Bittersweet and beautiful

My last day at Colegio was bittersweet and beautiful.  It began with an intimate gathering of about twenty students, as well as Karen, Francisco, and the principal of the school. We enjoyed a delightful selection of pineapple, cookies, finger sandwiches, and punch prepared especially for the occasion. We shared all sorts of different music with each other, and I was impressed and excited to discover a group of the students listening to one of my favorite new songs by one of my favorite German rock groups; truly astounding to hear in the mountains of Monteverde.

After our snack I was honored with a very official document certifying my contributions to the school (which I be certain to have framed), and some very sweet words from Karen thanking me for my service. After these touching formalities we immediately reverted back to happily enjoying each others’ company, listening to music, and playing a game where one person was lifted up in a chair as high as the others could get them, something I haven’t experienced in over ten years since my Bar Mitzvah.


The chair lifting game with the vice principal

There was talk of soccer. I was determined to play on my last day even though I knew the students would be running circles around me with ease.

While we were waiting for a ball, Karen lead the group in a fun game called “Buffalo” where one must be quick-thinking and react extremely fast to stay in. Buffalo turned into “tag” and I got a grim preview of just how agile and speedy the students were; I was in big trouble.


Playing tag

36 (small)

Karen and Maggie

Soon a soccer ball showed up and we played for nearly an hour in the blazing sun. I did not score any goals (big surprise, I blame my dress shoes), but had a blast nonetheless, as did everyone else. Then it was time for lunch and before I knew it I was saying goodbye to everyone.

However, thanks to Maggie and Karen’s collective excellence, it was arranged for me to play another game of soccer with a different group of students after lunch! After a very quick power nap at the hotel, I returned to campus, went down to the gym, and was soundly trounced again for the better part of two hours. My legs are still recovering from all of that running around, but at least this time I scored a few goals! It should be noted, however, that I only scored when there were no goalies present.


Rock, Paper, Scissors!
in both Spanish and English

I could not think of a more excellent way to end my service trip. I will always remember the amazing students and staff of C.T.P. Santa Elena. I hope to return one day and see how the chain of volunteers has furthered the interests of such a fantastic and productive institution. Already I miss everyone dearly.

Entry submitted by: Justin

Message of the Day – Maggie: “You give little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” – Kahlil Gibran


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