Pure life. It’s the saying that everyone here in Costa Rica knows and now I know why! Being here has been just amazing. The wild monkeys, beautiful extravagant birds, the sun, and the love for all of this that everyone shares. Even though I’m learning tons of useful information focusing on social entrepreneurship, the experiences of just being here has made the airplane sickness all worth it.
Thus far, I’ve learned that I have a new appreciation for environmental activists. Staying at Hotel Luna Llena, the owner and one of the founders of Salve Monos—Simona, has worked 3 YEARS with the government to be able to create a reforestation project, where government owned lands are planted with trees that are part of the diet of local monkey species! This is done to attract them and create a safe trail to travel between the rainforest and the beach. Little did I know how meaningful this experience really was when I naively volunteered for a community reforestation opportunity!
So far, I’ve learned that I’m pretty good at scuba diving, surfing, and salsa dancing and can’t wait to do even more after only being here for a week. One piece of advice I have for anyone wondering if they should take any opportunities abroad—TAKE IT. William and Mary has a lot to offer, but so do the numerous other countries you’ve never explored during these critical years of your life. Don’t forget to balance all of the twampy studying with meaningful life experiences! Scuba diving is a must. If you ever get the chance to do it and you like marine life half as much as I do, then it will be amazing. Here I dove in the volcanic reefs 60 miles off the coast of the Guanacaste region and lucked out to see a white tip reef shark, a hawksbill turtle, numerous schools of fish, and to top it all off, a 15 ft. wide MANTA RAY. Apparently, it’s a rare sight to see all of these things on one dive day, and I will never forget it. A giant unclear mouth heading straight towards me underwater, only after the panic to reveal a playful giant Manta Ray. Disregarding my initial heart attack, the experience already has made my entire summer.
Experiences are what people need to keep in mind for life in general. Study hard, but experience harder. Experiences are valuable, whether it’s interning with non-profits, traveling, or doing things you’ve always wanted to do! Knowledge gives you power, but your experiences make you rich.
Pura Vida mi amigos! Till the next opportunity that I receive good enough internet to post!