Sunny Goes Zip Lining

DSCN0291Dear Family and Friends,

Sunny here…I filmed the best video of zip-lining in action, so I got the honor of writing this post. We went zip-lining the day before we left Rancho Margot, and honestly, it was probably the most thrilling thing I have ever done. Before starting to zip-line, we were all feeling a mixture of emotions, the most prominent being excitement and terror. We all took a picture with one another before the excitement began (pictured above).



DSCN0279Before going zip-lining, we had to go up in a ski-lift type machine, which took us up to a higher elevation. While going on this tram, I took some pictures that really showed the true beauty of Costa Rica. I saw things that I could never have imagined– huge treetops and lush green landscapes. It really made one appreciate what mother nature gave to us.

At this point you may want to turn down the volume on your computer a bit, as my shrieks narrate the following video. The video is sideways because the camera was hanging from my harness! Enjoy!



P.S. Sky Trek is home to the HIGHEST and LONGEST zip line in Costa Rica (the world’s zip-lining capital)!

Posted in Costa Rica June 2013 | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

All Around Rancho Margot


Dear Family and Friends,

This is Lauren Chan and Sunny blogging all about Rancho Margot, where we stayed the majority of the trip (5 nights). We had such a great time in this beautiful area of Costa Rica!

Above you can see our eating and meeting area, where we ate delicious, organic food grown right on the rich soil of the ranch.


The first day we spent there, we took a long tour of the huge, amazing ranch. Our tour guides were very knowledgeable about the ins and outs of Rancho Margot and told us all about the history and operations of the ranch. It morphed from a large stretch of land to a living, breathing paradise that many now call home.



The flora and fauna of Rancho Margot are stunning. They are so incredibly colorful and diverse. We saw so much life at the ranch, from iridescent hummingbirds to sweet-smelling “shampoo flowers.” (shown above)


Another aspect of the ranch that really stood out to us was just how self-sustainable and environmentally friendly it is. From building their own furniture to growing all the food we ate, we were floored by how environmentally conscious and self-sufficient Rancho Margot was. They even create their own soap! We’ll share with you one of the many cool ways that they use their own resources: the high-temperature cow manure is used to heat the showers! (Not to worry, it was completely sanitary. 🙂 )



Now for one of our favorite pastimes – the pools! There were two pools, one cold and one hot (shown above). The “cold” pool was completely natural, chlorine and chemical-free. Though it was a low temperature, it was a beautiful, refreshing pool, in which we had a great time in the always-hot weather.

The second (and overall favorite) pool was wonderfully warm – like a giant hot tub! As you can see in the picture, there was a giant tree sticking up in the middle acting as mini waterfalls. It was so relaxing to take a dip in either of these pools.

We made many great memories at Rancho Margot and can’t wait to tell you more!


Lauren Chan, Sunny, and the GLC Costa Rica Team!

Posted in Costa Rica June 2013 | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

First Day Of Camp!


Dear family and friends, this is Ellie Pinkus and Lauren Creamer. As you most likely know, in the past few days we have been running a summer camp for local Costa Rican kids. Although the communication was difficult due to the fact that they speak a different language (Spanish), we realized that 80% of communication comes from body language. We often would do demonstrations and the kids would catch on quickly. We all greatly enjoyed communicating and creating bonds with the children.


We had three stations the groups rotated through; arts and crafts, outside and inside games. For each station we had three activities for which we translated the instructions into Spanish. For arts and crafts we did activities such as friendship bracelets, tie-dye and clay sculptures. For outside we played games similar to sharks and minnows, red light green light and jump rope. For inside we played duck duck goose, musical chairs and freeze dance. We demonstrated leadership and learned many skills.


Aside from the connections we made with the kids, we also formed even stronger bonds with each other. We realized that when we took the time to get to know each person on the trip, we quickly saw that each individual had much more to share than we thought. During this trip we have been brought together by leadership and service to create bonds that will never be broken.


We all had so much fun playing the games with the kids, and we could tell that they all loved them as well. It has been a once in a lifetime experience that we will all treasure and remember forever. Not only did we get the chance to form new bonds, but we also learned and improved skills such as leadership, using different ways to communicate, and organization.


The children at the camp consisted of all ages, but we found ways to interact and engage with them all. All of the kids have been taught to interact and participate in all activities. Although we had a great time playing with all of the kids, we also had to take responsibility, leadership roles, and establish rules.

We love and miss you all!

Ellie P., Lauren Creamer, and the rest of The Girls’ Leadership Club

P.S. Happy birthday to Mrs. Narasin yesterday and Mrs. Douglass today!

Posted in Costa Rica June 2013 | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Rafting on the Pacuare River


Hi family and friends this is Nitya and Ishani blogging today. We just arrived at the Rancho Margot, where we are running the Summer camp. The ranch is like paradise with awesome food! The last two days have been awesome river rafting. At first we were scared, but then as we got to higher and higher levels we just had a ball. There were 3 rafts. The 1st day we went on classes 1, 2, and 3 rapids. The next day we went on classes 3 & 4. The last time we went on a rapid, we were allowed into the river afterwards and floated through a majestic canyon.


Lunch the first day was served off the bottom of the raft on a beach. While the guides were preparing lunch we had time to go on a hike, and swim in a natural pool. We got back on the river afterwards.



We stayed at a lodge called Rios Tropicales right on the river. This is a picture of us swimming in another natural pool, which had a waterfall. Tomorrow the children are arriving for camp, and you will see many pictures of the fun!


Nitya, Ishani, & the Girls Leadership Club

Posted in Costa Rica June 2013 | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Airport day!

Dear Families and Friends,

Well, no exciting photos here, because we didn’t do anything other than sit in airplanes and airports all day, but here are some photos so you can see how happy we all are! We were all very good at entertaining ourselves and each other during the layover.






IMG_0105 IMG_0102

(Carla is not in any of the photos, because she was already in Costa Rica a day early waiting for us!)

(Lauren didn’t face the camera in any of these pictures; Carla and Lauren will have pictures coming up!)

We love you and can’t wait to write more posts! It’s bedtime in Costa Rica!

Menlo School Girls’ Leadership Club

Posted in Costa Rica June 2013 | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

4 DAYS LEFT! until we fly to Costa Rica…

Dear Middle School Girls’ Leadership Club at Menlo School,

I am so excited to see all of your happy smiling excited faces at 5:30am this Tuesday at the airport!

The tedious packing and very long day of flying will be all worth it once we’re zipping down the Pacuare River in a rubber raft, staying at a river lodge, transferring to a yoga lodge, zip-lining, swimming in natural hot springs, and then getting to meet our Costa Rican friends at the day camp!

Here is a photo of the last adventure I had in Costa Rica. Do you see what a beautiful country it is? I can’t wait to make new Costa Rica memories with all of you!

Summit of Mt. Chirripo in Chirripo National Park

Summit of Mt. Chirripo in Chirripo National Park

See you in a few days!

Ms. LaV   : )

Posted in Costa Rica June 2013 | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment