Costa Rica Dolphin & Ecology 12-Day Adventure — Saturday, July 27, 2019

Exploration Excitement (By Jonathan Emmons)

Today's activities were all about exploration. The day began with a brutal 6:30 wake-up time, so that we could be out in the jungle hiking towards the Don Victor waterfall by 8:00. Within the first twenty minutes of the hike the most athletic kids, Sofia, Paulo, and Anhwei were able to easily move at a faster pace than the rest of the group. Despite this, they made sure to take breaks often, partly to rest and drink water, but mostly to politely let the rest of the group catch up and to help them through particularly difficult spots. By the time we made it to the waterfall, we had already learned about tons of species of native bugs and plants, with the help of Rory, who had a particular knack for finding and pointing out all sorts of flying insects and interesting birds.

No amount of anticipation could have prepared us for the sight we were greeted by when we brushed past the final line of trees that marked the enterance to the clearing of the Don Victor waterfall. The waterfall was powerful and beautiful, ending in a pool of water that was clear as glass. While in the waterfall clearing, we had a picnic on the rocks at the waterfall's base's pool and Carley, Sofia, Rory and I, along with our guide, competed to see who could make the highest rock tower.

On the trip back, Sarah, who had been at the back of the group so that she could take in the entirity of the scenery in her own time, surprised everyone when she decided that she would rather run than walk the rest of the way back. Without breaking a sweat she led the way on the hike back to base camp.

After we returned we ate lunch and made phone calls to home. While some students were making their calls, others were talking privately with Carly and Amanda about the trip so far, and the rest were cleaning themselves up in the dorms or playing cards toegether. We relaxed like this until dinner, which was then followed with a lesson by one of the resident scientists about insects. Following the lesson we all went outside to see a variety of species of the moths and insects we had just learned about covering cabin the wall; attracted to it by the building's bright lights in the night. To round out the night, we went back inside and circled up for an entertaining game of charades. We reflected on our day and I passed the broadreach flag to Rory, signifying the coronation of tomorrow's new leader of the day. Finally we said our goodbyes and all went to our dorms to sleep save Rory and I. Rory, who is currently in the adjacent room planning tomorrow's activities with Amanda and Carly, and I, who is writing what you are reading right now. There is one last thing you need to know before I finally go. This has been the trip of a lifetime. Personally, I will never forget the places I have seen, the things I have learned, and the people I have met. I know everyone here feels the same way. Your child should be thanking you when they get home, because what you have given them is nothing short of the adventure of a lifetime.

The jungle was thick
The hiking was treacherous
We had so much fun

- Jonathon Emmons