Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Susan 's journal

We awoke to another sunny day, only to discover that our team was going to be down by one. Colton developed a stomach virus. After a quick run into town for ginger ale and bread, Colton was left in the care of Giovanni and Zelmira, and his cell phone, with instructions not to create international charges unless necessary. It was off to the community center to continue the bathrooms. To our surprise, Minor had been hard at work and we were almost finished. Connor jumped into working on the walls, while the rest of us cleared a walkway around the back. Progress happened rapidly and the scaffolding was removed from the walls. They also cut the pipes and placed the septic tank in the ditch. It was so much fun to see a project move along almost to completion. We took our now familiar stroll to Elvin's house for another delicious meal. Though hot, sweaty, and tired, the kids engaged in a lively conversation about when we could return to Cebadilla.
After lunch we shifted our focus to the school. Connor, Chase and Cadyn played soccer with the students while we got organized. After retrieving a frisbee from the roof, we got back to work. Minor outlined an area to lay concrete while Connor and I dug it out for him. Then we attempted to pull down a section of the roof to be repaired. The going was tough and hopefully we'll make more progress tomorrow. I have been amazed and impressed at how hard the kids have worked, and how inventive they have been when taking initiative. On the way back to the hotel they were talking about all we have accomplished and how much more spanish we need to learn!

Colton seemed recovered enough to join us at the table. Since everyone was hungry, we had an early dinner, then walked through town to the serpentarium, with a stop at the Common Cup for smoothies. We met the Atlanta born owner and a student from Chevy Chase bound for Duke in the fall. We promised to return to roast our own personalized coffee! At the serpentarium we saw a ton of snakes we hope to never see in the wild, and over the course of an hour watched a boa constrictor shed his skin. Very cool! Time for the tired crew to get some rest.

Cadyn 8 years old journals a day with Global Volunteers

We woke up and got dressed (including sun tan lotion, water bottles, the first aid kit, and work stuff). Then we had a delicious breakfast of hot dogs, cheese, gallo pinto (rice and beans mixture), fruit, and for a drink melon juice. Then we had a meeting where Connor read his journal entry and Colton read his thought of the day. Then finally the Mango Tangos were off to work. At work we made a fresh new layer in the blocks, filled in the blocks with rocks, and collected rocks for inside the blocks. Then we had lunch. It was a delicious lunch of beef and vegetable soup called “Olla de Carne”, fruit, rice, and salad. Elvin played his guitar for us and we played a mini game of soccer before we went back to work. We did some more stuff with the blocks, and took a few breaks. The van picked us up early today and we had an early dinner. Dinner was also delicious. We had cheese and bean empanadas, beef and vegetable rice, and salad. For drink we had fruit punch, and for dessert we had coconut and sugar cane crisps and little white and pink candies. The candies were squishy and sweet. Then we had some time to do whatever we wanted. After that, we went on a night walk. The animals we saw were two sloths, three stick bugs, two huge crickets, a lot of headlight bugs, a raccoon, a huge ant colony (leaf cutter ants), an armadillo, bats, sleeping birds and a tarantula. We also got to see stars and also a beetle been eaten by the leaf cutter ants. On the night walk we also saw lots of cool and interesting plants. Then we went into town, got ice cream and snacks, and did some errands. We went back to the hotel, and then went to bed to charge our batteries for the next day!

Journal by Connor

Journal by Connor:

Early Monday morning, the Mango Tangos [our chosen team name] prepared for their first day of work.

Filling up our water bottles, and covering our exposed skin with suntan

location, we were ready to go. After enjoying a delicious breakfast

(courtesy of Zelmira) we packed into the van which would deliver us to

Cebadilla. When we arrived at the local primary school, we filed out of the

van and headed towards the building. Ten steps en route for our destination,

Chase, our water boy, accidentally released his precious cargo of H2O

hydrating the local vegetation. Meeting the local scholars, we then

proceeded to play a friendly game of soccer. The work

soon started and we all helped to finish a triplet of bathroom stalls

earlier started by a different group. We worked various jobs ranging from

carting stone, to mixing cement. Half way through the day, we hiked to

Elbin´s house for a scrumptious lunch. Hot and worn out, this was a much

needed break. Once our meal was digested, we placed more blocks and nearly

completed the filling in of the septic field. Mom and I decided that

multiple people should fill in the space between the blocks because with

only one person manning the job, the progress was far too slow. So we copied

the contraption earlier designed to speed along that process. After cleaning

up and saying our goodbyes, we climbed back into a van to begin our journey

back to the hotel. Following the confirmation that the horse was in fact

sleeping, we dropped off our gear at base camp. A hard earned break soon

came after consisting of, Colton, Mom, Cadyn and I devouring a luscious

variety of ice cream. Concluding our day with dinner and an evening meeting,

we settled down and thought about what a great day we had just experienced.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Connor powers through batches of cement

Connor mixes several batches of cement for teammates to pour the bathroom complex walls in Cebadilla this morning.

Global Volunteers Team 207 Costa Rica volunteer abroad

As team 207 Global Volunteers in the Costa Rica Service Program, continues the link of volunteers, Cebadilla's community center bathroom complex gets support. Chase and Cadyn collect rocks to fill the drainage ditch for the Septic Tank system. Hard work under the sun!

Colton cements

Colton spent the better part of his day today filling up the gaps and cracks of the cement walls for the community center in Cebadilla, 7kms north of Santa Elena, Monteverde Costa Rica. Colton is volunteering abroad through the Global Volunteers service program in Costa Rica.

Susan learns to align cement blocks today

The work began slowly today, but that didn't stop volunteer Susan Harrington from getting promoted swiftly from handing blocks to "aligning and leveling blocks".

Monday, March 14, 2011

Former Volunteer Posts AMAZING YouTube Videos!!

We at Global Volunteers are privileged to work with so many wonderful volunteers, partners, and supporters each and every day.

Last week, one particular volunteer, Graham, truly knocked our socks off when he shared a 9-part video series he had created about Global Volunteers and posted on YouTube!! These videos feature the travels and experiences of numerous Global Volunteers (particularly one tight-knit group from New Jersey) and we welcome you to take a look at these exceptional videos by using the link below.

Thank you, Graham!! And for the rest of you... ENJOY!!

Global Volunteer Retrospective Video (Costa Rica):

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Volunteer's perspective

Here is an interesting perspective on the Costa Rica Service Program at CASEM. And yes we use that path a lot ! It keeps holding and it has know beautiful hydrangeas on the sides.