on a team with a certain girl. Now we were pretty good together, winning battle after battle, with her fighting and frankly kicking any challenger's behind and yours truly tripping, balancing and mostly maneuvering to stay under her. Like I said, we won a lot(not to brag, but we did go undefeated) but more importantly, we bonded. Strange as it may sound, I think this was the first time I didn't see people as Minnesotan or Costa Rican (ironically, I saw everyone as enemies, but heck, thats the nature of the game, isn't it?). Regardless, it struck me as cool that one of the most childish games could serve as such a great way to make friends... Fine, so its not that short.

Nick Brill

This may not be cool, but dan said I could, so I am. We are at a party at Eleana's and Ana Laura's house (Melinda's host sister I think). The Costa Ricans and us are in two separate groups. We all have commented on the fact that we are segregated. Near the end we started to mix and we got to talking. We asked certain questions mostly of a very private matter. These questions being asked by none other than Jiaro and Victor, with an occasional one by another Costa Rican. Most of us became bright red and did not answer the questions. That was really fun. This is a pitiful excuse for a written memory but at least I tried, hope you all have great dreams of our trip.

Mark Sweeney

One word: íZapote! wait, wait, two more: íTagada! íChaos!

Rochelle Timmerman

I have a very vivid memory from Costa Rica. It is by no means one of my fondest memories, but yet it has stuck in my mind. My memory is from when we were in Ostional. Beautiful, sunny, warm Ostional. Unfortunately I did not get to enjoy this paradise to the extent I would have liked to because something dreadful happened to me. What happened? Well, my patrol was about to leave to go paint a building (I believe it was a homeless shelter) in the city. My patrol leader was sitting on a pile of concrete blocks, and I, not realizing what he was sitting on, gently tugged him backwards saying, "Come on, let's go." Well, this person was slightly clumsy and fell backwards and the stack of blocks tumbled over with him, the top one smashing my toes. I was stunned at first, but then began to cry because of the excruciating pain in both of my big toes. After a while, the pain subsided a bit and I was able to hobble to the building to help paint and clean it. Later in the evening, the pain returned, only worse. Rich, being the wonderful person that he is, kindly told me he thought my right toe was broken. Why I listened to him, I will never know, but this got me crying once again. I then had my toe looked at by a nurse who told me it in fact was not broken, but cracked (I still don't know what the difference is). So, I got to spend the night in a room with all the sick people in a building where they found a huge snake and an enormous grasshopper, while everyone else was out on the beach with the turtles, where I would have liked to have been. I know this memory will always stick with me because I have a bump on my right toe (which I found out was not broken or cracked, only severely bruised), that will probably never go away. The last thing I want to say is that the person who was sitting on the stack of blocks apologized profusely (and even kissed my toe to make it better) and that I would never blame him for what happened, even though I was told by many to just blame him for everything bad that ever went wrong.

Note: These stories have been edited for content, language, and grammar. If you want your story off the page, let me know. -Chris.