My trip so far has been the most amazing experience I have ever had in my life. I had the chance to travel to another country and I made some really good friends at the same time. We got the chance to go to different cocoa farms and saw the pods and beans before the processing steps. I also saw a lot of different fruits on the farms as well. Being able to eat pineapples from the field, coconuts from the tree, and chocolate from the bean has made this trip even more enjoyable. Along with classes and workshops, being able to see the process up close made such a difference…I could have sat in a classroom and watched a video to get the same information but I would have never felt the experience of being in the country. Seeing chocolate makers make such a complex treat from scratch made me appreciate the art more. I didn’t realize how important the process was until I saw a professional show us the difference between really good chocolate and really bad chocolate. I would need years and years of practice to make even a normal chocolate bar.
We also went zip-lining through the canopy of the cloud forest. I was high in the clouds as I zipped through the air. I looked to my left and saw the misty mountains. I looked down and saw the tops of the trees. The water droplets stung my face a bit but it was worth it.
So far I have really enjoyed learning and immersing myself into the culture of Costa Rica. We ate local foods and drove through much of the country so far. I expect to do more things an learn more in the coming days. The great thing about this trip is the fact that we traveled all over the country instead of just staying on campus. There will be more to come after this post!