Hi there! My name is Sammi York. I went on the 2016 Costa Rica Trip with Lincoln IB Middle School, and it honestly changed my life. There are a few things that you should know about me. I have two dogs and no siblings. I am really active, and I love skiing, running, swimming, and volleyball. But enough about my hobbies. Let me tell you about my life-changing trip to Costa Rica. We went in November, and were there for a week. One of the best things that we did there was to go to a local Costa Rican’s house to eat dinner. It was amazing because we got to meet people from a different culture and taste some homemade Costa Rican cuisine. My group had beans and rice, egg and potato salad, homemade juice, and Chiky’s cookies for dessert. The family we ate with was so nice, they talked and talked with us, even though we spoke different languages. We made a lot of mistakes while trying to speak Spanish, but we did our best, and overall it was an amazing experience! We learned that the kids had to travel a long way to school, and they took a bus every day to and from school. They grew all of their vegetables in their back yard, and made us a homemade meal.
We also did two service projects, one in which we painted an anti-bullying mural on a wall at a school in Sarapiqui. It was eye opening to see what schools are like in other places and to interact with the kids there. They taught us some Spanish and we taught them a little English. We played “pato, pato, ganzo” or “duck duck goose.” It felt great to be helping out and teaching them the values of friendship and tolerance through the mural. Our second service project was in Monteverde. We split into two groups. One group went to a local park to move rocks and dirt and clean up a little. My group went to a local soccer field to polish up the viewing chairs. We used sandpaper to scrape off the old paint, and painted a fresh coat of alternating green and blue, the team’s colors. Afterward, we all met up in the San Luis Community Center for a mid-day snack of cinnamon rolls, coffee, and a native fruit juice. It was delicious.
This trip has been an amazing experience for me, and I would do it all over again without any hesitation. Not only was it extremely fun, but it was also really educational and I grew both morally and emotionally from the experience. I am so thankful for everyone who helped make this trip possible for me; my peers, my teachers, my parents and relatives, and the donors who funded the scholarships provided. I will continue to use the experiences found in this trip to keep improving myself and to help others to improve. I intend to live my remaining years by the Costa Rica motto: Pura Vida!