Sunday, September 11, 2011

Welcome to Costa!

Well, well, well... Here we are already on Day 5 of the trip. I say already on Day 5 as if time is flying by, but in reality, it feels as if I've been here for a lifetime. To cut it all short and leave everything out, I'm having a blast. Let's just say that the 4hr bus ride contained hardcore napping, singing (more like belting) the classics like Don't Stop Believin' and Bohemian Rhapsody, potty breaks, and general get to know you sessions. The drive was gorgeous and unlike anything I've ever seen in person before--the scenery was breathtaking. We're literally in the rainforest here.

So, a brief overview of what we've been doing here:

We've been having beginner seminars about how to interact with each other and what the most important things to us as a group are. We came up with TRICL or the trickle effect. It stands for Trust, Respect, Inclusion, Compassion, and Love. Each one supports and promotes the other and its how we are going to try to treat each other for the next year. So, thats pretty cool.

Already, I've gone surfing, swimming in a waterfall, and taken a community tour. Tomorrow we're hitting up zip-lining. There's no doubt about it ladies and gentlemen, TBB (Thinking Beyond Borders) spoils us and we are so lucky and blessed to be here. Although I was greeted with an army of ants on my bed just anxiously awaiting my arrival, I've got it pretty good.

Here is a list of the sweet little critters we've encountered thus far:
First and foremost, the one and only Zelda Jafarr. He is a bat that has terrorized the ladies. He decided to move on in to their room, make himself comfortable by pooping on the pillows, and frighten them with his swift movements. I think he just wants somebody to love.. poor fella.
Second, the shrieking howler monkey. He was a big sir just in need of some food. He was on the way to the waterfall and let us know he was there by howlin'.
Third, the MASSIVE frog outside the room. I've never seen a frog quite like this. It was huge and looked like a toy. I wanted to play with it but I was told that human oil on the skin hurts the frog... Who knew? Definitely not this guy right here.
I think thats it right now. Definitely not in ATL anymore.

Speaking of Atlanta, I realized that I have a lot of Southern pride for what its worth. I guess being with all these "yankees" has made me really love where I come from. No, no, they aren't those damn yankees y'all are thinking about. Everyone is so nice and incredible. I just realized that I am so glad that I have a hankerin' for that good ol' sweet tea and country music. I'm listening to it right now and I feel right at home. So, God bless the south. It's a great place and I am forever grateful to have grown up in the one and only HOTlanta.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Changes

I could not think of a better title for what is happening right now in my life: Changes. That is exactly what my life is at this point-- a series of changes all culminating in the biggest change yet, leaving tomorrow for 8 months. I am about to say adios to the great city that is ATL and travel around the world leaving behind friends, family, all that I've ever known. However, this is not all bad. Along the way, I will pick up more friends, memories, experiences, and gain life experience like no other. For that, I am excited. I am excited to finally go on this adventure that I've been talking about for so long. It's here. The day has come. I am actually leaving the U.S. of A. 

I'd like to say thank you. Thank you to my school - for the endless hours of calculus, english, and biology.. Let's hope they've paid off. Thank you to my friends - for the countless hours of laughter and down right fun. Thank you to my family - for never leaving my side and teaching me the bare essentials to life. I hope to make all of y'all proud and to take all of the things you've each sewn into my life with me wherever I go. 

So, here I stand at the beginning of a journey, about to embark on an adventure that will no doubt test my wits, physicality, faith, and sanity. I pray that I'm ready. I think that I'm ready. No, I know I am ready. It's time to throw up the deuces, peace outta here, and say sayonara. Atlanta, its been real. World, here I come. My friends, I wish y'all the best and look forward to seeing y'all in 8 short months.


Ben