Friday Part 2: Homeward Bound

Cincinnati has its flying pigs and San José has the painted cows. This one is in front of the Best Western Irazú. We walked by it many times, but I don’t think anyone ever stopped to read about its significance (including me). We were always on our way somewhere!

Today was our last breakfast in Costa Rica. We talked and laughed at Denny’s for the last time. The kids were unbelievably prompt and efficient in their packing during this entire trip. I can’t remember one time when we had to wait on any of them. That was both surprising and much appreciated! They are great travelers!

 
We got a stupendous surprise when Elmer showed up to take us to the airport. We had said goodbye to him after rafting and weren’t sure who would be taking us to the airport. The kids were ecstatic when he arrived! We formed great bonds with our tour guide Rafa and Elmer.  Explorica hires top notch talent and we were the beneficiaries of their cultural expertise and superb driving ability! We gave Rafa a USA jersey and we gave Elmer a Mason Soccer shirt. They both wore them today and the kids were so tickled. We are hoping to have both of them next year on our trip!
Me with Rafa, an amazing guide
Chaperones with Elmer and Rafa

Kids with Elmer and Rafa
Molly and Rafa
Mr. Potts is ready to travel home
This is where I would normally go into detail about our long travel day. Suffice it to say that it was a long day. Getting 34 kids and 9 adults through security (not once, but twice), customs and immigration all in a very short period of time was not easy, but we did it. The kids were cooperative as we all experienced different enforcement of security policies and procedures. They all learned that when you get a gate check tag, you DON’T take your carry on suitcase on the plane! That alone made our return flights more efficient than our flights to Costa Rica. It was exhausting, but also exciting to see the families waiting for us when we arrived at midnight at the middle school. I was in tears which is saying a lot!

In the coming days, I hope to write some of my post-trip thoughts about this trip. There is so much to say and I want to be sure that I write down my observations before they fade deep into my memory. I will close this blog today with these two photos which I believe to be two of the sweetest photos out of the 600 that I took.  It shows the bonds that were created between kids who had never met and the bonds that were strengthened when families got to experience new things together. Pura Vida!

Mrs. Habra and Steven Habra

Molly and Jordan

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