Vet Med Students Volunteer in Costa Rica & Panama

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  • Day 6: Thursday ,July 14, 2011

    Today was our break from clinics that we used as a day to travel to Siquirres and for recreation.  We started out with our last breakfast at Sanchiri overlooking the beautiful Orosi Valley.  Then we headed to the famous Pacuare River for some Whitewater Rafting.  We got all ready with our swimsuits, lots of sun block, new Costa Rican Walmart boat shoes, lifejackets, and helmets.

    We took rafts in groups of 5-6 plus the guide.  The river is rated Class I-IV and is said to be one of the top 10 rafting rivers in the world.  It’s hard to describe in words how fun it was (or perhaps scary for some people).  The morning was hot as we bounced through the “upper and lower water” Class IV Rapids.  The rapids were pretty extreme and the front of the raft would occasionally disappear from view as it encountered a solid wall of waves.  Teri and Sarah both managed to be sucked into the rapids for a “little swim.”  The scenery along the way was spectacular as we paddled through dense forests, canyons, and past large waterfalls.  We spotted several birds and the famous blue Morpho butterfly. 


    We stopped about midway for a lunch of sandwiches/tortillas and lots of fresh fruit.  We brought this food with us and ate in a little palm tree shelter in the forest.  During the second half of the trip it started raining and getting cloudy adding to the atmosphere of the trip down the tropical river through the jungle.  At some points our guides would let us jump in & swim around, try standing up on sides of the raft, or spinning the raft in circles.  This trip tested our balancing skills also- my whole raft (Ian, Heather, Andrea, and David) tipped 90° and we all fell out into the rapids except for Ian who managed to save the raft.  Luckily all of us survived the adventure and had a great time.  At the end they sold us pictures that they had taken of our smiling faces along the way.  At the end of each big section of rapids we would yell, “Pura Vida” and give each other a paddle high-five.

    We then headed to the Earth University in Guácimo.  It is a huge international agriculture school consisting of about 12 acres.  On the way to our building we spotted a wild Two-toed sloth in a tree off of the road and also a Nine-banded armadillo.  This place may prove to reveal much more of the Costa Rican wildlife.  We are all staying in the same building of 4 bedrooms with 2 bunk beds each and 2 bathrooms.

     Until dinner we showered, went for walks/runs, and played cards.  Dinner was at a small restaurant right next to the Earth Campus called Caribbean Bambu.  I think that all of us would agree that it was a great day and break from clinics. 

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