Hi, my name is Patricia Wedawin and I am in the International phase of Northern Youth Abroad. This year we are in Costa Rica and it is beautiful. The trip from Ottawa to Costa Rica was very long, but worth it as we saw San Jose from above and it was breath taking. We seen waves of the Pacific Ocean crashing shores, miles and miles of big green trees and mountains. We met our tour guide, Jimmy, at the San Jose airport and he showed us a little part of San Jose shortly after settling into our place at United World College. The next day we had to leave to CIRENAS which is a centre that creates transformative connections between people and the environment through education, research, integration and innovation. We travelled by a ferry, then walked on a beach to CIRENAS for an hour and a half while a vehicle had our luggage. You could imagine what we felt, mesmerized by the waves and salt-tasting air. When we arrived at CIRENAS, we were welcomed with loads of food and water and a natural kind of juice with electrolytes in it. Then the group spilt up into cabins, one for the boys, another for the girls, and all three chaperones in another. We then had an introduction to the center and a lecture about Costa Ricans, who are called “Ticos”. Then we ended our night at the beach watching the sunset while swimming, which was my first time swimming in an ocean. The sunset was the most beautiful one I have ever seen. We had a horseback riding tour the next day through Hacienda Ario to explore the sabanero way of llife at Nicoya Peninsula. We’re having a great time learning so many new things about Costa Rica and also about each other. Some are already fearing the goodbyes we’re going to have to endure at the end of the program. But we’re looking forward to our next adventures at United World College.