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We Are So Fortunate to See This Part of the World Now

29The day started off with a good discussion over desayuno about trip and team expectations, concerns, and appreciation. We then rushed off to CASEM to start the work day.

The paper bag making assembly process was almost perfected. The thought, workmanship, and time put into making each individual bag makes you stop and think how many times we could reuse our paper bags back in the States before we finally throw them away. May I posit that we do not use them enough.31

The same goes for chairs. When you use a machete and sandpaper to strip and sand a chair created  by hand from coffee bean trees and other trees, you realize the workmanship that is so often forgotten in the States is alive and well, sometimes due to creativity, other times due to necessity.

It’s also a worldwide similarity that a coat of fresh paint can do a world of difference. The repainted exterior of CASEM brightens up the corner of this world.

Let’s hope so, because for some of the women artisans, it seems that CASEM is a real beacon of hope and change. We keep hearing stories of women who have overcome lives filled with domestic violence and poverty through their involvement with CASEM. When we are out in the community and mention our work with them, we have received an overwhelming positive response. Their biggest obstacle now seems to be that many of the artisans come from further away, as locals can find work in the burgeoning tourist industry – and with that, fewer younger women are involved as well. How will things further change if and when the road from the coast is widened and paved? More prosperity or more problemas? We are so fortunate to see this part of the world now.

Enough for the philosophical ruminations.

Lunch today, a pasta primavera with shredded chicken was awesome!! Many of us went for seconds. It ranked up next to the chicken soup.

And the evening foray to the frog pond was really enjoyable. Some really really flipping adorable ranas!

Entry submitted by: Alicia

Message of the Day – Randy: “Let your soul be your pilot.” – Sting

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