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My Costa Rican Excursion This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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We are deep in the cloud forest; flora and fauna abound in every crevice. You can hear the trees whispering their wisdom, for they have inhabited this rainforest for millions of years. Every sound of water, birds, and croaks of bright, poisonous dart frogs interests you. There is no turning back – the forest engulfs you with its canopy and creatures. Many say that this experience is only accessible through the creative mind, which many of us wish to have. For me, this is reality. This is life. This is my empire.

The trip began in San Jose, Costa Rica, then went to Playa Herrudura, and finally to the remarkable rainforest of Quepos. Our plan was to embark on a canopy tour, also known as a zipline tour, through the tree marquee. As we began to ascend into the forest in a rickety bus filled with 10 eager tourists, reality sunk in. Was I willing to trust the native people of a foreign country to hook me to a wire and fling me from treetop to treetop? I suppose this was the moment where I could do or die.

When we reached the top of the mountain, I had made up my mind. This moment would define who I am today. I was going to conquer this zipline. As we geared up with all the heavy equipment, my anticipation increased. Were all of these devices necessary? With the helmet, gloves, and bulky harness, I felt like a pack mule. The scenery was stunning. I couldn't let my fear of heights defeat me!

We were set to begin. One after another, my fellow tourists leapt off the platform to swing from tree to tree. Then suddenly it was my turn and my fear scrambled away with a rush of adrenaline.

I jumped! The wire led me to the next tree. I had overcome my fear. “Wow! This is spectacular,” I yelled to my sister. As the tour continued, I saw a huge array of creatures – from a bright toucan to parasites known as “strangler trees.” We even caught glimpses of sloths and lizards.

Suddenly rain clouds appeared. With an unexpected crack of thunder and lightning, the rain began. I had never seen such a storm! As we continued our flight through the trees, water bullets pelted us. There was no escaping the wetness, but this was fine by me. Throughout the week in Costa Rica, it was the best way to avoid the scorching heat. As the rain continued, I kept thinking how blessed I was to be in the rainforest with all of nature enveloping me.

Ultimately, our Costa Rican excursion came to an end. As we neared our final platform, I marveled at all the amazing things I had seen. Suddenly I was struck with awe at how remarkable our Earth is.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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