A Flavorful Tuesday
Today we woke up to another wonderful day in Costa Rica. So far the climate (knock on wood) has been very kind to us and we have adjusted to the heat really well. At times, it has even been breezy. You wouldn’t believe it but it seems that even in this climate we are always hungry and so we eat and keep on trying it all.
Food is very important in Costa Rica: it is one of the ways in which people say “I love you”. So this morning, we began with yet another amazing breakfast with “gallo pinto” (rice with black beans, onions and spices), scrambled eggs, little hotcakes, ham, fresh bread and fresh fruit.
Today we continued our work with La Lucha school. It is my second day at the school and I know that it will be a very emotional day for us on our last day there. La Lucha means “The Fight”, and this is also the name of the village. The inhabitants of La Lucha are indeed in a fight, a fight that has lasted 20 years for the village and 17 years for the school (since its foundation). You see, the original owner of many acres of land around their area was European and fled the country many years ago (for reasons not mentioned here). However, this fact left the people of La Lucha in limbo, because they can’t fully have proprietary rights and receive the final deed on their homes. The same goes for the school, which leaves the school vulnerable and in an irregular situation when it comes to receiving subsidies from the government. After knowing this, I feel that it has all the more meaning for our students to work in conjunction with the students of La Lucha.
Today our students made us proud: they primed walls, painted chain links and bars of a kitchen fence, moved very heavy posts to build the exterior fence and cleaned the grounds of the school by picking up trash (leaves, coconuts, etc). During recess we all played with the kids from La Lucha and frankly, it was really moving to see our teenagers play joyfully with the little kids. Despite the language barrier they bonded over soccer, freeze tag and other games and started to share their learning over teaching each other words in both languages.
At noon, we accompanied our students to have lunch with their Costa Rican homestay families. I believe they had a truly meaningful connection with each family. I took this photo below of our kids playing musical chairs in the yard. They truly had a great time.
In the afternoon, there was a short break in the river that was a prelude to visiting Jaime’s home for our ethnobotanist class. I truly loved it and most of the pictures of the post are from the time we spent with Jaime. He had a very fun class for our students full of surprises. Suddenly a seed, a plant or a leaf could be used for makeup, adornment, flavor or medicinal purposes. I truly believe our kids really enjoyed this visit with Jaime. We tasted many different fruits and plants learning to recognize oregano, lemongrass, cinnamon and starfruit amongst many others. Some of these fruits I had not ever seen in my life before!
In the evening, we had our activity lead my Randall on leadership personality types, which was very illuminating for all of us in understanding how we work as a team and what unique qualities each one of us brings to our group. It turns out that I am an idealist which might help explain why my blog is so long!
Hoping that you enjoy these,