Sunday December 11, 2016

Last Port = Costa Rica

We set sail yesterday for SAN DIEGO in the USA! Which means Costa Rica was our last stop abroad on this almost 4 month voyage, just in time for Christmas! 

Let me talk a little about Costa Rica before I go into details of departure:

Costa Rica (C.R.) holds one of my favorite moments from this voyage ... drum roll please! ... I got to experience what it was like to work on a COFFEE FARM in Monteverde!!! AHHH I know super exciting :) I channeled my inner coffee farmer and picked the coffee beans from the tree, put them into the wash, and explored the rest of the coffee drying and roasting process. It was such an honor to be able to see how exactly the process of the oh so delicious coffee that gets me up every morning is performed. I also learned how just the right amount of drying, heat and love needs to be developed to get some of the best coffee in the world, which is grown right here in Costa Rica. However, don't be fooled, coffee is not originally from Costa Rica! Coffee is actually from Ethiopia and migrated to different parts of the world from there. But today the best coffee in the world is grown in Costa Rica! It also rained the whole time we were on the farm, but I love rain so this was just an added factor to the beauty! Lastly while touring the HUGE coffee farm, we got to swing on the Guaba tree right above the coffee plants! It was so fun and the tree was so smooth :D

I also went to the Cloud Forest in Monteverde C.R. with my Environmental History class. There we learned about the history of conservation and environmentalism of Costa RicaIt also rained the whole time, but we were able to take coffee breaks so I was a happy! Here are some fun facts I learned that I did not know before I explored the Cloud Forest:
- C.R. has no military.
- C.R. is called "The Green Republic" however it still struggles with outside consumers coming in and ruining the land and producing toxins and deforestation for mass production which causes C.R. to not be the Green Republic it is said to be. However, with this being said, the residents of C.R. are the reason that C.R. got the Green Republic nickname because they are working very hard to turn all of this ruin done by mass production companies around and create more natural environments. They are even moving to try and be 100% sustainable farmers. Education is the key to helping farmers become more sustainable so that is what many Costa Ricans are on the move to do: provide education opportunities and facilitate sustainable farming procedures in order to help each other have the healthiest farms and home they can!
- Arabica is the most natural form of coffee grown and exported from Costa Rica.
- C.R. is the size of West Virginia.
 
The last few days in port I was really sick so I slept, but the coffee farm experience made up for it all! It was an amazing experience and as most of you know I have a passion for coffee so I feel as though I have an even more of an authentic passion as the coffee farming added to my love for the plants, the process and the outcome even more!!

Now let's talk departure! 

This voyage has been an amazing experience for me! It has been extremely tough in so many ways, but being so far out of my comfort zone helped me to grow but also to step outside of myself and see what truly matters to me and what I could live without. I think it's always important to go outside of one's comfort zone; however, being almost 4 months out of mine has been one of the biggest challenges of my life - the other one being my 9 months at boarding school. I am beyond grateful for this opportunity and I cannot wait to share stories, experiences, photos and the insights I have gained that have allowed me to be a better, wiser and more "open to change" person! I think one of the biggest areas I have grown in is adaptation to any situation, standing up for myself and taking initiative. I am ready to take all of this back to my life in the US with me, knowing the adaptation back to the US will be difficult but rewarding as I integrate these new entities of my identity into my daily life! 

The MV World Odyssey will be pulling into San Diego on December 22nd, where my mother will be picking me up!!
 
I hope everyone is just as excited for Christmas as I am - and of course I am so so so excited to see my family, puppies and ski!!!! 
I have not been able to update or add to my blog/website, however, that is what I will be working on over Christmas break so check it out if you want to see more photos and read more of my adventures!

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