The Highest of Distinction is Service to Others

Unknown forces conspired such that everyone had wanted pancakes for breakfast, and excellent pancakes were received. The breakfasts at the Mar Inn have been absolutely great for starting our days. After arriving at the CASEM building and meeting a few more of the artisans, we once again divided to tackle a variety of tasks. I was outside much of the time to assist Maikol, a student who showed up to represent his aunt, in the completion of a second coat of paint on some parts of the building. This allowed some of the other volunteers – Alicia, Josh, and Nicole – to participate later in the day in painting the olive green trim color onto the bottom of one wall without concern of the main color dripping onto it. More painting of the window grilles also was accomplished for the same reason. These three of my fellow volunteers stayed busy with a number of activities earlier in the day; I will not attempt a list. Sally and Kaye (Katy) I know assisted in rearranging some of the store displays; and their work succeeded in giving the front shopping area a nice, fresh appearance. Later they moved on to making additional progress on the t-shirt painting effort. Paul continued his work outside improving some of the wooden chairs for the CASEM restaurant. He also tackled modifying a wooden stand that is to be used now for displaying some cards in the store. Maggie, of course, checked in with us a number of times and continued being helpful as she has been throughout this trip.

Lunch and our break time sustenance deserve, as perhaps they do every day, special mention. The coffee we’re served on breaks here is so smooth (they say “suave” in Spanish) I can take it black, no problem. For lunch we had the typical Costa Rican dish of casado, to much general satisfaction, and which I personally have now tried in five different restaurants here and I still have not tired of it. In our afternoon break we were able to try something described as rice marmalade on a flat bread. The sweetness of the marmalade was appreciated, and I simply haven’t had enough to formulate a concept of the flavors besides “good”. After leaving CASEM for the day and then a break at the inn, we the volunteers all went to the local bat tour. It was confined to a modest space within a multi-use building, but our guide was good so I think we all enjoyed it. We finished out with some outstanding food and atmosphere in the Tramonti Italian restaurant. You might have thought us paid actors from the endorsements.

Entry submitted by: Randy

Message of the Day – Nicole: “The highest of distinction is service to others.” – King George VI

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