April 24th, Thursday


We all knew today would be a difficult day as those of us at El Colegio, would be saying goodbye to the students, and Sally to her friends at CASEM. Harold greeted us with today “it is just the details”. This involved a second coat of paint on areas of the classroom and for Dave’s group repair of the accidental hole in the girls bathroom door and completion of sanding of same. All work achieved by morning “receso”. We were treated to the creamiest hot chocolate and then had free time until 12:00. The students were eager to show us their cheese making project and introduced us to the cheese maker. David was particularly, interested in this area due to his farming background and I think that the cheese maker enjoyed talking to someone who understood his work. /we all sampled the delicious mild slightly salty cheese.

We spent the remainder of the time sitting by the pond soaking up the sunshine and chatting with the students. Isaac precariously climbed a tree to pick us all guavas. 5 pigs were pleased to see us but somewhat to our dismay preparation for the sacrifice of one chicken was being made.

The students and staff of El Colegio took us to the Sta. Elena Reserve and after a hot lunch we hit the trail climbing through the most amazing forest to 5,600. Finally we all had a view of the Arenal Volcano from one of the viewpoints. As even better view seen from the precarious climb up the observation tower.

We returned to the party center to complete our goodbyes with speeches from students, staff and volunteers. The school graciously presented us with certificates in recognition of our work to improve the school facility.

We returned to El Colegio where we gave each other another round of hugs and kisses and went in our different directions.

We then went to CASEM to meet Sally. It was clear that staff were very sorry to see her go and presented her with a lovely bag made at the site. The progress Sally has made with learning Spanish there 2 weeks seems she has inspired the staff to tackle English 101 soon.

The work day progressed as usual, pricing, cleaning, and stocking shelves. Monica heard the sweet call of the trogan and we went hunting for it. She said it was the first one she had seen here.

Nia introduced us to a really elegant restaurant “Sofia” a perfect plan to spend our last evening in Sta. Elena. It was a bitter sweet evening. Nia has been an outstanding team coordinator handling her “senior group” with grace. It is going to be like leaving a family member behind when we head home. Wisely or not, at 7:50 am in the morning we are heading off for the Zip line adventure.

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