After finishing A-Levels and deciding against university, I decided a fresh challenge was in order, something that would put me well out of my comfort zone. As soon as I saw GVI’s sleek website and glowing reviews all I had to do was pick a programme. This was no easy task. I would love nothing more than to wright an excellent and meaningful reason as to why I chose Costa Rica, but in truth, it just looked very nice. So, how was it? Initially- after my plane had to be diverted from San José due to poor weather and the fact I rocked up to Gaudy’s at midnight, not really sure what I had let myself into- fantastically terrifying. Things didn’t improve much on my 3-hour coach journey the next morning. There were about 6 other volunteers and 5 staff members and not one was British, which, because I am not very brave, was also quite intimidating. However, it took me all of 8 hours being on base to realise these were some of nicest, warmest people I had ever had the pleasure of meeting. By about half way through the first working week we were already planning our first adventure together. All the staff were excellent, professional, completely dedicated to the cause but at the same time, they all had a terrific sense of humour. A special shout out to my mentor, who in one half an hour session managed to cement herself as one of my heroes. A bit about project life. The kids that we were trying to teach had been through a lot, more than I expect most of us volunteers could realistically handle, and this always had to be taken into account. However, give them time and respect and you’ll almost certainly warm to each and every one of them. To be honest, how much you enjoy project life will very much depend on how much you invest in it. One thing I will say though, it doesn't matter too much how competent you are, if you genuinely care about the kids and the community, everyone will be able to tell and they will make you feel more than welcome. I wholeheartedly recommend this programme to anyone, and the only recommendation I will make is that if you can, book more than a month, you will not regret it.