“We must make certain that our path is connected with our heart”- Jack Kornfield

Well, as they say ¨”Another day, another dollar” or for us one could say “Another day, more surprises”. Little did we know that we had been spending each day with a barnyard full of animals…..details will follow.Breakfast this morning was OJ, coffee & pancakes and, in what seems like typical TICO weather, we experienced sunshine, clouds, and rain, each multiple times, in various combinations, and sometimes all at the same time. And that was just while we were eating breakfast. Then Nia past out hard hats which should have been a hint of things to come.At 8 oclock we all piled into “Galloping Gertie”, what seems like a totally springless van, and proceeded to bump and bounce down the road to San Rafeal (now I wouldn’t exactly say the wind was strong but the dust from the road was in front of the van instead of behind the van).At the work site Alex, the head of the local Development Association, again demonstrated his great organizational and managerial skills by having a short meeting with all volunteers both Global and local. Then we each got our assigments for the day. Don, Allen and Dick got the ‘cushy’ electrical work and Simone and Jean were given ‘hard labor’ in the Bull Ring tearing down the old bleachers to make way for new ones—-destruction before construction.The electrical job progressed well. Don, inspite of almost having to tie himself to the meter pole to keep from blowing away, managed to make all the connections at the incoming end of the electrical wiring. Allen and Dick struggled with the conduit and wire routing at the circuit box end but finally managed to get that completed and waiting for Don’s skills to make the wiring connections. Of course they had problems with the box ‘knockouts’ but today the knockouts were too small where yesterday the knockouts were too big. Who says Global Volunteers doesn´t offer a variety of experiences? Right now we are having a debate about who has to stand next to the circuit box tomorrow when we throw the power switch—Don or Alex?

Simone and Jean had some rough going trying to knock down the bleachers. The board had all been secured with nails that had been bent over after they came through the boards and at first they didn´t even have a crowbar. Fortunetly Adrania, a local volunteer, proved to be very handy with even basic tools and work stared moving along. It was very hard work but they kept at it all morning. Dick even went down to help after the electrical work eased up but he only managed to last 40 minutes before walking off saying something about ´lunch time´.It can´t go without saying that we had a wonderful group of community volunteers today. They worked really hard mostly helping dismantle the bleachers. They did a great job!Lunch today was a big plate of spagetti followed by the most wonderful rice pudding, and of course some more coffee.After lunch we all walked (or I should say waddled) down to the school for our teaching jobs. We started today with a joint session where Don played his harmonica and we all sang “My Clemintine”. Then we diveded up in our individual classrooms and spent the next 2 hours racking our brains trying to impart some of our English speaking abilities to our victims, I mean students. At 4 oclock we all emerged from our classromms mentally exhausted and wondering how teachers do this every day!!!

Today we had a special treat because after school we got to visit and tour a local coffee farm. Our host, Alejandro, explained that a group of local farmer, and now even ones in other countries, have banded together and are now by-passing all of the the middlemen and selling directly to the end-user. He also took us on a tour of the processing of coffee and of his father´s farm, a farm that was recently recognized by the United Nations.After the tour we were invited into the home for coffee and cookies with the entire extended family. We were also treated to more of Don´s harmonica playing and, as an encore, to all kinds of very realistic animal sounds….now that´s TALENT!About 6:30 we again piled into the van for another jaw jaring ride back to the hotel and a hot meal of rice and vegatables before retiring.A long but productive & interesting day.

– Dick

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