Thursday, July 5, 2012

The End

Today was a combination work day of recycling and teaching English. Sandy stayed in the classroom all day and practiced English skills with several wonderful students. The first was Anna, a mother of 3 who worked at a local hotel, and had very good language skills. She hopes to teach English one day. We also spent time with her son, Joshua, 4 years old, practicing his English. Next was Jennifer, who it turns out is married to Jonathan, who took lessons with us yesterday. And in the afternoon, the two adorable young girls who were in class yesterday, Juliet and Yuleisy, came back again. They were a delight to spend time with and said they are eager to come back again tomorrow.

Pam and Pat also taught in the morning and then worked hard at the recycling center-- and then came back to teach again. A nice last full day of work for our team.

Upon our return to the Mar-Inn, we were greeted with a special treat from Zelmira---homemade rice pudding, cinnamon bread and coffee--wonderful!!

We again had dinner at Trio's---a terrific restaurant. We were joined by Milt, who arrived to lead the next two teams coming to Costa Rica. After a great dinner, we then went to Morpho's, another good local restaurant, to enjoy homemade desserts made by the owner's mom!

Tomorrow morning Pat will depart early for the airport, and Pam and I will teach English for the morning before departing for Alajuela for our flights home on Saturday--the end of a wonderful two weeks in Costa Rica.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


We ended the day with flashes of lightning, followed by thunder and rain--a proper Santa Elena conclusion for "our" 4th of July.

The morning greeted us with a spirited display of bows, necklaces, napkins and a happy 4th of July---given to us by our own keeper of celebrations, Pam Cromer.

We left for school with much trepidation--we had decided to try an experiment, advertising time to practice English today and Friday morning to anyone in the community. School is out for a vacation, so we weren't sure how many, who or when people might show up. Thanks to Pam--who stood by the gate "pimping"---and a number of people who were bringing their children for art and science lessons, we ended up with a good number of people of all ages and English abilities in the morning and afternoon. A real success!

The evening found us enjoying an amazing "farewell¨" dinner at Trio's---great menu, wonderful dining experience.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Cloudy Day

We woke to a round of wind gusts and very cloudy skies. Today is our day at the reserve, but we wonder what the day will bring in these weather conditions.

Arriving at the reserve at an early 8 am, there is little activity. There is a guide sitting at the next table with several people and he gives a short comment on camera settings and a very detailed talk on the cloud forest, and what they will encounter in the next 3-4 hours. This talk is reminiscent of our walk at Monteverde last Saturday. Still no one arrives to direct us, and Pat and Pam #1 return to the hotel and the reserve office.

Sandy and I stay. Three volunteers from last week arrive and we don our rain boots--climbing until out of breath, it seems. We are almost at the observatory tower. My task for this morning is more raking leaves and clearing gulleys--just at a much higher altitude. Sandy takes on the task at the base camp of sweeping and clearing the entire handicap trail of branches and leaves.

After lunch, we return to the forest.

Back in town, Pat is working in the garden at the high school. She also dabbled in a little painting as evidenced by the paint on her pants. We are treated to cinnamon bread and coffee back at the Mar-Inn.