Service is the rent we pay for being

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 Journal:  Today, 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)

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