Saturday, April 18, 2009

We're Home

We're home, safe and sound! The trip home was long but uneventful. 

We spent friday morning in San Jose, packing and then doing a bit of shopping and sight seeing in the few blocks surrounding our hotel. Some students opted to stay in the games room and play pool or use the Internet. At 2:30 pm we met Pancho one last time and he drove us to the airport, where we said good-bye to him. We got checked in and through security and boarded our flight for LAX. 

It took longer than expected getting through security and customs on the way into LAX so we didn't get to the hotel until 2 am. Then there was a small problem with our reservation, so by the time we were in our rooms it was 2:30 am. We needed to be back in the lobby to catch the shuttle back to the airport at 5 am, which made for a very short night!

We got back to the airport, checked in and through security in plenty of time. There were several restaurants open so we had breakfast at the airport. I had a ham, egg and cheese panini and a then enjoyed a grande vanilla latte from Starbucks. Personally I've had enough of scrambled eggs, beans and rice for quite some time. We then caught our flight from LAX to Calgary. In Calgary we went through customs, collected our bags and said our good-byes to the students. It's hard to believe our trip is over!

I want to take this opportunity to say thank-you to the following:
  • Shira Windecker - for all of her planning, organization and work to convert her idea for this trip into a reality for these students and parents. Shira did an awesome job, working with EF, our tour guide and other contact people. 
  • Sandra Smith - our other "official chaparone" for caring for our students and ensuring that their sunburns and other mishaps were treated appropriately. 
  • To the parent participants who were so willing to help out with supervising their own children as well as others. I believe this trip went so smoothly because we had such a good adult/student ratio with lots of eyes to watch out for each other.
  • To the students who were so great at following instructions, taking care of each other, and being patient with each other even when sleep deprived and in need of some personal space. We were so fortunate to be able to travel with such an awesome group of students. It was a pleasure to get to know each of you on a more personal level. 
  • To Foothills School Division for allowing us to take our students on an international travel experience. We don't take this for granted as there are many school divisions that would not have allowed this sort of trip with junior high students.
  • To Pablo Yee, our tour guide,  for showing us your beautiful country, sharing your knowledge with us and letting us get to know you on a personal level.
  • To Pancho for driving us all over the country and going out of your way to show us the Costa Rica that most travellers would never see.
I will keep this blog active for quite some time. I will also change the settings on the photo gallery so that downloads are allowed. I've really enjoyed writing this blog and sharing our experiences with you. Students...see you in school on Monday. Adiós!

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