Starting a new service program in Sata.Elena: Special Ed class

MondayJournal Entry April 19, 2010 Monteverde, Costa Rica
Anna Mulessa

We were up and showered early and met for breakfast by 0800. Breakfast consisted of fresh fruit, scrambled eggs and cereal with coffee. Once done we heard from Amy the thought of the day and the journal reading was by Cliff. Cliff is a wonderful writer. When we completed the journal reading, Nia showed us a video on Global Volunteers 25th anniversary. I love what they stand for, “Wages peace one person at a time.”
Next we provided our “Effective Team Characteristics” and had our Spanish lesson by Nia. I learned how to enunciate the “LL” as a “J”, very difficult to remember. Next we caught our shuttle to “Centro Educativo Santa Elena” where we met Rita the special education teacher. Here we also met Bayron age 12 with CP, Naiseth age 3 with a form of autism and Alondra age 11 with Downs.
We all introduced ourselves and learned about one another. Alondra came and sat on my lap which took me by surprise. She sat on Suzy’s lap next, skipped Cliff and went to Amy next where she played a hand game. Next she sat on Gabby’s lap and then Karen’s. We also were introduced to the Head Master of the school and another lady who was the President of the school board.
We took to cleaning the walls, windows and dusting out the cobwebs. Everyone was so helpful. I helped Alexis measure the walls. He is the grandfather of Naiseth. Cliff was busy collaborating with Miguel who is Alondra’s father.
By 1230 we headed to the cafeteria where we had lunch that consisted of rice, beans, chicken and potatoes with a salad. The pear (Cas) juice was delicious. We also had the pleasure of dining with the school children who were very curious about whom we were.
At 1300 we were back to work. Gabby completed the removal of all the nails in one of the walls and from the back of the storage cubby. She also painted a box for the classroom next door with Kelly, Alondra’s sister.
At 1430, it was café time. We sat is a semi circle relaxing and enjoying the great conversation.. Amy made the coffee and it tasted great.
By 1500, we were back to work. Rita was able to find us a storage room on the school grounds and we took all the old stuff that didn’t belong in the classroom. This made her very happy. The bathroom was now cleaned of all the junk and we discovered there was a shower. We also found some unwanted fury little creatures that were some kind of spider. Alexis took great pleasure in saving the little creatures and took them outside. He had to stop and show Amy, who was standing on a chair and gave a little scream. Everybody laughed.
We closed the end of the day with Rita and Alexis who had their list of supplies to pick up at the hardware store. She was excited that she was going to have the colors she envisioned. She won the battle. Alexis does not like the colors she chose, Amarillo. Gabby had suggested painting the ceiling blue with clouds. Rita really liked the idea.
Our taxi arrived just as we walked out of the school gate where a security guard keeps track of who comes and goes. We stopped for Monteverde ice cream and were treated by Cliff and Amy. This was very refreshing.
We arrived back at our hotel and freshened up. We went to the hotel next door we sat out on the veranda. We had spectacular views of Santa Elena there. I had to take some pictures. We also met a lovely group of people from Boston. They had to cancel their trip to Europe due to the volcano eruption in Iceland and chose to come and see Costa Rica.
We headed back to our hotel for dinner of beef, rice and veggies. I tried this wonderful Tamerind sauce, salsa Lizano. I think I will be taking a few bottles home with me. Yum! We had great conversation and ended the evening. I think we were all very tired and needed to rest up for the following day. A lot of hard work but it was fun.

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