by Raha Maxwell
Costa Rica was my first trip abroad and how I started my summer. The nine-day trip was an adventure! Murrah 10th-grade APAC teacher Mrs. Gough-Jones organized the trip through her nonprofit, the Wild Horses Travel Club.
My classmates and I went to a coffee plantation and La Fortuna Waterfall. We went kayaking in Lake Arenal and horseback riding. We also relaxed in Arenal hot springs, zip-lined, hiked in Santa Elena Cloud Forest, explored Rainforest Adventure Park and enjoyed the beach at Manuel Antonio National Park. There were beautiful birds flying in the sky, like scarlet macaws and toucans. Pesky white-faced monkeys tried to steal food from us. Big, unique bugs crawled under my feet. Costa Rica was a great adventure! I hope to go back and spend my colones.
While I was in Costa Rica, the Youth Media Project started its first week. I thought that once I came back to the States and stepped into the work room for my second summer, there would be paper up to my neck! That Monday, the first obstacle was waking up early, like a normal school morning, and then commute from Bolton to Jackson.
Once I arrived at Capital Towers, I thought I knew which floor YMP was on. First, I went to the 15th floor. It did not look familiar from our orientation. Then, I went to the 16th, 17th, 11th, 12th, 13th and 18th floor and couldn't find it. I questioned if I was even in the right building. I went to the 1st floor to find out where YMP really was. Then, feeling like my 100th time riding in the elevator, I clicked the 13th-floor button again.
Once I got off the elevator, I saw where I would spend the rest of my summer. Everyone was nice. The food was great. There where no papers up to my neck. We actually talked about serious subjects, like racism. We came up with definitions for words that hold black people back in America. These words reinforce how many steps back blacks are from birth in this society. This truth is due to black people's past history.
I smiled, because I knew summer 2017 was going to be great.