Thursday, July 28, 2011

Global Volunteers Team 212 : Colegio Continues

This morning I woke to another well made delicious breakfast and the coffee I am now extremely addicted to. After breakfast we went back down to the school to work. While the group was working on the trail again I was shadowing with a farmer named Rafael. He first showed me how to make cheese. It got kind of gross at times. First you let the milk sit and go solid, then you dump the milk that is still liquid out of the bin. That's the hard part then comes the easy part, all you have to do is squeeze out the remaining liquid and pop it in the freezer. I think you all know what comes next, washing. We hosed the place down and dumped hot water on the floor. It kind of felt like the place was on fire with all the steam After that we put milk out for the cows and then gave them some corn meal. One of the cows kept stealing the others food. By then it was time for break so I went up to the library with everyone else to sit and talk.
After break it was back to work. This time we went up to the barn and fed the pigs,ducks,and ducklings. Then Rafael took out the ducklings, it was so cute to see them all in a little cluster. Probably one of the most fun things today was collecting the eggs from the chickens. As soon as we walked in they started screaming their heads off and they were happy about us taking their eggs. Rafael taught me how to get the chickens off their eggs, pick them up and put them some where else. After we cleaned the eggs and through the broken ones to the fish I went down to lunch. I had a heaping helping of exotic Costa Rican pizza, with some pork, and what I believe to have been mango juice.
After lunch I went back to the barn to find a pig had given birth!!!! It was the most amazing thing I ever saw! Five healthy piglets suckling, then all of a sudden two more came right out! But they didn't stop there two more came out while we were gone. So after the commotion died down we went to clean up the fields and scoop up left overs from the cows. Boy, are they sloppy eaters! After that we went to hose down the pigs and the barn itself. Well after that, he had the school boys doing every thing and before I knew it they were trying to kill a duck ! After that unforgettable experience I watched them peal off the feathers and start to boil the duck. Thank god mom came and got me because I was about to puke. After a long hard day of work we went up in the forest to enjoy some time with the students. Well that was soon ruined by thunder and lighting. We came back to the hotel and relaxed for a few hours, then we had some dinner. The dinner consisted of delicious mashed black beans, tortilla chips, and rice. Well I guess you could say that today full of firsts! I am so lucky to have this chance to see all of these neat things.
Brandon, 12 years old

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Global Volunteers Team 212 a.k.a.Team Trails

Journal #2: July 24, 2011

The American writer, Louis L’Amour once said that “No memory is ever alone; it's at the end of a trail of memories, a dozen trails that each have their own associations.” This quote is appropriate to describe our second day working in the Santa Elena region of Costa Rica. It was quite memorable all surrounded around trails of memories that we will keep for a lifetime. First, after preparing for the day, our nose followed the trail of a delicious breakfast of fresh fruit (including a new fruit called “mammon chino”, pancakes and a hot-dog-like sausage. We also tried various pastries bought from the local bakery…yummy J Then we packed our bags and trailed off to our job assignment at the Santa Elena school. When we arrived at the school, we met Steven (the high school coordinator) and Daniel (an Agriculture teacher) and discussed our skills and what we’ll be doing at the school during our time there. Then we meet with some shy, but polite 11 grade students who were studying agriculture at the school. They told us about the school and gave us a tour. We were truly amazed by the amount of classrooms and different subjects that the students could take such as eco-tourism, food and beverage, agriculture, among others. Santa Elena had everything that you’d expect a school to have, but with one exception. During our tour, we followed some trails that led to a dairy farm that produces milk and cheese for the school to sell. We also saw the school’s pond filled with fish for the students to practice fishing. In addition, no one trailed behind when we toured a barn surrounded by birds and filled with pigs. It was quite a unique experience to see how the students learn their areas of focus by using the school’s to promote hands-on learning. After our delightful tour, we trailed into the cafeteria to drink some coffee and eat some cookies.

And then we went to work. Trails, trails, trails!!! Our project for the day was to work on a trail that was on the school grounds. Daniel explained what we should do and we got started on our trailblazing project. It was a great time because each of the volunteers worked on different components of the trail such as digging gravel and dirt, making holes to place cement blocks, and covering the trail with dirt and gravel. The Santa Elena students were building the support frames that outlined the trail . Even though we were working hard, our minds didn’t trail off. We were learning new things about building trails in Costa Rica, but also learning new vocabulary related to our work. For example, we learned the meanings of “pala” (shovel), “tierra” (dirt), “escate” (stake), “lastra” (gravel), and (of course) “sendero” which means trail. We had a great time because we were able to see bit by bit how our cooperative work was transforming into a trail for future students and tourists.

After a good lunch of chicken and rice at the school, we followed the trail of people who wanted ice cream to cool off before we hit the trail again. It was delicious and got us ready to concure the trail ahead. We worked and worked and made progress on the trail, but unfortunately at 3 p.m. our workday ended. We said “happy trails to you” to Steven, Daniel, and the students and returned to the hotel. After relaxing for a bit, our noses again followed the trail to a scrumptious meal of beef, rice, potatoes, and homemade cinnamon rolls. Afterwards most of the group followed a trail on a night walk tour to see the nocturnal animals on the reserve. In conclusion, as you can see Louis A’mour’s quote is perfert for the day that we had. Although it was literally centered around creating a single trail at Santa Elena School, in the end we were able to create many associated memories in the process.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Global Volunteers Team 212: Dura Vida?? Pura Vida!

July 25th 2011
What a fantastic day our first day of volunteering turned out to be! We started with a delcious breakfast at the Mar-Inn of eggs, toasts, fresh fruit (watermelon, bananas, and papaya) and then headed out to work. July 25th is the Costa Rican holiday of the Annexation of Guanacaste (Nicoya) so we worked at the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve. The reserve opened in early 1992; the land was orignally forest, then cut down to build pastures for cattle, and eventually the reforestacion began.
Walter, one of the reserve workers, introduced us the reserve and the history of it. The reserve works in tandem with the high school in Santa Elena. According to Walter, the highschool orignally offered a lot of agricultral classes that dealt with farming cattle, chickens, etc. Now, they cut back a lot of classes that deal with farming agriculture and introduced botany type agricultural courses for students as well. From my understanding, high school students who specialize in the latter will work at the reserve for class, and after graduation work there for an internship\externship. Walter also mentioned that him and some of the other reserve workers really enjoying paying futball americano and built a team and they play other teams on a synthetic turf field in town.
At the reserve, we helped haul gravel up a hill approximetly 1\4 mile up a hill into the forest. The gravel is being used to maintain some of the trails that have been built throughout the years. We started work about 8(?) o´clock. We had lunch at the reserve and it was delicious -- we had rice, beans, pork, juice. After all of our trailblazing (not quite, but poetic license let´s be dramatic...) through the forest, Walter and the other reserve workers showed us pictures of animals that their night cameras had caught. There were wild boars, pumas, and a leopord!! Glad we saw the pictures after we out of the forest for the day!
When we returned to Mar-Inn we relaxed, walked down to the town, had a meeting, and ate dinner. I must say, today was a success! :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Global Volunteers Team 211: Welcomes the Patron Saint of Costa Rica

Today, our generous crew of volunteers got to experience the visit of the Virgin of Los Angeles, Patron Saint of Costa Rica. Last year about a million (out of 4 million total population) Costa Ricans made the pilgramage to the Basilica en Cartago. The pilgramage occurs on August 2nd a national holiday but before that event, the association of taxi drivers, drives an authentic replica around the small villages of Costa Rica so everyone that is unable to do the pilgramage can participate. Monteverde got her visit for the first time in it's history!

In preparation, Jenny and Christina our parrish leaders, had Nolan Madi and Brianna create a poster in spanish to welcome her. Take a look !

Monday, July 18, 2011

Global Volunteer Team 211 First Project.: TADA!..Check!

First Storage room cleaned, painted, washed every item and restored. Check!

Global Volunteers Team 211: Profile Nolan

Nolan is 6 years old. In between all the karate moves, he has managed to help paint the storage room at the local community center, classify the Parish's music Collection and inventory the supply room ten by ten!

Global Volunteers Team 2011:Profile Madison

This is Madison. She is 12 years old, comes from San Diego, CA. Loves horses and dogs. She is volunteering with Global Volunteers at the Sta.Elena Community Center for two weeks in Costa Rica. She has inventoried and labeled the center’s belongings, like 165 chairs. She has also painted the supply room in a yellow color. She washed 385 items of dishware along with her family to put back into the painted storage space. Madison has enjoyed painting and having ice cream next door at the end of the work day.

Global Volunteers Team 211: profile Brianna

This is Brianna. She is 9 years old. She enjoys horses and bugs. She is going on to fifth grade at Stoneranch Elementary School after the summer. She has helped wash the dishware items at the local Sta. Elena Community center and helped inventory the chairs for events. She also painted the storage room a nice yellow color. She enjoyed painting the best this week. She really liked the snake farm , frog pond and butterfly garden. She plans to go camping after the service program with family.

Journal by Brianna: "It was are second day at work. When we got there we finshed cleaning the last dishes. It was super fun. Then we had a good lunch and went back to work. After lunch we stared to paint. It was sooooooooo much fun. We painted almost the whole supplies room. Once all are work was done we got ice cream. I had a lot of fun today. Before dinner we went to the snake farm. I learned a lot and it was super fun!"

Global Volunteers Team 211 arrives

Journal By Madison:

We slowly woke up and ate a breakfast of banana pancakes and fresh fruit. After our exciting Spanish lesson taught by Nia, we finished our packing and hoped into the van. The three and a half hour drive sounded horrible, but we made the best of it. We had 2 stops. The first at the garden place (1st bathroom break) then at a souvenir shop (2nd bathroom break) But before leaving, we got some delicious ice cream from Pops. Yum! Once at the village, we went to our cozy hotel and settled in. Once organized, we sat down for dinner, were we had chicken, rice, beans, plantain, salad, and some juice. Then we showered, brushed teeth and jumped into our warm cozy beds. Good night! Can’t wait to start work tomorrow. J

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Global Volunteers Team 210 Cheerleading practice

Jessica and Jeana taught local women and kids how to cheer lead on the fourth of July.

Kids learned the moves to "Lady Gaga"during a break from painting and roofing.

Cart wheels !!! Wheeee!!! It's a happy team.

GlobalVolunteers Team 210 spends July 4th roofing

Journal by Michelle:

Day 10, Monday, July 4th, 2011
Last night was wild, I heard horses going down the street at 5am, Cats & dogs fighting. Woke at 6am and got ready for the day. We had a great breakfast of fruit, pancakes with honey, coffee & hot chocolate. We went over goals & team building, and what we´d be doing today. Jeana had the ¨Thought of the day¨and Omar had the journal. Our Shuttle arrives at 8am to take us to the site, we are to be going to both the Community Center/Church and the school. The school is on break this week, but its expected the kids we´ll be there. Well, we just got arrived at Mar Inn at 4:30pm. We did not make it the school, instead we worked all day at the Center/Church. Matt, Omar & I helped Nicasio fix a lead in the water line on the side of the road. It was buried about 2 ft. down. I was sorry Heather has left us-Miss you & Brittney! We found the leak pretty quickly, dodging a couple of semi trucks on the one lane road, which we had filled with dirt, that they ran over. The rest of the gang, Gloria, Jess, Jeana, Minor, Ugo, Gerardo were sanding & painting the framework for the new metal roof. It poured rain & we all got wet.

Our first time really since we´ve been here, thunder, lightening the whole works, (our Fireworks). We waited it out & then it was time for lunch at Idali´s-as always a wonderful rice, beans, salad, friut, & chicken in cream sauce-yummy! While we ate it poured again. We waited it out. We head back to the center & Minor, Hugo Gerardo & Nicoisio are all hand mixing concrete on the driveway. We load into wheel barrows and pour the bathroom floor as the sun comes out. Matt & Omar, Jessica, Gloria & me wiped down the framework and started painting again. Marlena & Blanco cleaned the storage room up, it looks great. Jeana & Jessica ran around with 2 year old Lindsey, Marlena´s daughter, too cute. It was a productive day-even with the rain. We hopped on the shuttle@4pm & headed back to Mar Inn. Everyone fights over who gets in the shower first! Dinner was at 6pm, Zelmira made hamburgers on the grill for the 4th of July, I made Gloria´s potato salad & we roasted marshmellos in the rain. It was a great end to gorgeous Costa Rica and a busy day.