This week we are sharing the confessions of a volunteer with Jess Brown.
What made you decide to volunteer at Blue Osa?
I wanted to volunteer because it was an Eco-friendly yoga retreat center in Costa Rica, that’s what sparked my interest. But what actually got me to volunteer and actually say yes how how persistent Aaron was about me coming. I just remember him e-mailing, trying to skype, and call me and I talked to him finally on the phone and he laughed so much I had to come check out why the heck he was so happy, and I’m glad I did.
What was your first impression of Blue Osa when you got here and how has it changed?
The first thoughts to cross my mind when I stepped into Blue Osa were, wow this place is magical and it’s really hot why in God’s name am I wearing pants? I still think it’s magical and I’ve acclimated and still wear pants ha. Blue Osa has some magic aura around it, everyone is family here, and it’s quickly become home. I will miss this place a lot.
What is your favorite thing about Blue Osa?
My favorite thing about Blue Osa is the people. Particularly the sisterhood. There are a group of us lady volunteers and I have made such great relationships with each of them, they really are like sisters. I also love the staff, every last one of them. Or the food, that could also be a favorite, I really love the food.
What is your least favorite thing about Blue Osa?
My least favorite thing about Blue Osa is there is nothing cold here. No air conditioning, no cold ocean, not a lot of ice. Most days it’s fine, but there are some days I thought my brain was boiling, but I started taking showers and then sitting in front of a fan with a wet head, it almost felt like air conditioning. You get creative with how to stay comfortable in the heat.
What will be your fondest memory when you leave Blue Osa?
One night Lara had her guitar out and so we sang and while she played by the pool. The women’s retreat that was here joined us at the pool and decided to skinny dip. It was a scene that will stay with me always. Lara and I sang to a naked crowd of women in the pool. Then we ran around the beach and just laughed.
What did you find most rewarding about volunteering?
The most rewarding thing about volunteering is the relationships I have got to build with other volunteers and guests. Getting to hear everyone’s stories has been amazing and inspiring and I found my people. The people who are trying to live really big. my stay at Blue Osa has been awe inspiring.
What piece of advice do you want to leave behind for future volunteers?
Two things, come prepared to work. Aaron has a huge vision and tons of ideas, so you better be ready to hold on tight and get shit done. The other is organic coconut oil will save your life, if you pack anything, pack that.
About the author
Explorer and storyteller at heart, I find inspiration and stories waiting to be told everywhere. From international shores, to my own backyard in Seattle, it’s never hard to find. When I’m not giving in to wanderlust and traveling, you can find me kayaking the waters of Washington, snowboarding the Cascades or the Rocky Mountains, and climbing everything I can get my hands on.
Calling the Pacific Northwest my home and favorite romping grounds has had a huge impact in my journey and my story. It’s where I grew up and where I discovered two of my deepest passions in life, photography and the outdoors. They allow me to create meaningful relationships with the environment, the people of the outdoor community, and to build a life I love. I call myself a sports and lifestyle photographer but everything inspires me and it’s constantly evolving.
In the end, all I hope is to meet amazing people, see the world, love the environment, and live a life that tells a great story. Explorer, photographer, hippie, my name is Jess Brown.