Monday, August 17, 2009
On a lighter note this weekend was spent in Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean side. While every weekend in Costa Rica has been awesome, we have come to the conclusion that this was our favorite place. The town has a very Caribbean vibe and it felt like we were in an entirely different country. The town is full of funky restaurants and people with dreadlocks riding cruiser bikes. We stayed at a “Hammock Hotel” which was a very costly $5 a night. We slept in a hammock thirty feet from the water with people from all over the world. It was pretty cool:). We spent Saturday in Cahuita National Park on the beach where we we woken up from a nice nap by the terrifying noise Howler Monkey’s make when they become territorial. (Click on the link below for a Youtube video of it). On Sunday we relaxed in small pools created by the coral reef. We will forever refer to this spot as our “happy place”….
Pictures Below- Brittney couldn't resist putting up another picture of her kids, Caitlin and Britt enjoyin life on the beach, a pic of us in our "happy place", loungin in our beds/hammocks, and a picture of us earlier this week outside a Museum in San Jose (the capital of Costa Rica).
Monday, August 10, 2009
This is Angie! Angie always greets me with a huge smile and a kiss. She always jokes around with the other residents and brings a lot of energy to the home.
This is Antonio and I with two of our decorations for the Mother's Day party.
This is Daniel. He has been giving me Spanish lessons almost every day. He is actually really strict and won't let me move on until I can say each word correctly. He is a really good teacher :)
Brittney- My placement at Los Patitos gets better everyday. I have become much better at planning activities and improvising projects or learning activities with few supplies. The kids are so awesome and I am pretty attached to them; I cannot let myself think about leaving. Now having spent three weeks in Flory’s house I am beginning to feel like family. Flory took me on a walk, just the two of us, and ever since our relationship has been much closer. When we went on our walk I thought she asked me if she could try on my shoe, which was sort of weird but I gave it too her. She then proceeded to ask for the other one and give me hers. I was extremely confused, she speaks no English, and thought she wanted to trade shoes and was going to keep mine. After walking for a half an hour in Dona Flory’s shoes, literally, I had big blisters and realized why she wanted to switch (Flory is a smart lady). As the day went on I became increasingly worried that she was going to keep them but when my ride came she ran from the kitchen and gave me my shoes back along with a bracelet to show her appreciation. The bracelet is simple, but for people who have very little it was an incredibly kind gesture and made me feel silly for thinking she was going to take my shoes. Anyways enough about shoes…On Thursday I began working at a school with the English teacher, which I will continue doing 2 days a week. The school is in a drug infested area and the teacher told me she lives a few blocks away but cannot walk to school because it is unsafe. The kids are wilddd but so freaking cute it is not even fair. It is nice to see another side of education in Costa Rica as well as work with slightly older kids. Pictures will come soon.
When I brought my camera to Patitos two of the girls ran to their house next door and got dressed up.
Below is a video of my Dona dancing. Everyone is obsessed with Michael Jackson here and after I showed her my moon walking skills she decided to show me hers:)
Last weekend we traveled to Jaco and Playa Hermosa on the Central Pacific Coast. We went to the ISA World Games which is one of the biggest international surf tournaments in the world! The very quaint beach town was packed with people from all over the world and there were very few English speaking people. It was really cool to see each countries pride during the tournament. When a team member was competing, the rest of the surfers gathered around their country flag at the water’s edge and cheered and chanted until the round was over. The weekend was really relaxing and we spent most of our time lounging on the beach or laying in hammocks tied between palm trees. Pura Vida!
After a long, wild bus ride home to Cartago that consisted of a very car sick Caitlin and Brit sitting next to a very creepy man who found it appropriate to smoke two joints out the window of the bus during the ride, we readjusted and began our third week at work. On Wednesday we had another exciting excursion. This week we explored the Arosi Valley which is home to many coffee and plantain plantations and the oldest church in Costa Rica. After Brit’s epic picture on the river rocks from last week’s excursion, Caitlin decided it was her turn. We spotted an enormous, picturesque rainforest tree that was screaming “Climb me Caitlin!” After getting to a great spot for a photo that was about 10 feet up. Caitlin found out she was covered in biting ants. Panic stricken, she tries to climb down, slips and falls out of the tree and landed straight on her butt with her legs in the lake. Have no fear. WE GOT THE PICTURE!
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
In the beautiful rainforest in Arenal and The Basillica- a famous church blocks away from our homebase.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
At the highest point in Costa Rica
Caitlin: I am working in the HIV clinic MWF and in an elderly community center TTh. At the HIV home I have helped with cleaning projects for half the day, and then activities for the patients the other half. At the elderly community center I get to assist the physical therapist and entertain the residents. My first day I got to dance with two old men which I later found out were flirting with me in Spanish. I could take this as creepy, but rather look at it as a compliment! Today was my second day at the home and when I walked in and said "Hola Donas" to all the women and they got huge smiles and said "HOLA!" followed by about 20 kisses on the cheek. I love them all!
Brittney: I have been working at Los Patitios which is a safe place for children in the slums to go while their mothers are working, since they don't really have access to a formal school. I have been teaching the children english and planning activities to keep them entertained. When I arrived I was greeted by 12 or so children running at me saying, "hello teacher". The children are amazing and so eager to learn and thankfull for any supplies I bring. They can get excited about a chewed up broken crayon. It is a lot of work keeping them busy, since nothing is planned, which I have come to find is sort of the Costa Rican way, but it is very rewarding.
We work from 7:30 am to 12:30 everyday then have the rest of the day to explore. So far we have taken 2 Spanish classes, a salsa dancing class and cooking class at our home base, then decided to join a local gym which offers spin classes in Spanish (of course). Yesterday we went on an excursion to the top of "Volcan Irazu" which is the biggest volcano in Costa Rica. Today on an excursion through the city, we stopped at the most famous church in Costa Rica and joined in on the custom of drinking holy water, however we did not crawl there like many of the Ticos. In the past week we have come to realize Costa Rica was the perfect place for us to volunteer because of the loving people, the beautiful scenery and not to mention the endless supply of delicious, fresh coffee! Stay tuned for next week including our weekend adventure to Arenal...
Monday, July 13, 2009
Caitlin and Brittney