Costa Rica Blog: Day 5

Today was a great and productive last day of our service in Nuevo Arenal! The day started off overcast and rainy but turned into a wonderful hot day.

After breakfast we broke up into our two groups once again and went on our service projects for the day.

One group went to a local 300 acre farm and planted lots of fruit and vegetable seeds and pineapples. This local farm is owned by an author in Vermont and run by a local caretaker named Jorge. As it was told to us every time the author sells or publishes a book he buys seeds and sends them to the caretaker of his farm. All the food grown here goes straight to the members of this small community. So while we were there we planted lots of little tiny seeds... tomato, cilantro, squash, peppers, and even some pineapple. Our kids even got to sample a taste of freshly picked Sweet Pepper and Panama Pepper, which we realized was very hot! After we finished, we went to his neighbors house, Diphelia, which was about a 25 minute walk through the beautiful terrain of Costa Rica. She lost her family to a mud slide a few years back and ever since then has greeted and hosted groups for a delicious home cooked meal complete with homemade tortilla chips. Afterwards we met the other group at the Mata de Cana school where we were yesterday.

While one group was reforesting and farming the other group was doing the projects that were started yesterday. Before the two groups joined together about 1:30 this group taught the local students how to play “red light, green light” game and completed many projects: cleaning out and painting a supply closet, cleaning out and painting the serving area of their cafeteria, painted some benches and desks, completed the hop scotch, and continued their work on the mural.

When we joined groups at 1:30, we were able to complete the second coat of yellow paint in the front wall of the school, did the first coat of paint on the side of the school, and completed the mural. With outstanding teamwork and focus all of these projects were completed by 3:30.

We competed our day with a picturesque picnic dinner on Lake Arenal. This was our last day of service of the week as tomorrow we make our way back to San Jose to prepare for our journey back home.

Mr Gilpin