Our time in Costa Rica has come to an end. It felt like in one aspect the week went by really fast, yet also really slow. I think we were all ready to return home to our families. I can't speak for everyone but I know while I couldn't wait to get home, I also knew I would miss Costa Rica.
In a mere seven days, my life was completely changed. My heart and mind opened in ways I never thought possible. My perspective changed.
Saturday morning, we got up and had one last meal cooked by Muraja. We ate, cleaned up, and then got the rest of our stuff packed. Most had packed the night before, but there were still last minute things to pack. We said goodbye to where we had called "home" for the last 7 days.
Javier arrived a little before 8 to load up our bags and take us to the airport. We were loaded and ready to go by 8:15.
Our flight was set to leave at 11:10AM. We safely made it to the airport and it was time to say goodbye to our lovely driver, Javier. We thanked him, gave him a gift, and gave hugs all around. We had grown fond of Javier. He made us laughed, was a great singer, told us so much about things we saw, and happily answered any and all our questions.
We were very thankful for him to be our driver.
Once we said our goodbyes, we all filed into the airport. Costa Rica requires an exit tax so we took care of that first. Each person paid their $29, filled out some paperwork, then got in line to check in with United Airlines.
For whatever reason, this took particularly a long time. I think we were relieved to finally get all checked in. We then made our way to security, which moved rather quickly but behind us was a line of people - not sure where all the people came from. Security was a breeze & we had about 10 minutes to spare once we made it to our gate.
A few bought last minute souvenirs, while I made sure to get ONE last cup of Costa Rican cafe! That I happened to spill all over my backpack and then had to throw away before boarding the plane.
Not a happy camper! They searched our bags before getting on the plane for any and all liquids. It was crazy & the ladies searching were relentless. Becky was NOT happy they made her throw away her brand new $3.50 bottle of water.
One lady insisted I drink ALL the coffee before getting on the plane. Clearly, that was not going to happen but she wouldn't let me throw it away. Which made NO sense to me! Thankfully, one of the other security guards agreed to let me just throw it away.
The plane coming home was full. Not a single empty seat. Everyone except Michele sat at the very back of the plane. Like the very last row. I heard every single time the toilet flushed. Yay! ;) I was just happy our seats reclined unlike the way to CR.
I was even happier I was able to sneak in a hour long nap.
We arrived in Houston right on schedule...a few minutes before 4pm. We cleared security and customs with no problems at all. Our rides were waiting for us as we walked out of the airport.
We were thankful to be home, but I think a piece of all of us was still in Costa Rica. We could go back to our "normal lives" (whatever that is), but I don't think we'd go back the same people.
Costa Rica was a trip of a lifetime. It was incredible. It was humbling.
I am so thankful myself and the 6 others I went with, all said yes to something so much greater than ourselves. I can't wait to go back!
Until then...Pura Vida, los amigos!!!
I know one little person who sure was happy to have mommy home! My heart has never been so full!!!! And I can't thank his daddy enough for encouraging me to go on this trip for myself. I probably never would have considered it had he not insisted I go and promised me him and the boy would be just fine. And just fine they were :)