Tina narrates friday’s service program and personal weekend activities

Our day began as usual with a lovely breakfast at our hotel and reading of the prior day´s journal plus the quote of the day. We discussed how our teaching was going and compared notes from our prior evening of prep work. The day was cloudy, rainy and overcast and falling before the holiday weekend affected the turnout for work. Several people once again, but not as many as had worked together on Thursday. Xinia continues to be the unofficial jefe who helps direct the work of the group that is present each day. A new San Rafael friend, named Nidia, worked with Rachel and I on cleaning the exterior of the school building, including a thorough scrubbing of the concrete which was covered in many layers of mud and dirt. We wished for a power sprayer, but got along with elbow grease, brushes and enthusiasm instead. Taylor was once again at the rock pile, wheel barrowing and also again working on moving dirt and leveling ground. We also worked hard to clean the drainage area in front of the school. Rachel and Tina crossed the barbed wire fence with shovels in hand to dig a deeper trench to allow water to drain away from the school. It was one of our dirtiest jobs and most physically demanding. As always, Taylor was a big help, wheel barrowing away the final load of rock and soil. Due to the wet and cold morning break featured coffee along with tamales left from the prior day and a hearty lunch was served as well. As we finished our San Rafael day a bit early to allow the local folks time to prepare for the holidays, Rachel, Tina and Taylor spend extra afternoon hours preparing our English lesson materials.


The holiday weekend was a joy for the team of Taylor-Rachel-Tina, as we enjoyed the arrangements Giovanni made for us to hike at the Arenal Volcano and to dine and relax at Valdi Hots Springs on Saturday. The bus-boat-bus trip is lengthy, but fascinating and the Hotel cabinas at La Fortuna were superb…what a lovely landscaping job at that establishment and a very nice restaurant with very kind staff. After Christmas morning breakfast at the hotel, we bus-boat-bussed back to Monteverde on a truly sunny & beautiful day, arriving in time for another fine meal at Mar Inn before dashing off to the Canopy Tour. Although Nia discouraged us from the zipline, we couldn´t resist and the three of us found the experience thrilling! At evening time, we welcomed our newest volunteer, Janet, to the group and shared a lovely Christmas evening meal together. An unconventional holiday for us, but a very memorable one!
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