Thanks for all the birthday wishes! Glad to know some of you haven’t forgotten about me with the 3,000 mile gap! I am quite excited to continue celebrating. So far today, I woke up to hugs from every one in my host family. They also surprised me by making lasagna for lunch (because I told them it was one of my favorite foods– I figured that would be easier than them trying to figure out baby-back ribs ;)). And now, she is whipping together some arroz con leche for me! I’m not a big sweets person, but arroz con leche is too good to turn down! It’s a desert dish with rice, cream, milk, sugar (obviously), cinnamon, and a bunch of love. I can’t wait until it’s done!
I do have some pictures from our trip last weekend that I will post soon. We ended up going to a low-income school, planting 40 trees with the students, and painting one of the classrooms for them. McKendree taught me how to enjoy giving back to the community; I wouldn’t let a change of scenery change that! After that, we went hiking, went to an indigenous chocolate farm, and played with some bats. One of my favorite parts, besides the community service, was the chocolate tour. I do not even like chocolate, but it was very cool seeing all the different stages that the first chocolate makers had to do to arrive at their final products. This chocolate was probably very UNLIKE what you are all thinking. It was pure chocolate or cocoa; no milk, no sugar, no artificial nonsense. Pure chocolate. Even though I don’t like chocolate, I tried everything (not liking ANYTHING), but I tried it all. It was an amazing experience. You guys won’t believe what the cocao plant actually looks like before they turn it into the product that we consume!
Side note: I love how everything done in this country is outdoors. Costaricans love their country, and being outside to enjoy it. If I could spend my entire trip hiking and viewing all the scenery here, I’d be in heaven.
Well, I must get back to my day with the family! This weekend is Costa Rica’s Independence Day. If you have any idea of how Latin Americans celebrate, you will understand why I cannot WAIT for this weekend! 🙂
Until next time,