MOUNT OLIVE — Fourteen University of Mount Olive students recently traveled to Costa Rica for an eight day adventure. The trip was led and organized by Dan Sullivan, vice president for Student Affairs and Emily Schneider, director of Student Activities.
The first stop was at San Jose, with an afternoon spent touring the city, which featured historic sites and picturesque public parks. The group then ventured to Manual Antonio. The trip participants saw an array of wildlife including many species of monkeys, lizards, and sloths at the city’s national park and surrounding area. They also took a catamaran tour, which provided the students an opportunity to snorkel and swim in the crystal-clear Costa Rica water until sunset.
“The catamaran boat trip was a great adventure,” said recent biology graduate, Zarana Adial of Montogomery, Ala. “The water was clear, and the scenery was amazing. We were lucky enough to go snorkeling, see dolphins, and watch the beautiful sunset!”
Next the group visited Arenal, where they toured iconic volcanoes, explored rushing waterfalls, and relaxed in the world’s largest hot spring.
“In Arenal we viewed an active volcano and went zip lining,” explained Damilia Brooks, a recent biology graduate from Lumberton. “We had to do a lot of climbing to get to the top of the zip line, but it was well worth the climb because the view of the volcano and waterfalls was awesome! We also went to the Baldi hot springs, and it looked like something right out of a movie! There were caves, saunas, and beautiful waterfalls.”
The group then returned to San Jose and enjoyed soaking up the sun on the famous beaches and taking a Doka coffee tour.
For twins Colby and Calton Warren, rising sophomores, this was their first travel abroad experience, and one they will not soon forget.
“Traveling across an unknown country with my brother and my friends was so exciting!” said Colby, a business management major. “The natural beauty that we saw really made us appreciate all of God’s creations. I definitely plan to travel more in the future.”
“I enjoyed being able to learn about a new culture and see all of the natural wonders in Costa Rica,” added Calton, a sophomore criminal justice major.
The Costa Rican cuisine was a notable trip experience as well.
“The food was amazing! I had a lot of rice and beans with every meal, and my favorite meal was fish tacos, which were made with freshly caught Mahi Mahi,” described Colby.
“The fruit was so fresh, sweet, and succulent. There was always fruit available at every meal,” described Brooks.
In summing up the adventure, Adial said, “I am so appreciative to everyone who made this trip possible. I will always cherish the memories.”
The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The university, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Research Triangle Park, Washington, Jacksonville, and in Smithfield at Johnston Community College. For more information, visit www.umo.edu.