Saturday, September 8, 2012

Costa Rica


24 hrs. in the airport (storms cancelled flights)
Easton likes to play
Our school is a candidate school for International Baccalaureate MYP and I find it ironic that we are actually losing a language this year (German) and there is no school program for international travel (I suppose due to liability reasons) - unless students pursue this on their own.  So, in a similar vein to how I became wrapped up in chess, I began a Wood River Travel Club last year and stepped up to the international travel plate.  For our first endeavor, I solicited EF Tours to develop a trip to Costa Rica and this past summer was our first successful trip!

The girls really were sweet together
Eight WRHS students, my wife and I left on July 18 to spend ten days touring Costa Rica with four other school groups (Houston, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Coeur d' Alene).  Needless to say, my chess organizing took a back-door to preparations for Costa Rica, however, I was able to continue my "Chess by Post" games, play some games with Lynnet, Easton (a chess clubber), and Desmond.  I also worked with a couple of other kids, teaching them discovered attacks, and some safer opening strategies.  But, this was definitely not a chess trip.  I was able to inspire kids to embrace the wildlife - mostly insects and everyone in our group was always mucking about in the weeds trying to obtain the best pictures to share in the evening around the pool or at the beach.

In Costa Rica, there was alot to do other than play chess.  We swam in Manuel Antonio park, visited cloud forests, volcanoes, hot springs, kayaked on Lake Arenal, planted a tree in a reserve for conservation, zip-lined in Monteverde, rode horses, hiked, rafted along the Sarapiqui River, visited a poor mountain school and their students, boated on a Crocodile Safari, and learned about biodiversity at InBioparque.  This was an incredible experience and it was great to be traveling with other groups as it contributed to our education.  EF Tours created a wonderful opportunity that I only wish more students could have taken advantage of.  Our club plans to travel to England this next summer.

The students (Desmond, Wyatt, Easton, Mandi, Meghan, Jasmine, Addy, and Mia) that participated traveled well and they tolerated my usual corniness.  On tour, the girls bought me a present in La Fortuna.  A locally-carved chess set!  So my summer was not completely chess-free.


In San Jose
Sarchi chess
See More Pictures at WRHS Costa Rica fanpage

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