Thursday, May 17, 2012

Day 6 - Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Getting to know the local kids…and monkeys

This morning we went back to the school, and before getting to work, we had our students run through some English lesson plans that they had designed for some of the local students.  We split up into four teams that taught, respectively, animals, family members, numbers and simple arithmetic (in English), and alphabet.  Costa Rican students were split up by grade (3rd, 4th, and 6th grades) and rotated through our themes for 10 minutes each.   They did a really great job keeping the kids engaged and moving, and adjusting their activities for the age, and when they noticed that they weren’t working well.  Señora Monterroso was really glad to have the tables turned on the students for a while.  We then returned to the worksite to put primer on the cement fixtures of the slides and see-saws, and to keep working on the climbing net.  The school kids are already excited and using their playground equipment even as we were still working on them.  Many of them were also having their friends take pictures of them with us, the exotic visitors.

We finished at the worksite to go to the host family where the boys are staying for lunch, and took a tour of their land: yuca and plantains mostly for the family’s consumption, and some forested land where we reflected on the relationship between water conservation and the forests.  The father, Julio, mainly is an entrepreneur who makes furniture from recycled tires.  It is hard to explain, so you will have to check out the pictures.  The cool thing is that by using old tires, including big tractor tires, they are actually making a huge contribution to public health.  These tires, when discarded, collect water and become a significant breeding ground for mosquitos, and thus, for mosquito-borne illnesses.  The Ministry of Health has visited Julio’s workshop three times, and supports his efforts to get these tires out of anyplace they are dumped and into his hands to be recycled into patio furniture.  As we were touring the forested portion of the land, we were especially lucky to get visited by a big family (?) of capuchin monkeys and got to watch them play in the trees for quite a while.

And finally, all the kids are off to their final night with their homestay families, and they seem sad to say goodbye! Tomorrow we will finish final touches on the playground, then we transfer back to the Chilamate Eco Lodge for an afternoon tour of the rainforest by zipline!



CarolM said...

It all just sounds wonderful. Especially the monkeys. We're sure Annie was climbing trees with them! Glad to hear all is well. And now, Will Miller would like to send a message: Hey it's Will hope all is well, hey Annie where's my Happy Birthday?!?!?!

Dawn Hendry said...

Capuchin monkeys! How amazing! I bet you will be sad to leave your new families and friends. The playground sounds awesome too. Well done. And of course, the tires to furniture program is brilliant. Good for Julio. Well enjoy your final days, and we can't wait to see you soon! Love, Mom

Nicole Luskey said...

The playground looks fantastic and I hope you actually worked on it instead of just lying face-down in a puddle as the photos would suggest. Please take some pictures of Julio's furniture--it sounds so cool! We are counting the hours until you get home but are so happy you are having such a great adventure. Give our sincerest thanks to your host family. See you Sunday!

Nhung said...

Glad to hear, and looks like from the pictures, that you all are having an awesome time. The local kids seem like they are having fun too :-). The playground looks great. Rachel, enjoy the last few days of your adventures, we miss you and cant wait to see you. Love, Mom.

Martha Husain said...

Oh boy, ZIPLINING! Try to find out in advance whether the hand signals mean for keep coming really mean slow down. And maybe grab one of those capuchin monkeys to give you enough weight to go fast!

Maryam's dad and brother are leaving for Great Sand Dunes tonight. They can't wait to see you when you and they get back. I can't wait to be done running to REI yet again for something someone needs for their trip.

Waffles' cage was getting really dirty so we moved him to the other cage. He is having a great time running on the wheel. His skin seems better too. He bit Zara this morning. He was in an evil mood. I don't even come close to those wicked teeth.

If I am not at the airportat the right time, call me. Between dance rehearsals and the scout trip this weekend I can't keep anything straight.

Dawn Hendry said...

LOVE the pictures! Thank you Sara!

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