#Rough Life

I soon learned after arriving that I did not bring enough clothes, hygiene supplies, or proper shoes on my trip! I should’ve known that you can bring more than a small carry on, but I treated this 9-day international trip more as a weekend camping trip and brought minimal supplies including: a water filter (which was not needed), a first aid kid (which I didn’t use), three pairs of shorts, a few shirts and underwear (which I continually had to wash and reuse). Too much information I know! Despite me being unprepared I had an amazing time and grew closer to all of the people on the trip. Not having enough clothes and supplies did make me smell more (just kidding=p) but it added to the overall experience and enhanced la vida de la finca or FARM LIFE.

I sincerely appreciated the daily routine of waking up when the rooster crowed, eating breakfast as a team, and dispersed to our daily jobs. Our work was rigorous and physically strenuous at times but it made me sweat and burn off those rice and beans I’ve been packing on throughout the trip which made it all worth it. After work we did get some time to relax, play some games and reflect by the fire which was always enjoyable and helped me learn about the thoughts of others as well as helped me solidify my own beliefs.

I will never forget the hospitality of the Villalobos family and all that they have done for us. They have showed me that it is possible to be happy and live a relatively stress-free life. They welcomed our group into the family as soon as we stepped into their home. Donald, who helped us with our work most of the time, taught us new skills to complete our jobs and was a great teacher as well. He showed us why we were doing the things we were doing and why they were important for the environment. Ultimately, this trip was the experience of a lifetime, as cliche as it sounds, it is true. I formed new relationships, I experienced a new culture, I learned new skills, I performed service for a cause I care about and had an amazing time simultaneously! As it turns out being smelly and not having enough clothes didn’t turn out so rough after all (don’t ask my other teammates though)!


Costa Rica 2012: Pre-Trip Thoughts

Costa Rica 2012: Pre-Trip Thoughts

It is the Winter after my Sophomore year of college, I’ve been very busy and time is flying by without me even realizing it at times. As I tell my friends and family that I am going to Costa Rica for a school trip there are two phases of responses. The first phase goes something like this “Wow! I heard Costa Rica is beautiful I’ve always wanted to go! You are so lucky, what are you doing there?!” I respond with something along the lines of “Yeah! I’m really excited it was kind of a spontaneous decision for me, we are working on sustainable agriculture!” After the words sustainable agriculture come out of my mouth that’s when the second response phase occurs: “Oh that sounds interesting!” it is not the tourist attraction most were expecting to hear; nonetheless I expect this trip to be a great experience that I will certainly never forget for a number of reasons.  

First off, it is the first time I am traveling without my family on an airline. Also, it is the first time
I traveling outside of the country other than Greece and Cyprus. I have never been to this part of the world before and I am looking forward to learning more about the culture and lifestyle of the people living in Jthese parts and having a more worldly view. This definitely marks a point in my life where I feel more independent and have the ability to make decisions that I know are best for me. This is one of the reasons why I applied to the ASB program. I am
also very motivated to do something good and be active in service. I haven’t really participated in that much volunteering since high school and it is something that I truly value and wish to continue throughout my lifetime.  Perhaps this marks the point where I begin to have a more active role in the community. 

I am currently writing this blogpost in the airport at 4am after I started packing only a few hours prior, I did not give this trip a lot of thought before departing but my attitude is that it will add to the excitement of the experience. I don’t know what to expect but I am up for anything and am eager to learn and do and that is what I’m looking forward to!

-Andrew Kamilaris