For our last day at Colegio, we went back to Jorge’s class of ninth graders, and then took off on the nature trail that the students and other Global Volunteer teams had helped build on the perimeter of the school. Jorge and some of the students served as nature guides, telling us about the plants, including a huge 100-year-old ficus, and pointing out a giant ant mound that formed a steep hillside along the way. We had great views from above the school and Monteverde in the distance with its constant reminder of cloud cover, as if to prove it is truly a cloud forest. Upon our return, Priya, Maya, Vijay, and Katie all frantically ran around during the break to have the students happily sign their Global Volunteer tee-shirts – and this continued during the morning at every opportunity until it seemed there was no more room for signatures available!
After the morning breakfast break, we went to Lissette’s tenth grade class which had “down time” of music, with bubble blowing and glow bracelets provided by Megan. Some of us took the opportunity to capture photos of hummingbirds and butterflies attracted to the large butterfly bush outside of the classroom – another project underway by the students is to complete a butterfly garden there. Lissette and several students began bringing food and refreshments up the steep hill to the highest level classroom. Shortly, we were served traditional Costa Rican food, homemade by the teachers, parents, and students! Our snacks consisted of gallo pinto, tortillas, fresh cheese, banana bread, cookies, and a rice/coconut pudding which we washed down with a greenish-looking very sweet fresh-squeezed raw sugar cane juice – treats sincerely given from the hearts of our hosts. Before we were done with our snacks, a fully costumed group of school traditional dancers appeared and beautifully danced to several traditional songs in their bright red, white, and black costumes. When the dancers were complete, and with the music still playing, some of the team were invited to dance, and then to learn some of their dance styles. We then took group pictures of everyone.
In closing, Jorge and Lissette each thanked our team for working with them and the progress we made on their projects, and Ravi, in turn, represented our team in thanking them for this wonderful and rewarding experience. We left our rubber muck boots, a basketball and a soccer ball as donations to the school, and the teachers were most thankful.
Before we left the campus, we stopped by the kitchen lab where we took pictures with our basketball- break-time friends – and of course a lot more tee-shirt signing! We said goodbye to our team friends the Jhaveri family as they headed in a different direction for a few more days in Costa Rica.
Next, we were off to lunch was at Blue Morphos in town, a new dining experience for us. Afterward, we thanked our hosts at the Mar Inn, then packed into a van for the drive back to Alajuela and our last night’s stay at Hotel 1915. The return drive was picturesque but quiet, as we were left with our thoughts of the culturally-rich morning festivities and swift goodbyes. At least one of the children on our team was heard to say, “I’m sad to leave, I have a lot of friends here now”, and that was followed by “Daddy, we have to come back!” Such is the reward of serving others in an enchanting land of friendly people in need, not so far from our door. Perhaps, if we are fortunate enough we will get to serve them again!
Entry submitted by: Tom
Message of the Day – Rita: “Nothing is absolute. Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away.” – Frida Kahlo