Monday, December 31, 2012

December 31st, 2012

Message of the day: Picked by Ed "So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world Frodo besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the ring. In which case, you were also meant to have it, and that is an encouraging thought. " Gandalf- Lord of the Rings

"Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile"- Albert Einstein


Daily Journal: Our return Sunday night to Santa Elena was very welcomed.  It was nice to spend time at the beach in Tamarindo, but getting back to more familiar sites was comforting.  We were also sad to see the rest of our team leave but there were conversations had about seeing each other again, and there was still work to be done!

It was a beautiful day so Ed took advantage and got many of the outside work done under the watchful eye of the local dog posse.  The sign posts got their second coat of paint and the fascia was brought back to life.  Gutters we cleaned up and a new task of tackling the CASEM sign at the top of the building began. Two people, two ladders and two levels of roof to navigate, and a plan was forged to start this work project that we weren’t sure we would be able to do.

Before we knew it is was time for lunch, which was an amazing casado con pollo.  We both enjoyed it and were ready to return to work! 

The rest of the day went fast and Ed even managed to secure the piece of roofing that had been flapping all week in the wind.  I know everyone was glad to not have to listen to that anymore.

We returned to the Mar Inn and decided to go out and celebrate a bit of the New Year with a walk to some of the local watering holes and a nice dinner; getting back to the Mar Inn just in time to see the New Year arrive in New York City. -Amy

Friday, December 28, 2012

Message of the day:  Picked by Bridgette (19)  "It is high time that the ideal of success should be replaced with the ideal of service."  -Albert Einstein

"Service is the rent we pay for being.  It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time."  -Marian Wright Edelman

Daily JournalToday, Thursday, December 27th, was another great day in the world of a Santa Elena Global Volunteer.  The day started off with a wholesome meal of tortilla and cheese (also known as cereal for Jo, Cate, Jesse, and me), and the daily bumpy drive to CASEM.  Oddly enough my overly “careful”, “responsible”, and “remembering” mother seemed to have forgotten I existed at the beginning of the van ride, stating “Oh yeah, where’s Willie?” as we were about half way to CASEM.  Upon arrival at CASEM we were faced with another day of sign placing, skein making, soccer playing, name tagging (thanks Jo and Jody) and food preparing ( all Cassandra).  Also, there was the aggressive undertaking of filing receipts and naming folders which did not “trip up” Bridgette and Bella who worked valiantly to meet Patricia’s often varying expectations (paste these names on the folders; now take them off!) yet always good intentions.  At first “café” our group was served some excellent brownies and delicious mystery banana pastries washed down with some highly caffeinated coffee, which Jesse skipped, resulting in a headache from her new found addiction (which may or may not have begun this week).  Café was followed by more work and skein making as usual, made enjoyable by Sofia’s enthusiasm, talk of marriage to Edward (who apparently has various suitors), Bridgette’s humor, and stories from Patricia and the other women in the co-op who seem to never run out of stories to tell us as the upstairs crew listened with intent. 
     At lunch I sat with Cassandra and Rodney (for all those who I am reading this aloud to, I have started a new paragraph because I have a LOT to say about this meal).  As always it was very nice to talk with them, and knowing they were leaving today left me with a very melancholy feeling because it has been a pleasure being able to spend time with a family like them.  After a few minutes of talking we were served our lunch.    After this meal, Rodney said his goodbyes to the group through a speech that moved us.  It really was great.  After lunch we commenced working and I really don’t know what anyone else did because I was busy making 13 skeins, which I was attempting to make egg shaped in the style of a cheerful and skilled Costa Rican woman.  Again we were called to “café” but this time we were presented with special “agua dulce” (DELICIOUS) as the members of CASEM said their tearful goodbyes to Rodney, Cassandra & Bridgette.  Nancy and Jody read their limerick (hilarious and true).  The workers in CASEM were beyond thankful for their dedicated work.   At the end of the work day, Andrew, Jesse, Jo, Cate, Bridgette, Bella, Owen, and I went for a final visit to the Argentino chocolate place whose chocolates we have welcomed into our diets throughout the past week with ease, Bridgette especially.  The van ride home was quick as usual, but as I observed the van was having a bit of a hard time making it up some of the steepest hills… yikes…  When we got home we had to say our goodbyes to Rodney, Cassandra & Bridgette.  Although these goodbyes were accompanied with promises to meet again, parting with such great people is hard no matter what the condition.  After they left, we prepared ourselves for a delicious dinner at the Tree House.  The food was delicious.  Everyone missed Andrew!!!  Now we are finally home after a long day!  -Willie (15)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Message of the day: Picked by Jesse (12)  "If you cannot change the skeleton you're stuck with, you might as well make it dance." -Anonymus
"I love to find new people.  It's not for the sake of their being new, it's because if you find someone that perfectly fits a part that is a great thing." -Rober DeNiro
Daily Journal: Same schedule, different day. The area around CASEM was much more bustling today...the usual array of dogs but many more people passing through and milling around. It definitely felt like the day after Christmas and everyone came out to enjoy the beautiful weather.

We continued to work primarily outside, as there were many customers for Patricia to attend to inside. So most of us kept on doing what we had been doing. Painting the entranceway roof green, sanding the dismantled streetside sign and getting ready to move on with its own paint job. We were joined by more local workers today, so we also did some extra garden cleaning and wall scrubbing.

Willie, Amy and Patricia departed for the ferreteria to buy more supplies for some of our projects. Upon their return and with clear, dry skies, we got the okay to complete the sanding, painting and varnishing of "the sign"...and back up it went....much to our surprise the neon orange letters really did "pop" or as Ed would say "pap".

Lunch was upstairs today amidst the skeins of wool because many patrons came to have food at the Coop's relatively new restaurant.

Willie and Bridgette began the laborious task of creating files for each of the Coop members and Jesse and Jo and Bella and Catie filled in wherever they could....managing to find the only non-wholesome snacks at Whole Foods and getting a soccer game started with Andrew's help.

After an early dinner we headed out for a Night Tour in the Cloud Forest, arranged by our very capable free-time coordinator. Excellent sloth sighting as well as porcupine, spiders, and a Triceratops.

All in all a good day in spite of the general feeling we could all be doing much more! -Nancy

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

Message of the Day: Picked by Rodney "All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence." -Dr. Martin Luther King
The Simple Path:
Silence is prayer
Prayer is faith
Faith is love
Love is service
The fruit of service is peace
-Mother Teresa

Daily Journal: Today was an awesome day.  We started the day off right with pancakes, our group meeting and goal setting.  Afterward, we set out for CASEM and everyone eagerly anticipated our next project.  We arrived and took over the front yard with our de-weeding, painting, raking and skein making.  Finally there was a coffee/tea break and that's when Rodney, Cassandra and I trekked to the Friends School for a Quaker Christmas Day Meeting for worship.  Everyone loved our Chicken and rice lunch today which was a welcomed alternative to rice and beans.  The workday concluded with a trip to the Argentinian chocolate restaurant which put everyone in even better spirits.  That night we went out to dinner at Trio, a very tucked away dinner spot, and treated ourselves after a hard day's work.  Luckily we also found the only ice cream store still open even though it was a holiday and I had some chocolate mint that tasted like frosting.  We returned later than normal and played a speedy game of Left, Right, Center.  That's what I call a great day...and no one has gotten bitten by scorpions yet.  -Bridgette (19)


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Monday, December 24th 2012

Message of the day: Picked by Andrew "We often miss opportunity because it's dressed in overalls and looks like work" "What you are will show in what you do."  -Thomas Edison

Daily Journal: This morning we had breakfast and got ready to leave the hotel.  Then we got on the bus- kids in the back.  It was about 15 minutes to CASEM.  On the way we picked up our translator, Patricia.  When we got there she introduced herself then we went inside and talked about what we were going to do.  Then we got to work!  Some people worked on the buttons, sanding the sign and dusting the store.  After awhile of that we had a nice lunch break.  Then we worked outside, then we had a coffee break and we also went to get chocolate, then we got on the bus and went to the hotel.  We then walked into town, after that we had a nice dinner.  Joanna (8)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Costa Rica Service Program December 22nd-January 4th

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

Message of the day: Picked by Joanna(8)- "Those who want to do good are not selfish.  They are not in a hurry.  They know that to get through to people with good requires a long time.  But evil has wings.  To build a house takes time.  Its destruction takes none."  -Mahatama Ghandi

Daily Journal: Sunday was our first morning together.  We had breakfast at the hotel before our orientation meeting.  Amy introduced us all to each other and Global Volunteers.  We had lunch and then we got on a bus to Santa Elena.  The bus ride was bumpy and beautiful.  We also stopped for ice cream and saw two rainbows.  We arrived at the Mar Inn and got settled.  We took a rain walk  and had a delicious dinner.  After dinner we played a game of "left, right, center", Jesse won!  Then we all went to bed.  That was a great first day!  Thanks everyone for making it a great day!  -Bella (10)