2015/16 Summer Review
Well the Valpo Surf summer of 2015-2016 has officially come to an end. As the instructors start planning for the transition to the school year and the start of English class, we reflect on the summer full of surfing. Here are some common themes that come up, and some favorite memories.
“It was cool to have the kids surfing twice a week. We saw a lot of advancements in surfing skills, and new friendships form.”
Because we were surfing twice a week with groups of different cerros at different times, all of the VSP students spent a lot more time with each other. This helped friendships form. Mario from Laguna Verde and Noelia from Cerro Toro quickly formed a great friendship during VSP surf trips. Friendships also formed between the VSP surfers , and the VSP interns. Some of our favorite moments were those spent hanging in the waves with our students talking and surfing together, or skipping stones on the beach and sharing a profound appreciation for the masterpiece of Mel Brooks, Robin Hood Men in Tights.
“A lot of kids that were afraid of surfing during the school year got over their fears.”
A common thread among the VSP interns when we talk about the summer, is the advancements students made in their surfing ability. Martha remembers when she took Martin from Playa Ancha and Viviana from Cerro Toro surfing for their first time. When you are confronted by the ocean for first time as a young surfer, you cannot help but feel some apprehension. When you have a board under your arm, all of a sudden the waves seem so much bigger and you lose consciousness of the world around you momentarily as you prepare for the battle with the waves. It is rewarding to help young surfers overcome this apprehension as Martha did with Martin and Viviana. She remembers bobbing in the water with the two on their boards as they became comfortable with the water and the once seemingly hostile environment became comfortable, and then downright enjoyable. After they became comfortable, Martha helped them catch waves, which they rode in on their stomachs; “they had a total blast.” Varun also remembers the first time Viviana caught a wave and stood up, it was his favorite moment of the summer. Emily holds surfing with DAnitza and watching her conquer her fear of the ocean as her favorite memory of the summer. It is so great to see the complete change of VSP students’ relationship with the water. The smile that takes the place of the look of nervous anticipation is priceless.
“I’m sad it’s over”
You betchya, we’re all bummed it’s over. There are so many parts of the surf sessions we look back on fondly. From the distributing of suits to the distributing of fruits every moment was fun. This was the summer of the sand castles every session it seemed like there was some great creation. Martin’s masterful architectural mind created the biggest sand-city ever, Gerardo from Montedonico made beautiful drip sand towers, and Sofía from Cerro Mariposa created a magical sand sculpture of a whale. Everyone surfed at least once this summer. Some kids, like Vicente from Laguna Verde were on a board from start to finish of every session. We cleaned beaches together, we reflected over sandwiches together, and surfed together. There are many more sand castles to be made, many more fresh fruit to be ate, and many more waves to be caught. This Saturday it starts again! For now, for next time, and for always, let the good times roll! Happy School Year VSP!