Monday, June 15, 2009

A Day in the life of a volunteer for APAPNEM

We awoke to the winds – noticeably higher than in the past few days – a bit cooler and mostly cloudy. Rain was expected but little, if any, fell through the day.

Our 7:30 breakfast was generous and delicious, as usual, centered on scrambled eggs.

Barbara and Barbara left for CASEM and the rest of us arrived at the gym before 9:00. Our start-up was leisurely but, when the activity got going, most of us were painting tabletops. Ryan and Dave had their hands full in the afternoon with three young boys. Bernie was drawn away from painting, returning to her weaving project. Bob and Marcotulio were crafting wooden coffee brewer stands and Karen divided her time between needlework and filming of her “documentary”.

Patricia, Edith and Ruth, the resident artists, were busy through the day sketching flowers, plants, birds, frogs and other figures and forms on the tabletops. They are so talented! Their artistry combined with that of the volunteers, both Global and local, transformed the tabletops into beautiful artwork. Really special!

Lunch was great thanks to Chef Enar, who was ably supported by Ryan and several ladies. Spaghetti and a generous salad hit the spot.

I was going to report more on the group’s activities of the day. However, I choose to center much of the remainder on my activity.

Patricia paired me with Yailin, Edith’s 9 year-old daughter, at the beginning of the day. She’s a sweetie, so enthused with the painting we did together. After painting the edges of several tables, we painted a few plant stands. Then John started supplying us with napkin holders – I lost count of the number.

In the meantime we were joined by a smaller girl (or did we join her?). Leslie is 10; she scurried around getting paints, blending them with a talented eye and painting like a pro. She was decorating the pieces with flowers, trees and clouds without hesitation. She must have been painting before she was born.

Yailin and Leslie worked together so well it took the heat off of me. They painted individual pieces and did several joint projects. What a delight! I was content to be an observer and, on occasion, a color and application consultant. But then Leslie assigned me to paint a napkin holder. When I finished mine in red, white and blue, Leslie was quick to point out that these were the colors of the Costa Rican flag. Truly, that was my intent.

It was a full day for me. Those two made my day. I mentioned to Patricia that, if I were looking for more grandchildren, those two would be at the top of my list.

A lively game of “99” closed the day with Barbara H. winning the pot.-Tom M.
A day in the lif of a Volunteer at CASEM-From Journal Jan 13, 2009
We shared lunch with Doña Nery, Marina, Leidy, Monica and Rosie. Marina prepared pasta with a red tomato-meat sauce and green salad with avocado, tomato, cucumber and lettuce. And fresh pineapple for dessert. They like to sprinkle salt on the pineapple to enhance the flavor. During our lunch break we took another short walk ending at the café!

We dusted and arranged wooden sculptures and paintings in the gallery in the afternoon. It is very gratifying to be at CASEM and see the pride they take in their work. In the words of the Impressionist artist, Mary Cassatt, “Women need to be someone, not something.”