As compared to any other trip people prepare for, my excitement and anticipation are growing. Although I’ve been to Costa Rica once before, I have never been there or in any foreign country to participate in service in order to work with a community or in our case sea turtles to tackle a social issue! This time the purpose of my trip is unique but I’m welcoming this change and am hoping to embrace every opportunity to learn and grow with my time in Ostional. I hope this trip will strengthen my desire to continue service and understand complex social issues. With some research I had to do in Spanish class this year on Costa Rica, I learned how important the environment is to the Tican people. Whether it is for economic or cultural reasons, they need and value the ecosystem around them with turtles included. I’m so excited to understand and see the importance of the environment to Ticans and life itself. On our pre-service trip we cleaned garbage alongside the river at a local state park and I was shocked and disgusted by the amount of garbage. Although this made me angry, I want to turn this energy into a productive and environment-saving force and save the turtles, a critical part of the ecosystem. I cannot wait to share these experiences with a wonderful group of people and learn alongside them. We may leave as acquaintances but I hope to come back as a strong group of friends with new memories, smiling and with a tan (hopefully)!

Pura vida!