Friday, July 1, 2011

The Final Day as the Costa Rica Crew.

Today was the final day for the Costa Rica Crew, and was filled with relaxation and excitement. We started the day refreshed, having woken up an hour later, and visited the school one last time for their end of school festivities. Unfortunately for the kids, they only have a 2 week break until school restarts, but they were just as happy anyways. We played many games including musical chairs, limbo, and the always popular fútbol. Everyone enjoyed dancing to the music and spending time with the kids. The young girls and boys especially had fun climbing on our backs to have “rides” across the soccer field. Although we were tired by this, the kids never lost their energy. When our home stay families arrived, the 7 students gathered to sing “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Even though we were poorly rehearsed, we enjoyed singing to the kids, and I think they had some fun too. After the performance, Vince made a short speech to the school to express our gratitude towards the San Rafael. He included “Ustedes son increíbles” which appropriately voiced our view of the school. It was hard to sum up how much we’ve learned and enjoyed our experience at the San Rafael School, but the trip was definitely enlightened by the people we met and grew close to. The remaining time at the school was filled with horsing around with kids and eating treats. It was an ideal end to all of the Costa Rica Crew’s hard work.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Last Full Day of Work

The last full day of work at the San Rafael School for the Costa Rica Crew started out with numerous small jobs getting us closer to the completition of our work. Some members put some finishing touches on the classrooms built last year with primer and paint. Others cleaned up the concrete mess created by the new wheel chair ramp and drainage system outside of the new classrooms. Meanwhile chisel-abbed studs like Vince and Ryan  chiseled away concrete and dirt to make way for the drainage pipe from the bathroom.   After a delightful snack of fresh pineapple, papaya, sandwhiches, and quesadillas, the crew enjoyed a lovely game of soccer on the rocky pitch before heading back to work.  In the hour before lunch, the crew touched up the bathroom with primer and paint. After a delicious lunch of rice, beans, egg, and tomatoe, the crew returned to the pitch for some more footie. Soon after, a truck arrived with the long-awaited "tiny toilet" for the bathroom. The Crew then continued to work on the bathroom with primer and paint. Later, Javier, Vince, and I boarded "Guillermo" or "Gill" (our big white van) and headed to the hardware store in San Marcos. There we picked up various supplies for the bathroom in addition to tastfully picking out the tile for the bathroom floor and wall. When we arrived back at the school, we wrapped up a few projects and headed home for the day.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

And yet another work day in Costa Rica! Today a lot of tasks were completed, the bathroom walls are all up and the pipes are almost all put together. Today Mrs. Bauer and I worked on planting grass so that the kids can have a “nice pitch” (as Hale Ross would say) or a nice soccer field. I have been doing a lot of the painting and I finished my butterfly today. The constructer we have is so great, he is so fast at building and really has talent. He even had this shirt on that said “Dad, with a few loose screws” this shows he likes to construct. So as far as working we are making great headway. Later after working as a group we will visit the High School and also take a tour of the coffee shop. This coffee shop is so good and if you watch my video from today it will explain why this coffee shop is amazing. Today has been a great day!
Paintings by Mrs. Bauer and Clare on outside of classroom

Paintings by Javier and Clare

Current state of the bathroom inside the kindergarten classroom

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

San Rafael Construction Day 4

When the Costa Rica crew arrived at the school today, both children and teachers weren’t there. The teachers were on a strike and only the cleaner and lunch lady came to the school. Therefore, we worked without noisy kids around, and no one to play soccer with during the breaks. We started building the bathroom for the first time while others finished painting the inside of classrooms. In the bathroom area, we cleared the tile floor and began building the wall for the bathrooms. Some of us also finished painting the outdoor drawings. We also dug some channels to make room for the outdoor pipe. After the days hard work, we finished with a few group activities. They consisted of passing hoola hoops around a circle of 7 of us holding hands. Then, we also played a game called key touch; where each of us had to touch randomly scattered numbers from 1-20 and back down to 1. We ended the day by going to the Coffee shop and drinking some of the most delicious coffee.

Ryan's Birthday

Last night we celebrated Ryan's 15th birthday at one of our homestays. Along with the majority of our homestay families, we enjoyed empanadas that we had made followed by dinner, a huge cake, a pinata and games of cards and billiards. Feliz Cupleanos Ryan!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Day 8 of the Costa Rica trip started at 7:00. After eating breakfast, each group was picked up from their homestay family and taken to San Rafael School. Our mission for the day was to finish filling in the septic tank ditch with rocks and dirt. To our dismay, the drainage pipe we had painstakingly constructed was layed at a bad angle. After picking away the concrete, we reset the pipes and admired our finished work. After a quick snack of bread, mango slices and watermelon, we resumed work on the ditch. Our strategy was to transport a large pile of rocks into the ditch in order to lay the foundation for a septic tank drainage system. Once we had completed this, we began filling in the ditch by shoveling dirt and small rocks into it. After an hour, we took a quick break to play a game of soccer with the school children. After our game of Fifa, we returned to see a large machine finishing our work. We left the ditch to eat delicious lunch of rice, beans, eggs, and pasta. Full from lunch, we played another round of soccer with the surprisingly physical school children. As the daily thunderstorm set in, we retreated inside to paint one of the class rooms. All in all, a good day of work and play.

- Nick Blake

                                             Students admiring the power of machinery.

Videos from Friday & Saturday