July 2, 2022
Hello from San Isidro, Costa Rica! Due to some inclement weather conditions, we had to make slight changes in our original plan of arriving at Buenaventura today. So, we stopped for lunch at a local spot called Bazooka’s. After that, we headed to our hotel for the evening. Luckily, the hotel has a pool and a miniature turf soccer field. As soon as we arrived and unpacked, we met the other group of Moondance students for a giant game of soccer! This was a ton of fun, and several of the kids showed out! Ari was very skilled, weaving through many defenders with ease. Macy was a star in between the goalposts, saving a plethora of well placed shots. We enjoyed pizza before bed!
Before our trip to San Isidro, we spent two days rafting and enjoyed a night in Turrialba. On day one, we rafted six miles to our ecolodge. Karan and Taite led one of three rafts, since they were our leaders of the day. We were very impressed by their leadership and poise while at the helm. Raul, one of our guides, commended Charlotte for her quick learning abilities on the river. Sheppard encouraged her and the rest of his boat to keep paddling, despite us losing strength and energy. Thanks to him, we made it with no hiccups. As we hungout at the lodge, Devan and Karan started a giant game of UNO with the entire group. We laughed and smiled during this fierce competition!
On day 2, we were excited and anxious to get back out on the river. But before we could board our rafts, we had some cleaning up to do. Mills was one of our leaders of the day for this second day of rafting, and she decided to lead a cabin cleanup project. Thanks to her help, we were able to leave the ecolodge cabins looking very clean.
As we embarked on our fourteen mile journey, we began with some trouble on the first rapid. Blake’s boat went first, and everyone went flying! Well everyone except for Ari and Blake, that is. The two of them remained calm and were quick to pull the rest of their team back into the raft. On the next boat, Steven was the hero, showing intense strength while pulling others back into the boat with lightning speed. Despite falling out on two occasions, Scarlett laughed and smiled the whole time. She has such a great attitude, always. Sophie was a calming presence in the raft for everyone else as we zipped down class three to class four-plus rapids. She’s quite the encouraging leader, even when she isn’t the leader of the day. Another student who leads this way is Hicks. Hicks always has. Smile on his face, and man is he always giggling. His joy is contagious and he certainly brings the group up with him.
As we finished up, the kids were pretty worn out and so were we. We all napped pretty hard on the ride. By the time we pulled into Turrialba everyone was full of energy. Everyone was super excited when we announced our dinner plans: Chinese food! The kids went to sleep last night with full hearts and full bellies too!
Now, as the kids are resting for the day ahead, we are hoping that the weather will ease up. If so, we will continue our voyage into El Brujo to begin our service work! We really love these girls and guys, and feel so lucky to have them here with us. Stay tuned for more updates!
-Thomas and Blake
Hey Mom and Dad! Having a great time and I hope you are too, especially without the trouble of the kids. Miss you guys and see you soon! – Hicks
Hi mom and dad, I’m having so much fun and I miss u guys so so so much. I miss Zoe a lot too but I love you guys so much and I hope u were able to make it to Belize for vacation. I love you!! -ari
Hey Mom and Eva!! I hope y’all are having so much fun! I know I am. Eva, I cannot wait to hear all about NYU classes! I am having so much fun! I miss y’all sooooo much!! – Scarlett
Hey madre and padre!! I miss you guys but I’m having so much fun, the food is delicious and everyone is so nice and funny. Say hi to Nellie feather and popcorn . Can’t wait to see you! – Taite
Hey mom and dad! I’m having a great time and I really like the group and the leaders! Love y’all-Charlotte
Hi guys, I love you! Tell Henry and Elizabeth that I’m think of them.-Steven
Hi mom dad and Lindsay! I miss you guys so much. Tell brooks and Charlie that I miss them too. Love you! – Sophie
Hey guys! I miss you so much!! Moondance is so fun and I’m having a great time I love my group we played soccer last night and I scored 3ish goals also I’m scuba certified – Macy
Hi Mom and Dad! I love you and miss you so much!! Say hi to all the animals for me and let Oscar do whatever he wants please -Mills
Hey Mom and Dad! Costa Rica and Belize are beautiful, and I’m having a great time. Love you and miss you. -Karan
Hey mom and dad!!! I love you and miss you so much! Hope your having a great time! – Devan
Hi mom and dad love and miss you. Costa Rica and Belize are beautiful and I got scuba certified! – Shepherd
June 29, 2022
¡Hola from Costa Rica!
After four fun-filled scuba diving days in Long Caye, we made it to our first hotel. It’s been a crazy past couple day, but they have been full of amazing memories. On our first day, only seven of our kids could make it to Belize, curse Delta! Before our first kids ever even left the airport, they were making efforts to bond with their new friends. Steven was our first kid to arrive and immediately initiated conversations with all the leaders, genuinely trying to get to know them early on. Taite introduced various group games that got a smile out of everyone and offered to teach the girls how to make friendship bracelets. Even though we only had half of our family, our first two LODs, Sophie and Shepherd, helped make everyone feel comfortable right off the bat. Sophie really took charge and kept group morale high while Shepherd lead quietly but consistently whenever he got the chance. The first day with our seven kids was more relaxed; there was one scuba lesson in the morning and then they had the afternoon to get to know one another. Hicks was, and continues to be, the driver of most conversations and effortlessly gets everyone laughing almost immediately.
On day two, when our entire group was all together at last, there were giggles and excited screams that echoed across the island. Mills, Scarlett, and Macy spent the next two hours catching up with the other girls while Devan and Karan played a ball game with Sheppard. The next day, all the kids were in the water learning how to scuba dive. Scarlett picked up on the skills very quickly; she was born to be in the ocean! Devan and Karan decided that snorkeling was just as fun as being down under! They hung out on the surface and saw some tarpon, colorful coral, and even a glimpse of a turtle! Devan and Karan then did a cannonball off the boat to celebrate the end of the day.
After the long days of scuba diving, it was awesome to come back to our bungalow and hangout. Mills was always cracking everyone up with her hilarious comments and high energy. Everyone knows they can turn to her for a burst of positivity. Ari and Charlotte have proved to be amazing listeners and incredible confidants; all the girls know that they can turn to either of them for a calming and reassuring conversation.
During our last Moonup in Long Caye, our LODs, Steven and Macy, took our group by surprise. They put on a skit that ended with the two of them in the water, fully clothed! Macy was the mastermind behind the shocking jump into the water; she knows how to keep us on our toes!
Yesterday was our airport day and although it was a long and exhausting 24 hours, our kids were troopers. They kept each other laughing with crazy conversations and so many group games. Costa Rica welcomed us with open arms!
Today we are off to start the white-water rafting section of our group and we can’t wait!
Blake and Thomas
June 25, 2022
Hello Belize + Costa Rica Families!
We just heard from our leaders that the group has landed safely in Belize! The trip is off to a great start, and we cannot wait to hear more stories from their adventure.
Please remember our leaders and students will be unplugged during their trips but we will be posting up to three trip updates throughout the next couple of weeks! This will allow you to follow along with the trip and the students will also give a special shout out mid-way through! You can also follow us on Instagram, @moondanceadventures, to see more of what we are up to this summer!