Week 5 in Costa Rica

This week the Gap Students took an amazing trip to Manuel Antonio, a beach on the Pacific side! This was our first venture to the beach and I personally had a great time. It was wonderful to relax on the beach and soak up the sun and beautiful scenery around us. The sunsets, blue waters, and great food made for a great time. This excursion allowed for the students to take a break from our academics and enjoy the ‘postcard’ side of Costa Rica. We appreciated and worshiped our marvelous Thanksgiving dinner on the beach. Even though we were not with our family, we all realized we still had family right in front of us. Throughout this whole Gap experience, all 16 of us have become so close, maybe a little too close, and love being with each other for the most part. I am so happy to have spent my Thanksgiving with my “Gap family.” All of the students are so grateful for our whole experience so far and all the work put into the trip. It has been an incredible journey, unlike any other. I can’t believe the Gap experience ends in one week! I guess time flies when you’re having fun…

Our latest group excursion was a trip to the Pacific coast of Costa Rica to a beach called Manuel Antonio. There is a nature reserve with a small beach that we spent the day at on Friday. This beach was nothing like the coasts in the United States. It had beautiful, clear, and warm water; but was most different for one main reason…the animals. While back in the states, most of us are used to ‘shooing’ seagulls away from our food and camp, the Costa Rican beach posed a whole new threat: monkeys.  Leaving food unattended was a bad idea, and hanging it in the trees proved to be even worse. It took us a whole hour to get over their adorable faces to realize that they would take our entire bags if given the chance! I have to say I would choose easily scared seagulls over the clever monkeys that have obviously been around humans too much. We saw them posing for pictures with other tourists just to steal their bags as they turned around to smile for the camera. It was definitely an unforgettable and humorous experience that can’t happen many other places than Costa Rica.

This weekend we went to Manuel Antonio, and it was nothing short of paradise. We arrived on Thanksgiving and I went for a swim on the beautiful beach before dinner. We had an amazing turkey dinner (with a Costa Rican twist) on the beach. Though I was far away from my family in Pennsylvania, I celebrated the holiday with my new family. We all went around and said what we were thankful for, and I said I was thankful for all of the new friends I have made on this trip who are always here for me. I am often asked if I have any regrets about not going to college the traditional way, but I have none. I could not be happier with the experiences I have had and the people I have met. This Thanksgiving I am thankful for the Gap Semester.


One thought on “Week 5 in Costa Rica

  1. Great reflection on the Gap. Love the monkey-sea gull comments. I live in California of the Pacific Ocean surrounded by much wild life. It is important to try not to feed wild life that is for certain. Congrats on a cool semester!

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