~Feeling at home at CASEM~

Thursday, August 12th
Journal by Susan

Today was my day to contribute the thought of the day. I have been very impressed by the tranquility of the Costa Rican people and the patience of the women of CASEM, so I chose the Serenity Prayer. “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can change, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Our days in the Global Volunteers CASEM project are chapters punctuated by meal-times—breakfast, 2nd breakfast, lunch, siesta, dinner, and sometimes after-dinner. Today, after our 2nd breakfast, we continued on our project of working on the chairs for the diner—cleaning the sanded chairs, applying the 1st coat of lacquer, 2nd sanding, cleaning the sanded chairs, then applying the 2nd coat of lacquer. Pat and I agreed that neither of us have the patience to do this kind of project at home, but somehow it did not seem tedious today, especially working outside on our first sunny day! I enjoyed working along with Ipsi and Sury, two school girls who attend the Friends School and speak perfect English. Before the day was done, we had completed what we could thanks to lawyer Valinda´s checklist of completed tasks!

The day at CASEM ended with a touching ceremony honoring the three team members who are leaving after the first week. After viewing our first striking Costa Rica sunset, the group brought closure to a fulfilling week (and celebrated Nia`s birthday) with a scrumptious dinner at a Latin fusion café. Dinner was followed by a concert of Flamenco music and dance performed by Cardamomo, a very talented local band, at the Music Garden.

How have we managed to pack so much into one day, much less one week! Those of us who are staying another week will genuinely miss what our three departing compadres have brought to the team—who will be left to scrape the bark off the wood, to translate when our Spanglish doesn´t work, and to get Pat out of the bathroom?
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