Happy Fourth of July Friends and Family,

We are Sofia Kinchen and Zara Najmi. We attend South San Francisco High School.

After waking up the crew, we embarked on our journey to the 120-foot Aquiares Waterfall. Through the numerous fun facts and interesting stories Memo shared with us, it allowed us to have an enjoyable hike and distracted us from the steep hills and slippery rocks. Crossing the river revealed our strength with the rapid current. Luckily we had helpful friends holding our hands to cross the river. The water was refreshing as the hot sun beat down on us. As you can see through the numerous waterfall photos it was an amazing experience. After the dip into the river we chose the shortcut of the hike except we didn’t know the “shortcut” would be steep stairs and tires. While this hike was difficult we were able to soak in the beautiful rainforest environment that is surrounding the waterfall. Along with the amazing waterfall, we were able to hear an educational seminar led by Karla on sustainability and the culture here in Costa Rica.

After an amazing sleep, I woke up in excitement that I was going to be able to grow my knowledge of the beauty of Costa Rica. Even though I never considered myself to be a “nature girly” this hike was amazing and the view and scenery was gorgeous. I learned many things through out the day during the waterfall and during our guest speaker, Karla’s presentation. Experiencing the beautiful landmark of the Aquiares Waterfall it has already taught me for my return to not take California’s environment and natural landmarks for granted. The feeling of being at the waterfall was a surreal experience. After coming home we transitioned to our amazing guest speaker, Karla. I was able to learn things about the environment of Costa Rica that aren’t usually taught in school. Overall I was proud of myself for being able to overcome the obstacles of the Waterfall hike and now will become a hiking girly. My experiences in leadership today it has shown me that even though we are only considered “children” we are able to take charge and support our fellow friends while we are out in nature. The leadership moment’s of today was an amazing and very beneficial experience (Sofia).

Today was one of my favorite days, not only was I able to have fun with the group and grasp the amazing nature around us on the hike to the falls but I was also able to learn more about the culture here in Costa Rica and how they are able to manage such a healthy and happy lifestyle while being environmentally conscious. I was surprised to learn that Costa Rica abolished their army in 1948 and instead focused that money and energy on more important things such as education and health care. Due to this fact, they are able to provide free health care to their citizens, something I believe to be very important for a society and its people to prosper. I am so happy I was presented with this opportunity to learn about all the amazing things being done here, I am proud to say that I have engaged and learned so much on this trip the past week and have established so many new relationships that will last forever. Being the LDD or leader of the day today was different. I am not used to taking such a huge role in having to watch over and lead 20 kids. However, I am very proud of what I accomplished and I think being a leader today taught me a lot about what it means to be a good leader. Never leaving anyone behind, making sure everyone is well hydrated and prepared, as well as many other things (Zara).

Love you Lots!! Zara (Chottu) and Sofia (Sofficci) signing out. Now we are passing the Torch to Roman and Noah…See you tomorrow and Happy Fourth of July!