When my sister and I decided to go to Costa Rica for 6 weeks to work on a turtle conservation project I don´t think we were prepared for what was ahead. On the first day we looked at each other and said lets just get through 1 week and then we can leave. There was so much jungle and so many creatures and we were completely terrified. By the end of that first week we fell in love with the place and ultimately ended up pushing back our travel plans to spend one more week here. Alice and Aida really made this place feel like home for us. Aida, our new found role model, took care of our bumps and bruises and Alice, the funniest person around, became our third sister and built a community for us that got us through that first week. This whole experience was supposed to be about the turtles, and don´t get me wrong, the turtles were absolutely amazing, but it was way more than that. We got to see what it looks like to really be able to dance... and then we got to try it ourselves. We picked up a few spanish words here and there. We made amazing friends who we got to go on adventures with, and who could understand the importance of peanut butter.
We got very creative about how to make rice and beans taste more interesting. But more than anything we pushed ourselves to try new things that we would have never imagined doing. For example, there are two ways to get to the hatchery, one is by boat and the other is by walking through the edge of a lagoon in the jungle. The first time we went through the path I thought my sister was going to actually die. Luckily we were with a big group of people and they talked us through it. Two weeks later my sister and I had a shift at the hatchery and had to take the path, we found ourselves wading through the water, all alone, without even thinking twice.
Every aspect of this trip has been a challenge and we were surprised to find that we were capable of every bit of it, and that we actually really liked living here. We wish we didn´t have a flight out of Costa Rica and a long list of places to see so that we could stay here for another month.... But then again maybe we´ll be back for january, commiting to plans has never been our strong suit.