Time Flies When You’re Zip Lining by Volcanoes

Pura vida – pure life! There is no doubt that we have been upholding that Costa Rican motto during our time in La Fortuna. Take eight cups of volcano climbing, a generous dash of zip lining, a sprinkle of hot springs and bake on high heat for four days. Occasionally remove from the oven and leave your dish outside to be thoroughly soaked by explosive thundershowers.

For a change of pace, I thought it might be fun to let the Backpackers tell you all about our climb of Cerro Chato, an inactive volcano with an elevation of 3,740 feet! 2016-08-01-mei-spring-semester-la-fortuna-mei-international-academy-travel-study-study-abroad-volcanoascentThe hike included an initial ascent through town, a trek through the forest, and then a steep decline into a lagoon! Here’s what some of them had to say:

“We began our trek with a 5K walk up and down several hills.
There was greenery everywhere and the volcano was in sight – it was impossible to believe that we could conquer it! We reached the base of the volcano. Surrounded by plants of all kinds we hiked upwards, tripping on the occasional rock, or in my case, Jonah’s foot. The vertical hill was like nothing we’d ever done before!” – Kate

“The hike was a great experience and I enjoyed watching everyone around me slip and let out screams. We walked away with yet another saying: Traaaaaaaaaaails.” – Christian

2016-08-01-mei-spring-semester-la-fortuna-mei-international-academy-travel-study-study-abroad-volcanogroup“Deliberate movements the whole way up. Shaky legs burning with anticipation of the lagoon, as well as the lactic acid we learned about in Biology. Our breath was taken away both by the intense physical exertion and the serene stillness of the lagoon. An opaque fog misted above the water as some daring souls ventured out to be consumed by the clouds.” – Carmen

“It felt like we were following the Man with the Yellow Hat with D-House donning his straw hat! The water was refreshing and made me miss the heat. Black sand that lined the limited shore was stunning. The experience was truly life changing.” – Clarke

“I was covered in mud the whole time and I was totally exhausted but swimming in that icy water in the cavity of a volcano was worth every slip, slide, and scrape.” – Veronica2016-08-01-mei-spring-semester-la-fortuna-mei-international-academy-travel-study-study-abroad-volcanolagoon

With their bravery solidified and confidence boosted, the crew continues to climb the ever challenging mountain of academic endeavours! Cellular respiration, photosynthesis, Shakespeare’s The Tempest, poetry and comparative essay writing?! When is there time to do all of this?? The crew is nailing every check point, and doing it with gusto. Case in point: our second Podcast session. Escaping the rain, we hauled everyone into one hotel room (sleepover style) and shared our creative pieces. First up was MC Ethan “Carrot” Kelly who set the bar high with his fiery rap “The World is Our Classroom”, which he received a raucous round of applause for.

Our zip lining adventure gave the crew an opportunity to have an incredible view of the volcano they had just climbed. High in the forest, we nervously gazed at the kilometre long abyss in front of us – we’re going to fly down a cable…through that? But indeed we did, seven times over and with increasing ease!2016-08-01-mei-spring-semester-la-fortuna-mei-international-academy-travel-study-study-abroad-zipliningsolo

For our last night in La Fortuna, the Backpackers enjoyed a few hours at Baldi Hot Springs. Did they quietly and safely lounge under the steaming hot waterfall or laze in the pools? Ha! That wouldn’t quite be adventurous enough for this lot. Imagine the entire crew, teachers included, sitting at the mouth of “The Toilet Bowl”, a water slide consisting of a steep chute which sends you circling a bowl until you fall through the centre into a pool of water. It was so lovely to have a carefree evening of simple, childlike fun. Back at the hotel we gave the crew three hours (equivalent to a year in MEI time) to work on their assignments, and this was much appreciated by everyone.

As we wrap up our time in La Fortuna, the crew has been considering how much they are individually contributing to the “family unit”. I am confident that after these adventures, the crew is stronger than ever.2016-08-01-mei-spring-semester-la-fortuna-mei-international-academy-travel-study-study-abroad-ziplining

Hasta luego La Fortuna!

PS: Photos will be on their way shortly. We wanted to gather some of the amazing pictures the students have been taking and show them off! Stay tuned.

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