Summer Vacation 2015

Peyton Anderson, Fall 2104 J1 Student

Blue Valley has offered an opportunity for their students over the summer. For anyone who wants to go, a few teachers are taking these students on a travel trip to Costa Rica.

“I was really interested in the topic, and it sounds like a lot of fun,” said freshman Katie Beth Jones.

“I’ve always  wanted to travel there because it had a cool name and really cool things there that I’ve wanted learn about,” freshman Riley Fisher said.

All the students will start off on a plane flying straight to San José. Then, during the trip they will travel to the Arenal Region, Sarapiqui, Guanacaste and Nicaragua, all in South America.

“I’ve never really flown over seas and the area is really different from anywhere I’ve ever been before,” Jones said.

Their departure date for the trip is July 13, 2015. The group will be gone for a total of 12 days.  As of now the trip costs around $3,200.

“The students are responsible for [the cost]. However, there are some fundraising opportunities,” said Andrew Hulse, BV biology teacher, who will be accompanying the students on this trip.

Many of the students going on this trip will be fundraising, by themselves or with the whole group.

“I’ll be paying for a lot of it myself with the money from babysitting that I get and we’re as a group going to fundraise for everyone and my parents will pay for a lot of it too,” Jones said.

It’s harder to fundraise on your own, but having some help from your friends in the group will be effective.

“Some of the things we talked about as a group were things like a pancake feed or a chili cook off”, Hulse said. “Where we would serve an endless amount of food to who ever would show up and charge for a ticket to make a profit from that.”

Fisher’s mom and Jones’ parents both are glad their child is going on this class trip but are also hesitant about some things.

Since Katie Beth Jones’ Dad is a biologist, “He is all for it,” Jones said.

While Riley Fisher’s mom said she is a bit worried about Riley going, she doesn’t really know what the trip entails.

The trip includes visiting a active volcano, chocolate tasting, hikes, white water river rafting, a canopy tour, visiting hot springs, ziplining, kayaking, going to the La Fortuna waterfall, boat tours and much more.

During this, they will be accompanied by a full-time tour guide. Along the way, they will be staying in hotels overnight and will be served regional style meals.

“I’m not looking forward to staying in the hotel room because I don’t know what it will be like and eating weird food,” Fisher said.

Both Fisher and Jones said they are nervous about the possibility of catching diseases in Costa Rica.

“I’m kind of nervous about disease, but everyone has to get vaccinations before you leave so I’m not too worried about it,” Jones said.

They both said they are also anxious about flying over the ocean and possibly getting injured or hurt.

“I think the students will enjoy [the] experience within the rainforest. It’s certainly some sort of  environment that we’re not accustomed to here in Kansas. The diversity of life both in plant and organisms, I think that just seeing this different environment will really open their eyes,” said Hulse.

“Costa Rica is home to more orchids than other places on earth, Orchids are the nation’s official flower and the rainforests are filled with them,” – Ask

“I’m just excited to see all the wildlife,” said Jones said.

Fisher said she is most excited for the zip lining, white water rafting and seeing the active volcanos.

“The idea of it was a built up collection between me and some students. I had a teacher in high school that took several students abroad, and I was fortunate to travel numerous of times, so I brought up traveling as a option,” Hulse said.

From that the students were determined that Costa Rica would be a good choice and opportunity. “We decided to see what opportunities were out there in this trip,” Hulse said.

This is the first year Hulse will be taking a group of students to Costa Rica.

Jones, Fisher and Hulse have all traveled out of the United States before but never to Costa Rica.

“It’s going to be different because we’re going to be with a big group of people,” Fisher said.

Neither Fisher nor Jones have taken a trip with their classmates before.

Fisher’s mom said that if her class were given this same opportunity while she was in high school, she would’ve taken it.

“Prior to leaving, we’ll have several different times where we get together as a group and meet. I think it’s important that we look at anything culturally that we need to be aware of before we go — maybe some sort of hand gesture or if there’s anything that you say that you don’t want to come across as offensive to another culture just being travel savvy and making sure that you will make good decisions making sure that we’re not going to put ourselves in a situation that could put us at high risk,” Hulse said.

He also said he will be trying hard to get everyone attending the reip together a lot to make sure they can get along to ensure they will interact well together.

Fisher and Jones both said they love traveling and plan to do it more often in their future.

“I really do think it is because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and the itinerary is packed full of stuff to do. I just have a feeling it’ll be unforgettable,” Jones said.