Sunday, 4 December 2016
When I first arrived at the camp, I must admit that I was feeling quite unsure of what I had signed up for. I'm a solo-travelling girl of 25 years from Australia and all I knew was that I wanted to do something good for the environment and have a totally different experience. The other volunteers and research assistants were really welcoming, but they also told me stories of endless rainy days, a girl who was bitten by a snake, creepy crawlies, rice and beans for every meal and how nothing ever dries here. I soon found out that it was all true, however none of it was as scary as it had seemed at first. Going completely out of your comfort zone is always going to be challenging, but it is something I am so glad I did. Oh, do I have some stories! What an adventure I have had. Now, on my last day, I am truly sad to be leaving this place that has become my home, people who have become my family. I feel like I´ve gained an intimate relationship with the jungle that most would never experience on the main tourist trails of Costa Rica. I´ve realised how far my capabilities extend, no longer afraid of wading through murky lagoons at midnight or snakes that may be hiding in tall grass. I have experienced the mysterious behaviour of the turtles, developing a deep, hands-on knowledge about these beautiful and strange, prehistoric creatures. I have formed close friendships with all of those in our group. Even though we had plenty of rain, it became a game to work with it, trying to dry your clothes in creative ways or just embracing it all as part of the experience. It is amazing how all these so-called obstacles in our way were actually the best part, the source of countless jokes and laughter, the inspiration for many tales to tell when I go back home. Everyone should experience something like this at least once in their lives, to live more simply, out in nature, learning just how wild the beach and the jungle really is.