Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Costa Rica Livin´!

Hellooo Everyone!

So first I would like to apologize. As you probably have seen the past few posts of mine have had many typos and I´m so sorry for that. During this program we have a lot of work and only about a half hour of free time a day so I write these posts very quickly and have not yet had time to proof read them. Ideally I would really like to proof read them but if I did, they would never get posted. Also, the keyboards are very different here so some of my typos are because of that. Anyways, hopefully they don´t get too much in the way of understanding and know that I will try to edit whenever I have the time.

First of all let me just explain a bit about the past few days. On July 2nd we crossed the border to Costa Rica to spend the weekend with the Nicaraguan leadership for the last time for a month. Sadly, on the morning of the 2nd I woke up really sick. I had a fever and a nasty stomach ache. I kept hoping that I would feel better but I only felt worse. I had a fever of 104 degrees while we had to walk a mile across the border carrying all of our bags. Luckily, the team carried most of my bags. But as you can imagine I felt like every ligament in my body was going to fall off. Let´s just say it was miserable. Then, we had a 2 hour fast and rainy bus ride to Liberia, Costa Rica. After medicine my fever only got higher. I was a little bit scared. But finally we arrived at the house we were staying in Liberia, Costa Rica. Marcela, Jana (the founder of the program)´s good friend and former GL volunteer, kindly let 12 of us stay at her house for 3 nights. This was such a comfort to me because it was furnished, there were no bugs, and and it was much cooler than in Nicaragua. I lot of funny, yet too personal of stories to put up here, about traveling while being so sick so maybe I´ll tell you at a different time.

Immediately when I arrived there she took me to the hospital. I have to say I was so delirious from my fever I do not remember much of this trip. I was told that there is a lot of animosity between Costa Ricans (Ticos) and Nicaraguans (Nicas). I was curious to see how much of this I would actually experience. And I saw it right away at the hospital. When I told the doctor that I had just come from spending time in Nicaragua immediately she made a disgusted face and said, "Oh. That explains your sickness. Nicaragua is full of germs and very dirty. Everyone gets sick when they go there". This is completely not true. Yes, it is flu season and a lot is going around, but its flu season in Costa Rica too. Also, supposedly the water is not drinkable in Nicaragua but a lot of the US volunteers were drinking it and were fine. So, it is clear to me that this was racism and not reality.

Sadly, there was a party to celebrate Global Learning´s 13th anniversity on Saturday night and I was too sick to attend! This was very sad for a couple of reasons, I would get to meet a lot of the founding team members and develop a stronger spirit for Global Learning. Another reason is because it was my last night with the Nicaraguan team. Luckily the next day I woke up feeling much better and got to say my goodbyes to everyone. Also, I will get to see them again at the end of the program when I go back to Nicaragua for the post-training. It was very sad for them to leave though. It literally felt like I was saying goodbye to part of my family. The rest of the day I felt a strange feeling of homesickness. Both for Nicragua the coutnry, and the people on the team. Even now I imagine I am hearing their voices. It is amazing how clsoe you can become to people in a such a short time. I made friendships that I know will last a lifetime and I cherish them so much. But, I am lightened to know that I will see them again in a month!

So, many times I have alluded to the fact that I have a lot of "work". So in this post I will try to actually elaborate on this work and what it has entailed. July 4th concluded our training period. Our training period included lots and lots of meetings. We focused on teaching pedagogy, multicultural training, children´s learning types, etc. We also were trained on how to leada group of volunteers since we are the leaders. We have to give the volunteers almost all of the training we received in one week instead of 3, so we have to know the material very well. Also, because this a growing and developing program we document all that we do so that it can be replicated in future years. So, a lot of our time is spent documenting as well. So, a typical day during training looked like this:

8:30 breakfast
9:30 cleaning
10:30-12:30 meeting
12:30-1:30 lunch
1:30-2:15 personal time
2:15-5:30 meeting
5:30-7:30 dinner
7:30-9:30 meeting
10:00 bedtime

I have learned SO much. So much about teaching, living with a large group in small spaces, leading, cleaning, how to delegate, how to stay positive in difficult situations, how to motivate children, how to work with an international group of individuals, and SO much more! And I think I feel ready.

So now, we have 4 days until the volunteers arrive and we have So much more work to do. We have to contact the schools and work with the teachers and pricipals to discuss the lessons and the times and dates that we should come in to teach. Prepare the in-coming volunteers, document, make visuals, set up the university (where we will be staying), make the lessons, plan the program weeks, etc. So that is the work that I will be doing until they arrive.

As of now we are staying in a cute little hostel called Posado del Tope in Liberia, Costa Rica. It very very nice! Ooops, I am running out of time so that is all I will tell for today.

I still miss you all a lot! Next post I will tell you more about Costa Rica, but I can tell I love it already!


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