Here's part of Sally's blog from her last trip... She's traveling to Costa Rica again in February.   FIND OUT MORE

Things I Learned in the Jungle

Sunday, June 3, 2012 - Things I Learned in the Jungle

As I look out over the rainforest and Caribbean here in Costa Rica and reflect on the last week and a half, there has been many things to contemplate.  Being able to do yoga twice a day for two weeks has brought yoga even more alive to me.  And every afternoon has allowed me to truly experience getting to know…and love the local children even more, an opportunity I have wanted for sometime.


Sally with Addison Demaree, our English Teacher

This is my eighth trip to the Samasati Nature Retreat near the town of Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica.  Our group trips along with one-week side visits with family members have made this one of my favorite places in the world.  It’s become my second home.

There is so much to do here when I lead groups to Samasati---zipling through the jungle, going to beautiful beaches, visiting an animal center where you can actually hug a monkey, kayaking, bicycling, getting massages, staying in bungalows and eating gourmet vegetarian food, exploring town like a local…

The highlight is usually the two half days working with the local children at our library.  I love that…our library JA short 15 minute walk from Samasati is a library made of local wood and filled with books that have gradually increased due to our passengers bringing them on four trips.   We hired an English teacher almost a year ago, Addison Demaree from Indianapolis, who has truly made an impact with children ages 7-14 years.  The library is open from 1-4 p.m. and some kids come almost every day and others periodically.  That is a challenge for any teacher when you have different levels of learning to teach.

By working at the library the past week, we have come up a list of priorities we would like to implement through fundraising:

* Continue to provide an English teacher year-round

* Purchase material for English as a Second Language (workbooks, computer programs, etc.) on quarterly basis

* Expand library with more new and gently used books (first-third grade levels at this time)

* Provide 4-6 computers, desks, and monthly wireless internet service

* Build a playground by Fall 2012

* Offer two yoga/service/adventure trips each year o work with the kids at library

* Give four to eight bikes annually to children who need it for school ($130 each new)

* Provide two scholarships a year to elementary students going to high school

* Design a women’s revenue project by purchasing a sewing machine that would help with making school uniforms, etc.  ($430 per sewing machine)

* Bring soccer uniforms for the children through a non-profit in Indianapolis and having our passengers deliver

* Develop an on-going volunteer program so the English teacher has assistance listening to children read and learn to words.