Costa Rica #3: Connecting with Nature

Abby Tang ’25 and Lucy Guo ’23 describe a “serene yet powerful experience” at Catarata del Toro.

Today, we spent almost nine hours on the bus in total! To pass that time, our trip advisors let us choose five songs each to add onto a collective playlist we can play on the bus. On top of that, we played many games including “Contact” where someone would come up with a word for the group to guess from a series of hints and fast, critical thinking. After that died down, we started to play “My Cow,” where whenever we saw an animal, we would scream “My [insert animal]!”, and said animals would become ours. The bus rides to and from destinations have become some of the best memories of this trip so far because everyone engages with whatever is happening and always contributes to the fun.

One specific adventure we embarked on was visiting the Catarata del Toro waterfall. To get to the waterfall, we traversed through steep and bumpy roads for nearly two hours in misty/rainy weather. When we arrived, we saw tens maybe even twenties of hummingbirds; some hovered while others zoomed around, using their tiny beaks to suck sugar water out of the hummingbird feeder. There were brown, green, blue, and purple ones, varying in sizes. In order to get to the waterfall, we hiked down very steep stairs that were about 1 1/2 to 2 feet in height each. The rainy weather made the steps extra slippery which required extra caution en route.

Once we arrived at the waterfall, the powerful sound of two surfaces of water making contact with each other and the breeze and mist it created immediately  encapsulated us. We did an exercise where we closed our eyes and listed to the waterfall for ten seconds and remembered how the moment made us feel, spending time with our peers, connecting with nature. After, we opened our eyes and observed the physical appearance of the waterfall for another five seconds followed by another increment of 10 seconds with eyes closed. This sequence allowed us to take a mental picture of the waterfall and I will definitely continue using this method in the future. The waterfall appeared to be around 70-80 meters or 200 feet. Following the serene yet powerful experience of observing the waterfall, the group climbed back the extremely steep stairs. By the end, everyone broke a sweat and was a little out of breath but we sang the Deerfield Cheer Song and Even Song to conclude the trip in a familiar Deerfield way.