Friday, May 25 , 2018, 11:55 pm | Fair 62º

 
 
 
 

Crane Students Experience Adventure, Culture in Costa Rica

Eighth-graders explore the environment and spend several days at an elementary school

On Sept. 27, 36 of Crane Country Day School’s eighth-grade students stuffed themselves into a bus and were shipped off to Los Angeles International Airport at 9 p.m. At about 1:30 a.m., our exhausted teachers ushered us into the airplane, and we all fell asleep.

Our flight landed in San Jose, Costa Rica, at 9 a.m. We gathered our baggage and hopped into another bus. We rode two hours north into the middle of the Costa Rican rainforest, to an ecolodge in the village of Chilamate.

The minute we stepped off of our bus, a warm blast of humid air came flying at our faces. It was the hottest place I have ever been to.

After unpacking, we excitedly headed off to the open dining room, where we ate rice, beans, salad, beef and the most delicious pineapple I have ever tasted. For drinks they had iced tea and juice from the exotic fruits that they grow.

Later that day we went on our first adventure, a chocolate tour in the Tirimbina Biological Reserve. We crossed a long, creaky suspension bridge, the kind you would see in a fairy tale. We got to taste each stage of the chocolate, all the way from cocoa beans to finished candy. The next couple of days we explored the wonders of Chilamate, with activities such as bird watching, tasting and learning about plants, learning about snakes (we even watched one eat a mouse!), going on nature hikes, cooking and, my favorite, zip lining.

The fourth day, we had our first trip to Escuela Cristo Rey, an elementary school, a two-mile walk from our ecolodge. When we got there, one of the teachers gave us a tour of the school. We saw all of the classrooms, and when we walked into the first-grade classroom, a quarter of the room was filled with books. I asked my teacher what it was, and I was shocked when she told me it was also the library. I then realized how important it is to read, to learn new words, to explore your mind and learn your interests. Everyone in my class donated one or two Spanish books to the library. I know how much I love to read, and I would be devastated if I ran out of books.

We learned that the school really wanted a big vegetable garden, so the three mornings we spent at the school, a lot of our time was dedicated to digging. We also read to the youngest students, played soccer with the older ones and painted games on the walkways. I was painting most of the time because I have a fractured wrist.

Every night after dinner one of the teachers would do something called an ANCHOR: Appreciations, News, Concerns, Hopes, Obscure Facts, and Readings. One night, my history teacher read The Starfish Thrower, a story that I will remember for the rest of my life. It’s about a boy who goes out to a beach early every morning. He starts throwing starfish back into the ocean because they will die if they don’t have any water when the tide moves out. A man walks up to him one morning and says that the boy can’t possibly save every starfish, that the boy won’t make a difference. So the boy picks up another starfish, throws it and then says, “It made a difference for that one.”

My amazing time in Costa Rica taught me a lot about the world, how we affect it and some things we can do to fix it. One of the things that really changed me was learning how just one small change can make a huge difference.

Crane traveled to Costa Rica with World Leadership School, based in Denver, and stayed at the Chilamate Rainforest Eco Retreat. For more details of the trip, click here to visit the students’ blog.

— Lily Dallow is a student at Crane Country Day School.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Supporter

Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >