Category Archives: Costa Rica

All Done

We are done. We are home and now the stories and memories are all that remain of our time in Costa Rica.
We had our ups and downs. Kids, we as chaperones, were a bit worried about turned out to some of the brightest lights on our trip and others surprised us in other ways.
Kids hung out with and spoke to other students that they had never spoken to before. We saw some special friendships develop that may never have seen the light of day if not for this trip. It was educational both in an ecological and social sense. Kids were forced to step outside their comfort zones and dig deep to complete tasks. Most were successful, some were not.
There will be mixed reviews about this trip. We had bad tasting water for the first four days, but freshly made fruit juice. We had physical and home sickness, we had contests and games. We had to do our own dishes (gasp)! There was boredom and excitement, the bread lady and volleyball games. Sunburns were common even when bathed in sunscreen because we were working and playing hard and sweating it all off. Most of us are peeling somewhere. There were ant bites and black flies and the odd mosquito, but there was also anti itch lotion (thanks Mr. Lester), aloe (thanks Ms. Bolyard), and relaxing in the shade to the sound of Ms. Hook’s Ukulele.
So whether your child enjoyed the trip, or not, whether they are glad they came, or not, your child learned something on this trip, whether they recognize it or not. It may be something deep and meaningful, it may be a realization about themselves or others or it may simply be that this type of trip is not for them. Regardless, they have grown as individuals, have seen how others live, have helped in some capacity to protect the critically endangered Leatherback Sea turtle, and will no doubt remember this trip for the rest of their lives; even if it is just to tell their children how when they were younger they spent a full 10 days with no internet. 🙄
It was my pleasure to escort these 27 students on such a trip and I do hope they can eventually look back on it fondly and as something done that was worthwhile.

A turtle Michelle Z made out of napkins during our final dinner in Costa Rica. Sent from my iPhone


More photos

I tried to upload some videos in the last post, but they didn’t work. Sorry.

View from our beach

Dish duty!

Waiting for the boat to begin our journey home

Boat ride back to the mini bus

Our day in Toronto

Our morning in Toronto has been a whirlwind. We took the city bus to the subway and then transferred to a street car. For some of our kids it was their first time on public transit. We started with a visit to the CN Tower and then over to Ripley’s Aquarium before heading to Wayne Gretzky’s for lunch. It’s also very cold today, -11, and Ms. Bolyard does not like it. 🙂 Then a reverse trip back to the airport for a 2:00 pm check in. Then we’re on our way. So far a good day.


Ocean playtime

Learning to dig turtle nests

Day 5 – 9

Our days seem to be blurring together. Hatchery work in the morning, beach clean up or debris removal in the afternoon, and night patrols in the dark of night. In between consists of much lounging on hammocks, playing volleyball and trying to stay cool.
We haven’t seen anymore turtles since that second night. Some tracks and what Ms. Bolyard has dubbed u-turns, but is scientifically referred to as a false crawl. We pass many groups of poachers in the night, which we find disturbing, but there is absolutely nothing anyone can do about it which we all find sad.
We had a little relay race one afternoon which the kids seemed to enjoy. The cook has gone out of her way to cart us in some water that taste much better. So we have been enjoying that since day 5, so most of the
Kids are drinking more now, which is good. Still have a few kids down everyday, but the teachers are starting to wonder how many start to feel sick when it’s time to go to work. 😉
Around day 8, a few of the kids were starting to get homesick and everyone is looking forward to heading home, having a warm shower and sleeping in our own beds.

Hatchery work

The walk back from Quelonios.
More hatchery work

Day 3

Today began with a tasty breakfast, then the kids that didn’t go on beach patrol last night went to work in the hatchery. The hatchery needs to have all the sand replaced, so it was dirty, hard work. They only had to stick with it for about an hour though, so we set up a pretty good system and the time flew by. They had most of the afternoon off, then they went off in groups to learn how to dig turtle nests, and complete the measurements required to rebury the nests that are found. Tonight’s beach patrol saw all three groups that were out see a turtle, which was quite exciting. Unfortunately, one of the groups turtles eggs had already been poached when we got to it, so all we could do was measure the turtle and get all of her information – the eggs were already gone. It made us very sad, and brought home, for some of the kids, exactly why we are out here.

While the water is safe to drink, it doesn’t taste very good. There was a storm here not too long ago and some salt water got into the well. The water is perfectly fine, but the kids do not like the taste. We have also had a few kids sick today. One of the students said he felt sick at the airport on Saturday when he came – the teachers are calling him patient zero. I am anticipating more sick kids in the days to come as they are sharing water bottles, food and sleeping in groups. Fingers crossed it doesn’t last for long.


Darcie Hook MSc

MYP Teacher, Math and Science

t 604.467.4444 (ext. 144)



12224 240th Street, Maple Ridge, BC, Canada V4R 1N1

t 604.467.4444

This message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information.

Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient,

please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.