Seniors Reflect on Costa Rica Service Trip

Pat McNally

The trip was not what they expected but they enjoyed it nonetheless.

The first of the rising senior Christian service trips is to Costa Rica, scheduled from April 8-17.

Taking place during spring break of junior year, the trip is often seen as one of the more physically demanding, according to Christian Service Director Mr. Larry Legner.

“What they did last year was very physical. They had to carry sand from the beach up to help make cement,” Legner said. “It had to be done. It’s not like you go to home depot and buy a bag of cement.”

The seniors who went on the trip last spring also acknowledged how difficult the manual labor was. Senior Christian Ostrowski described the trip as incredibly demanding both physically and mentally. Although the trip was extremely taxing, it was not intended to be.

“We learned later that this is not what Mr. Legner had intended for us. He thought that we would be working with the children of the village most of the time,” Ostrowski said. “However, the children had school at the time and the teachers were not going to let a sweaty bunch of teenagers teach them anything.”

Along with the physical labor, the trip consists of a great deal of traveling alike to many of the other junior service trips. The indigenous Bri Bri community, the people who the students assisted, lives in the mountains of southeast Costa Rica.

One of the aspects of the trip that the seniors enjoyed the most was interacting with the indigenous people.

“Everyone was extremely nice, holding true to their ‘Pura Vida’ attitude,” senior Olly Walsh said.

Another part of the trip the students liked was the location. The Bri Bri tribe live in a very remote region deep in a jungle.

“It was some of the most pristine jungle any of us will ever see again and we got to wake up to it every morning,” Ostrowski said.

Despite the intensity of the work, the seniors who went are grateful for the experience.

“Looking back, I will never forget carrying sandbags up a steeply inclined hill while maintaining conversations with my friends,” Walsh said. “Yes, it was tough at the time, but looking back, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”