Jamie: Sianar Sgitheanach ag innse mun turas aca gu Costa Rica! Evaluating the first exchange!

The six young people’s blog is offered below in English, with a Gaelic summary from each pupil.  Three of the six pupils have been in Gaelic-medium education.  The other three have completed a Learner’s Gaelic Higher.

Please read on…

Charlotte: How can I even begin to describe my youth exchange?


If someone gave me the chance I could write a book on my experiences.

Over a month ago we arrived back in Scotland after the most spectacular trip of my life. The night before when I was packing my final things thousands of thoughts and emotions rushed through my head. I remember myself google searching ‘Costa Rica’ to try and get an image in my head of what I was going to see in the next few days.

I must admit I was shaking when I stepped onto the massive Thomson airways dreamliner plane, because I knew there was no going back and all this preparation and days of waiting for this moment was finally here.

After 10 hours of not talking to anyone and a long flight I can tell you I was ready to talk for a lifetime!

Stepping out of Liberia airport the heat hit you like tun of bricks, I have experienced hot weather before but nothing compared to the humidity of Costa Rica. I remember looking around the group and we were already wanting water and starting to sweat.

The first night was mind blowing. I never imagined myself swimming in the pacific ocean in Costa Rica at the age of 16. It honestly felt like a dream and I can’t believe I had the opportunity to do something so amazing.

Driving up to Boruca for the first time was definitely an experience. The track was awful, and it seemed like Jamie was trying to go in every pot hole instead of trying to avoid them haha! (only joking) After a very bumpy ride, and many times hitting your head of the top of the car we arrived in Boruca, and after the first introductions from everyone, we all started to mix as much as we could.

I spent most of my time in Boruca, with Jonathan, Hallie and Catherine, and I couldn’t of asked for a better three people to share the new cultures and experiences with. There were many people in the Boruca and Portuguese group that stood out to me as very warm hearted people who would do anything to help you and share there community with you.

There were also many challenges during this trip that I had to over come such as the language barrier which proved a big problem but we worked hard and with the help of great translators we managed to communicate with others. Another massive barrier for me was the bugs, and I definitely experienced many bugs, and they always seemed to come to where I was. A story that will stick with me for life and I will always laugh about was when I ran out of my room and shouted to everyone “theres a massive gecco and spider in my room” and no one believed me until they saw it with there own eyes. Another challenge for many was the heat, there were days when people weren’t in the best of moods, or they weren’t feeling themselves but we all respected that and got through the day. Despite these challenges I know I came out of this exchange as a much stronger and more independent person, and guess what I survived the traumatic spider that was in my bathroom and if I can do that anyone can do anything.

It has proved to be a challenge to me to choose my favourite part about the youth exchange, because in my opinion every part about my trip was absolutely incredible. But i’ve come to a decision and I would say the favourite and most enjoyable part of my trip would have to be the zip wire. I chose this because it was just as crazy as me, and it was definitely the best thing I have ever done and I am very proud of myself and the rest of the group for putting their fears behind them and making each moment of the trip count.

As we drove up what seemed like the steepest, most bumpiest and unsafe road (well i don’t think i can even call it that) I have ever seen, I must admit my heart was racing. Sat on that open mini bus, looking down, 100 thoughts were racing through my head and the question that stood out is what am I doing? What have I let myself in for? Why did I agree to this? but, strangely enough going 65mph racing Andrew through the air in Costa Rica was absolutely insane. Experiencing the incredible views from that high was amazing and it was the only time I felt some air on my checks.

Don’t get me wrong I have so much more I wanted to talk about like my amazing experience playing the pipes to Costa Rica and all the people, it was a pleasure for me to share one of my favourite things with them, and it made me so happy knowing how much they appreciated it.

Also the lovely food we experienced…. and all the amazing things we did in the villages like teaching the dancing, meeting and make all the amazing new fiends, visiting the cloud forrest, raves in the car etc.

I know I have made friendships for life and I will keep in contact with as many people as I can. I have always wanted to travel since I was a young girl, and I will make it one of my missions to go back to Costa Rica and visit portugal when I leave school!

I must admit me and the other Scottish youth exchange members weren’t very close before we went on this trip and I thought to myself many times what it was going to be like spending 2 weeks, working closely with these people. But I have to say I am so glad we all got chosen, because by the end of the trip I can definitely call them my best friends and I hope we will stay friends for life. They are the kindest, funniest and most light hearted people I know and they were a pleasure to spend time with so thank you guys!

In this post I also what to say a massive thank you to everyone that was involved in the organisation of the trip because it honestly meant the world to me. Thank you Jamie and Karan for being the best leaders I could of ever asked for and thank you John and Catherine for being so so amazing too. I know the trip would never had been as fun and enjoyable without you guys!

Lets bring on the next part of this trip and make the experience for the Costa Rican’s the best experience of their lives just as they made it for us! I know the Isle of Skye will blow their minds away, because the island I live on is spectacular and extremely unique and historical that I’m sure they will love to find out more about it!

Thank you once again from me, for making my youth exchange the best thing I have ever done, it truly was life changing and it will be in my heart forever!

I told you I could talk forever about my trip but I better stop now! But one message I want to send out to people reading my blog is, to take each day and cherish it, live your life to the full and if you get the experience to go on a youth ecvhange work as hard as you can and jump at the chance because I know it will be the best thing you will EVER do! Keep smiling and be friendly and you will go far in life!!!

#bbbbanter #garrrryyyyy #JonaThan #Cat #DJ Hallie #Chatherine #Mairead #Andy #riceandbeans #COSTARICA #youthexchange2017

B ‘e Costa rica an turas fad beatha. bho bhith a ‘snàmh anns a’ chuan, airson coiseachd tron ​​choille nead, thug Costa Rica seachad an t-eòlas as fheàrr air mo bheatha. bha na daoine uabhasach càirdeil, blàth leam agus aoigheil agus tha mi air uiread càirdeas ùr a dhèanamh a nì mi airson beatha. Chan urrainn dhomh feitheamh airson a ‘chòrr den iomlaid òigridh agus airson nan Costa Rican airson tadhal air an Eilean Sgitheanach.


My Experience In Costa Rica

Costa Rica was the experience of a lifetime! from the minute we arrived we started to IMG_8376[1]make memories that would last forever. we experienced so many different things on the trip I don’t think we could have fit any other experiences into the 17 day exchange. we did everything you could wish to do from swimming in the sea (which was actually pleasantly warm) while watching the sunset over the horizon to making cotton thread with our new found friends from Portugal and Costa Rica. From beginning to end my experience of Costa Rica and its diverse wildlife and culture was absolutely amazing!

B ‘e Costa Rica an t-eòlas a bh’ ann air beatha! bhon gheàrr-chunntas a ràinig sinn thòisich sinn air cuimhneachain a dhèanamh a mhaireadh gu bràth. bha eòlas againn air uiread de rudan eadar-dhealaichte air an turas, chan eil mi a ‘smaoineachadh gum faodadh sinn a bhith a’ freagairt eòlas sam bith eile a-steach don iomlaid 17-latha. rinn sinn a h-uile càil a bu mhiann leat a dhèanamh bho bhith a ‘snàmh anns a’ mhuir (rud a bha gu math blàth) agus a ‘coimhead air a’ ghrian-grèine thar fàire gus snàithlean cotain a dhèanamh leis na caraidean ùra a lorg sinn bho Phortagail agus Costa Rica. Bho thoiseach gu deireadh bha m ‘eòlas air Costa Rica agus na fiadh-bheatha agus an cultar eadar-mheasgte air leth iongantach!

when the day finally came, the day I had been counting down to for weeks previous, it didn’t feel real I couldn’t believe that we were actually going, I was excited and nervous because I would be travelling thousands of miles across the world with people I didn’t know too well to meet more people who I don’t know at all, now I know I shouldn’t have been nervous at all because these people are some of the nicest and most respectful people I have ever met, the people from Portugal were  fun to be with and always full of joy, the people of Rey Curre were patient and didn’t care weather they could communicate with us or not they wanted to be our friends anyway and soon we all had google translate downloaded onto our phones to make communicating easier. the leaders from Portugal were very kind and understanding and were more than happy to translate for us when google translate was not working, my fellow scots (and American who lives in Scotland)who I didn’t really know to well before we left turned out to be amazing people who were full of banter and now we are close friends. I couldn’t have wished for a better group to spend the seventeen days with.

Since we returned from Costa Rica many people have asked me what my favourite part of the exchange was and every time I struggle to answer because it was just so amazing and we did soo much, so I have managed to whittle it down to my 2 favourite things. the day after we arrived we visited the diamante eco adventure park in the Guanacaste province where we did a series of 5 zip wire’s one of which is the longest in central diamante_photos-12931.jpgAmerica and we walked around the animal sanctuary where we saw SLOTHS, crocodiles, frogs , snakes, panthers and loads more. This day was one of my favourites because it was our first proper day out as a group and we all started to get to know each other. Another of my favourite things was the time which we spent in Rey Cure, we were warmly welcomed into their community, with everyone working hard and trying to make us feel as welcome as possible. I really enjoyed finding out about the community’s culture, which was similar to ours here on Skye in some ways and different in other ways. I also enjoyed making friends with both the Costa Ricans and the Portuguese, ove20170730_012350[1].jpgr the six days we were in Rey Curre these friendship’s grew stronger to the point where people would take your phone and take lots of great selfies on it like, you would to one of your close friends, these friendship’s are still strong a month after leaving with regular video calls and messages being sent and received between us all .

In the days which we spent in Rey Cure we learnt so much about their history and culture through dance and guided walks through the village and museums, we were shown so many of their sacred things such as trees which had been in there since the first colonisers arrived. we were also shown how they make the famous Borucan masks which are still made today how they have been made for centuries, and how they use them in an annual festival “Dance Of The Devils” which celebrates the resistance against Spanish colonisation which allowed them to keep many of their


traditions. In this festival the Spaniards are represented by a bull costume and the boruca wear their traditional devil masks, in the festival the bull is chased off by the devil masks.

I feel this trip has changed me in many ways, these changes have all been good changes for example it has made me more confident, before  I wasn’t really someone who liked to talk in front of an audience but now I don’t mind it. it has also changed the way I look at things before the trip I didn’t really pay attention to my surroundings and now because I liked the way that so many of the natural things in San Vicente, Boruca and Rey Curre are sacred it has made me think more, like, how long that tree has been there and I wonder what it has seen throughout its lifetime.

The exchange to Costa Rica was amazing and I cannot wait till the second part of the exchange when the Costa Ricans come over to Scotland. None of this would have been possible without our amazing leaders from ST Andrews university, thank you for this experience! it was the trip of a lifetime!








my life changing experience in Costa Rica

my costa Rica experience was one filled with laughter, happiness, fun, excitement, nerves, wonder, curiosity OH and of course heat. The whole experience for me is one big favourite memory in my opinion, but one that will stay with me for a lifetime is meeting the wonderful young people of Boruca at first I had no idea what to expect before we met them, but as the days went on we all grew closer and connected even though there was the language barrier we still all managed to communicate and become closer. I’m so happy we all became friends in the end.

I learned a lot over in Costa Rica, one of the things was they eat ALOT of rice and beans, but the culture especially, everyone in Boruca were all very close almost like one big family which was comforting to witness, it taught me to try and include everyone in everything and be more fair. I learned also about their myths and legends, the man who lives in the mountains protecting the people and the woman who fell in love with the water. I also learned how to communicate with those who didn’t speak much English and vice versa, we’d use body language etc. We all figured out how to communicate.

The food was a big change for me especially, I really enjoyed their fresh fruit every morning and their combinations of foods over in Costa Rica. I can’t deny that rice n beans did get very repetitive however it was all about the experience. It was a nice change to of had a KFC that one evening, forever grateful for that one. Still the costa Ricans really did put a lot of effort into the preparation and serving of our meals. ‘Bha an biadh uabhasach blasta’- The Food was very tasty.

Aon latha tha mi an dochas a’ dol air ais gu Costa Rica comhla ri Jonathan, Mairead, Charlotte, Andrew is Ciorstan. Ionnsaich mi torr rudan nach robh fios orm ro laimh. Tha mi fhathast gu an latha an-diugh taingeil bha my taghta airson a’dol air an cuairt seo. (Gaidhlig)

The youth exchange did change me, all for the good, I’m more confident now, I feel I can be myself and not care what other people think, I feel inside I want to try help people in all aspects of life, I really would like to learn Spanish in more depth now, realising there is far more out there in the world really does make you become an open-minded person, and to try new thing,  I’ll forever hold the memories in my heart, I’ve also made amazing new friends for life, which I did not expect to happen. I hope everything I’ve learned really does stay with me for my life so I can share the stories with others when I’m older. that would be amazing.

My experience in Costa Rica!!


Here we are, over a month since returning home to Scotland and I still can’t stop thinking about this trip and the incredible memories that were made each day. Going to Costa Rica was by far the most memorable, beautiful  and exciting experience I have ever been blessed with and it will certainly stay with me for the rest of my life. For someone who has never travelled outside of their own country before, experiencing Costa Rica with all it’s insane beauty and culture was like nothing I had ever seen.

From the very beginning, each day of this exchange brought a brand new adventure. I remember waiting, anxious and excited, before boarding my first ever flight with two weeks of unknown experiences ahead of me.

From just walking out of the plane, I could instantly feel the heat and humidity like I’d never felt before. There were new and amazing sounds, smells and visuals all around me.  We were all very tired from the long flight but this brand new environment around us was enough to keep us awake and curious. Swimming there that night in the beautiful Costa Rican ocean, the incredible view around me felt like a dream and I didn’t think that I could feel any happier than I did in that moment.

Being in Costa Rica helped me gain so much confidence in myself. I found myself doing things I could’ve never imagined, including speaking Spanish on my own in a room full of people I’d never met before and flying 65mph high across the rainforest. Although there were some struggles along the way, each day I felt even happier as new memories were made and strong friendships were built.

As an anxious person, I was really nervous before meeting the Portuguese and Costa Rican groups, I had no idea what to expect or how to communicate with them. However, they ended up being some of the best and amazing people I have ever met. Although we weren’t able to communicate so well through language, this allowed us create a different connection through sharing our culture and laughter with one another. We quickly became close with the Portuguese group and I’ll always appreciate how they helped us to interact with the Costa Ricans better as we had very little Spanish and they had very little English. The positivity surrounding these people was inspiring, their smiles were enough to make your whole day better.

Throughout our short time together, I learned so much about these villages and their way of life. I love the way that they are so passionate in keeping their culture alive and I feel very privileged to have seen their beautiful art, dances and other traditions in person. The people there were just so so lovely and I can never thank them enough for how they welcomed us into their villages. The friendships and memories made are just so special. Leaving Rey Curré on the last, my heart ached as I had to say my final goodbyes to the beautiful village and it’s amazing people – we took so many photos together, exchanging hugs and letters to hold onto every last moment we had left together. Since then we still keep in touch through facebook and video-calls, it makes me so happy that we can still connect with them from the other side of the world. They will always be in my heart.

There aren’t enough words to describe how amazing this trip was. There are just so many new incredible things that I experienced, it’s hard to take it all in. If given the chance, I would return to Costa Rica in a heartbeat and do the whole trip all over again. Everything about it was perfect and I can’t thank everyone who made it possible enough. I am really looking forward to the second part of this exchange when the young people from Costa Rica will visit Scotland. I am excited for us to share our culture, history and language with them and I hope they will enjoy it every bit as we enjoyed their country.

Chan urrainn dhomh na faclan lorg airson sealltainn dhuimh dè cho sònraitche sa bha an turas seo gu Costa Rica dhomh. Chunnaic is dh’ionnsaich mi torr mu dheidhinn an cultar, eachdraidh is nàdar a th’aca thall an sin agus rinn mi torr chairdrean phrìseil a bhitheas na mo chridhe gu bràth. Tha mi faireachdainn fada nas misneachaile is toilitche le mo fhìn as-deidh an turas seo is chan eil mi ag iarraidh cail eile ach a bhidh air-ais comhla ri mo chairdean. Tha mi coimhead air-adhart ris an darna pairt den pròiseact nuair a bhiteas na duine òige a Costa Rica tighinn gu Alba airson an cultar againne a sealltainn dh’iadsan a-nis!

Ciorstan – My Costa Rica experience


I’m not quite sure how to sum up my experience in Costa Rica. It was amazing. Exhausting. Life changing. Exciting. Hot. Incredible. A great learning experience. Banter. The happiest two weeks of my life. Better than I could have ever imagined.

Before the trip, I didn’t know what to expect. Despite being excited and counting down the days, I was also nervous and apprehensive. I was worried about the bugs, about the food and what I thought would be a complete culture difference. My number one worry however was meeting the people. I had no idea how we were supposed to communicate when we didn’t speak the same language. I thought we would have nothing to connect over. I still hate bugs, but we had cockroaches and massive spiders in our bathroom and survived. I ate vast quantities of rice and beans, but also had pizza, a lot of cereal and the best cheese sandwich I’ve ever had. And after spending a mere 6 days in Rey Curre, I was sitting in the bus, driving away from the village for the last time, crying my eyes out. Because we had connected. Despite the language barrier, we were able to communicate, and we created a bond that was truly special.

And there is no doubt in my mind that my favourite part of the trip was the people. From our Scottish group to the Costa Ricans and the Portuguese, I can’t imagine ever doing this trip without the same people. I became such close friends with everyone and they will all always hold a place in my heart. I think here in Britain we have a tendency to be quite closed off, we are very polite but sometimes don’t show much affection towards others. However over in Costa Rica, everyone was so warm, welcoming and truly genuine, and I think we need more people like that in Scotland. Everyone we passed gave us a smile and said Buenos Dias to us. And the people in the villages, specifically for me in Rey Curre, were some of the nicest I’ve ever met. It was easy to spend time with them as they themselves really wanted to get to know us, taking our phones so they could ask us something on Google translate, helping us with anything we didn’t understand and giving us an abundance of big hugs. When we were feeling hot, exhausted and overwhelmed, their beautiful smiles truly helped lift our spirits. One of my favourite memories is teaching them the cup song and then spending hours doing it non stop!

The trip changed me in many ways. Before I would have described myself as a relatively shy, quiet and introverted person and I’ll be the first to admit that my communication skills and confidence are something I struggle with. But I think this experience really brought me out my shell, and exposed a fun side of my personality that some people don’t see. I certainly laughed more than I ever have before. And because of the nature of the trip, you couldn’t just sit at the sidelines and watch, you had to get stuck right in, and because of this my confidence really grew and I reached the point were I was totally comfortable standing up in front of a room or hall full of people, introducing myself in a language I didn’t know and talking to them. It’s also given me a strong desire to see more of the world, visit new places, experience more cultures and have more adventures like this.

I found myself learning all the time, from small words in Spanish and Portuguese (I doubt I’ll ever forget the words to head, shoulders, knees and toes in Portuguese I’ve sung it so much) to how to make cotton. I learned so much about different cultures and the process of sharing all three was something I really enjoyed. In particular I loved watching some of the young people demonstrate some traditional dances which we got to learn a little bit of. And then in turn we taught them some Ceilidh dances, which was a completely different style but the picked it up and seemed to really like it. It made me proud to see how much they enjoyed the few tasters we gave them of our culture, and excited for them to have the full immersive experience next year.

Overall the trip was just amazing. I made so many happy memories that I will always cherish and created and solidified so many friendships that I know will stay strong – we have already video called several times. I want to say a massive thank you to everyone involved from Costa Rica for giving us an unforgettable time, the group from Portugal for going out of their way to help us and extending a hand of friendship, and the Scottish leaders for all their hard work and not just being great leaders, but great company.  I am so incredibly grateful for being given this opportunity and can’t wait for our friends in Costa Rica to come visit us here in Scotland and see how beautiful it is. I hope they’ve got some warm jumpers!

Bha eòlas iongantach orm ann an Costa Rica. Chunnaic mi seallaidhean àlainn, dh’ionnsaich mi rudan ùra agus rinn mi mòran charaidean ùra. Bha mo chuid fàbharach den turas a ‘coinneachadh ris na daoine. Bha iad uile glè chàirdeil agus aoigheil agus tha mi cinnteach gum bi sinn fhathast nan caraidean. Dh’fhàs mi mar dhuine agus dh’fhàs mi nas misneachaile. Dh’ionnsaich mi cuideachd mòran rudan ùra, nam measg cànanan. Chòrd e rium a bhith a ‘roinn nan diofar chultaran, agus bha mi a’ còrdadh rium a bhith a ‘teagasg dannsa Albannach. Rinn mi mòran cuimhneachain toilichte agus tha mi glè thaingeil airson na cothrom.






Jonathan- Costa Rica Reflections

Thairis air an cola-deag a bha sinn thall thairis chunnaic mi torr rudan iongatach is mìorbhaileach is bi na rudan sin anns an cuimhne agam gu bràth ach se nuair a bha mi cluich na phiob agam a chord ruim gu h-àraid. Chord e ruim airson chan eil moran de dhaoine air cothrom seo fhaighinn. Nuair a bha sinn ann an Boruca ionnsaich sinn faclan anns a cànan aca fhein is se an facal aca airson damh a chordadh ruim airson cha robh fhios agam gun robh feidh aca ann an Chosta Rica! Nam robh mi airson rudeigin a toirt air ais dhan t-eilean Sgithanach, tagh mi an dòigh a bah iad ag obair anns an coimhearsnachd aca airson bha iad uile a cuideachadh a cheile !

Beach sunset 

Over the two week exchange in Costa Rica I experienced many unique and amazing things, from the thrilling zip wire across a valley to a toucan chewing my arm. I feel soo grateful to have been selected to be part of this wonderful project and I can’t thank the people who made this possible enough. It lived up to all my expections and more.The things i saw, the memories made and the friends I met will stay with me forever and it was so hard to choose just one favourite memory, but in the end I decided to choose my BagPipes! I feel very privileged to have been given the opportunity and play my bagpipes in Costa Rica as I doubt many pipes have been played in the rainforest! It brought me much joy to play my national instrument along with Charlotte to the Borucan and San Vicente people as it was the first time

Margarita having a go! Boruca

most of them had seen them and in fact i think it came as a bit of surprise to them as when we finished playing them for the first time i turned around to notice that half of the village of Boruca had come around to investigate the strange noise coming from their hall!  The pipes showed me how a even a simple instrument can unite people and was so humbled at one point when an elderly man can up to us in tears to thank us as he had always hoped he would hear and see the pipes one day. It made me so happy to see the joy that our music brought to the people and the amount of interest they had in them, I was even stopped in airport security in Liberia airport by a security officer asking me to play them !!


Charlotte and I playing our pipes.

While in costa rica we also shared Gaidhlig with the Borucan Kids and they shared their local Borucan language with us. One of the Borucan words that caught my eye (or Ear) was Suturi as this is the word for Stag. It was one of the few animals we had both a borucan and Gaidhlig translation-with Dàmh being its Gaidhlig word- as we unfortunately do not have words for toucan and armadillo! I was so pleased  to see that they had an animal that plays such key roll in our highland identity was shared with the people over there. We also regularly visited the community museum where we learned about the local history, cloth making (which was surprisingly similar to the old highland way dyeing wool) and stories such a the story of Quasran who is said to protect the village and about the dance of the devils which takes place around new year. We became very close with the kids in Boruca and it was very emotional to say good bye to them but we continue to stay in contact through the internet and we will hopefully see some of them up here in Skye next year! 🙂

Hallie ,Charlotte and i outside the museum with the Portuguese and Borucan kids 

Though many miles lie between them and us we all are brought together through our shared passion for music, dance, art and community spirit.  The exchange changed me as a person in so may ways. It made me proud of my island background, improved my confidence and gave me skills which will stay with me forever. I never thought I would ever have had the nerves or confidence to travel to another country let alone go across the Atlantic to Central America!  I was to bring anything back to Skye it would the sense of community and belonging in which I experienced within the villages. All the people, young and old, work together with respect for each other,to get things done. Everyone i meet was so open warm and welcoming which was so nice to experience as we in Scotland can be quite cold and keep our selves to our selves and i think its shame.  They are all proud of their local culture and I felt so honoured to have been able to learn the history of the people and to also share our culture with them.

Catherine with the Toucan!

I will let you some of the other things we got up to 🙂

After arriving in playa hermosa on the first evening we went on a short walk to beach and us tourist decided to go swimming. When i ran into the sea instinctively braced myself to hit by the cold but i was pleasantly surprised! I’m used to the freezing cold Atlantic which usually makes you turn blue with the cold within two minutes but this water was warm!( The only place i had experienced warm water was in a bath!) Another interesting thing about the beaches is that the sand was black! Im also not used to black sand either so took it home and I later found out the sand was black as it is volcanic. Yet another thing I noticed at the beach that first night was that Catherine (or chatherine as I called her) was walking strangely while in the sea. I just thought it was her being daft -because she’s American you see- but it turns out she was doing a ‘sting ray shuffle’. Unfortunately the sting ray shuffle isn’t some kind off cool dance move but a technique to scare the sting rays away! On the second day we went on a trip to Diamante echo adventure park where we got to see sloths, butterflies and many more exotic animals. While in the park we also did a zip wire and Costa Rica doesn’t have your average zip wires but ones that go from one mountain to another… 60Mph!! Im not really an adrenaline junky so to say i was scared as i was getting roped up is an understatement. Now i think about it though, the zip wire wasn’t all that scary, and now that I’ve done it it’ll give me the confidence to do other things of that sort. The scariest thing of that day was in fact the dodgy van that took up the really, really steep hill to the zip line !

View from the waterfall.

In Boruca and  San Vicinte we also got up to some interesting things. We took part in dances, shared photographs, made pottery and they took us on walks around the village to places like the school and a sacred waterfall with beautiful view! I even saw pig wrestling which i will leave to you to figure out!


I really can thank all those involved in the project throughout the world enough for making it all possible, and to especially Jamie, Karen, John and Catherine for the great banter we had and for also keeping us safe and healthy at the same time ,i couldn’t have asked for better . Costa Rica will always stay in my heart and  will shape the way i am as person for the better. Role on the next part of the exchange and thanks for reading!




Hallie, Catherine and I in the waterfall, Boruca


“I left with friends and came back with best friends”


Potato scones/sconaichean buntata

Potato scones or ‘tattie’ scones are one of scotlands best known breakfast foods. They are best served warm with eggs and bacon (how they were traditionally served). There are many different recipes for potato scones some are fried and some are baked in the oven, but my favourite recipe is out of my great granny’s cook book .

Tha sconaichean buntata neo ‘tattie’ scons fear dhe na biadhnan breacaist as ainimeil aig Alba. Tha iad as fhearr nuair a tha iad comhla ri uighean agus hama (ciamar a bha iad air iche gu traditionta). Tha torr diofar doighean ann airson gan coicearachd – s’urrainn dhaibh air a bhi cuir dhan obhainn neo ann am pana le ola, ach tha an doigh as fhearr leamsa a mach as an leabhar coicearachd aig mo shi sheanamhair.20170513_164535

1) Peel, boil and mash the potatoes.
2) Put all dry ingredients and the butter into the bowl.
3) Rub in the butter untill it looks like bread crumbs (by hand or by machine) then add the potatoes and some milk – (enough to make a soft dough) and mix untill combined.
4) Pat the dough out into a circle and cut into equal triangles and brush tops with some beaten egg.
5) Bake for 10 minutes at 200 °C untill golden on top and serve warm and enjoy.

Charlotte:  Tablet 

For this blog I decided to do vanilla fudge also known as Scottish tablet.

Tablet is made from basic ingredients like sugar, condensed milk and butter and it is often flavoured with vanilla or whisky.

Tablet isn’t something you eat everyday, because it is very sugary and considered a treat, but one of the main reasons why tablet is so popular in Scotland is the way it fuelled walkers with energy and kept their spirits high as they set off into the mountains.

In my family we don’t eat tablet often, but when we do make it we enjoy it as a treat and it lasts a while. It is considered a little, sugary and tasty snack that boosts you with energy but also gives you that sweet treat you wanted.

This recipe came from my mums very old recipe book. The book was passed on from my dads mother, who had a connection with Scotland, then it got passed onto my dad, but of course he doesn’t cook so he gave it to mum. This book is very old and sentimental to my family and also contains some lovely Scottish recipes.

Here are some pictures of how to make the tablet, and simple instructions with each picture. Tablet is very simple to make and it is very enjoyable, and I highly recommend you try it!!

Chuir mi romham Tablaid Albannach a dheanamh. Tha tablaid a’ còrdadh ri daoine ann an Alba mar bhlasad mhilis a bheireas dhuit lùths! Tha tablaid glè fhurasta a dhèanamh. Chleachd mi reasabaidh mo sheanmhair. Is e reasabaidh glè shean a tha ann, ach chanainn gu bheil e fìor mhath airson reasabaidh tablaid! Tha e cuideachd a’ còrdadh rium gun do chleachd mi reasabaidh mo sheanmhair.









Clootie Dumpling

In this blog i’ll try and show you how to make a clootie dumpling. A clootie dumpling is a traditional Scottish pudding which is cooked in a cloot (a cloth) and is usually eaten at new year or Christmas. My granny usually puts one on hogmany so that it will be hot for the first footers when they come and visit. This is one my mum and i made using Granny’s recipe.

Anns an blog seo tha mi a dol ag innse dhut beagan mu dheidhinn an bonnach-praise agus ciamar a fhaodas to fhein fhear a dhenamh. Se ceic traidiseanta Albanach a th’ann an bonnach-praise agus bha mo sheanmhair agam fhein a cruthachadh fhear gach Oidhche Challainn.


  • 4ozs self raising flour
  • 2 cups raisinsIMG_1006
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • few spoons of spice and cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5ozs margarine
  • 2 tablespoons syrup
  • 2 tablespoons treacle
  • 2 eggs
  • milk

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