Sunday, June 7, 2015

Relaxation Time

We did manage to fit in some time  for relaxing or "play" at night or for a short time in the afternoons. There were card games,checkers, reading, and even some musicians.

New Friends!

Throughout our time working at the Chilamate School, the boys made friends with many of the children. Our language barriers did not make a difference in making friends. 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

We are in the USA!

We just landed in Atlanta. We will keep you posted on our final flight. We have some excited boys!

Students are on their way home!

Hello family and friends of PDS - Costa Rica! The group is en route home and flights look on time! Thank you for your trust and support of the program!! 

Delta 895 SJO to ATL Jun 6, 2:10 PM - 8:15PM
Delta 31 ATL to MEM Jun 6, 10:05 PM- 10:27PM

Erin Hawk
Director of Operations 

Wesley and the Tree Frogs - Great Costa Rican Race

Members of the team "Wesley and the Tree Frogs" were: Walter, Kyler, Hayes, Captain- Wesley, and Navigator- Harrison. The  Great Costa Rican Adventure Race began with the "Broccoli Race"- being tied together with masking tape ,holding a balloon, and having to move from point A to point B. They worked together to reach point B first and were off to their first destination - the river to capsize a boat! With life jackets on, in the river they went. Working together as a team, they succeeded in record time!

On to another station to milk a cow! I think we might have some future farmers amongst the group!

The next task they completed was to learn how to Salsa dance! 

The final station was to learn to make tortillas! And of course, eat them!
What a great afternoon! The boys helped each other in each task, cooperated fully with one another, and encouraged each other throughout! But the best action they demonstrated was at the end of each task- they always thanked each family and staff member at the station!

Rafting and Packing

This morning we enjoyed rafting down Rio Sarapiqui. We were able to jump off a cliff into the water. Along the way, we saw howler monkeys and various bird species.  Since we were in the water, we couldn't take cameras.  But, we bought pictures from the rafting company and will be able to share those when we return.   

This afternoon we have been packing. Parents, get ready for the smelliest bags of clothes to return!

Walking by this clothesline will sour the stomach!  

We are excited to return home tomorrow. We will keep you updated on the travel itinerary.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Day 6: Finishing Strong!

This blog post was written by Wesley, Duncan, Kyler, Brooks, and Winston.

Today was our last day at the Chilamate School, where we were encouraged to work our hearts out. First, we played some soccer, in which the students are very talented. Anderson, one of the Chilamate students, scored a winning goal for us!

After soccer we started the jobs; one group painted and cleaned beams, while another group put cement on one of the supports. This method succeeded in achieving us lots of progress in our project and was a good way to end strong. 

After all the jobs were over, some of the kids performed a folk dance for us. They brought us ice cream as a snack while they did it. Then they asked us to dance with them! Immediately after we all danced, we got up and sang Eagles Wings from graduation. Over all, this work at Chilamate school was a very fun and tiring process.

It was very hard to say goodbye to the kids. 

Our afternoon activity was The Amazing Race.  It was a series of challenges that each one of the three groups had to perform. We were rewarded after each challenge with a number of rubber bands; one was the worst, two was second worse, and three was the best. The first event we did in the adventure race was the broccoli race where we tape ourselves together and get a balloon and blow it up. If our tape broke or you let go of the balloon you would have to start all over again with the same balloon, which you had to hold with one hand the whole time until we got to the end of that race, which was only ten meters long. 

In our Adventure race we had a total of four PCs, which in real adventure races mean passport control. The first PC (PC-1) was taped onto a house where we met a lovely lady who led us to a shed behind her house, in which we had to milk a cow and fill a cup up with milk up to a marked line. I think this was a fun way to see what life is like for them because that could be a kid’s chore. 

PC-2’s task involved flipping over an inflated raft while it was in the lake, which took lots of teamwork and good leadership to succeed. 

The activity at PC-3 was making tortillas out of dough and cooking them. We got to eat them after they had been cooked, and they were very tasty. 

During the last PC, PC-4, we were taught to Salsa dance. In this activity a lady was dancing to a song track that was playing, and we followed along and tried to do what she did. She was a very good dancer, and it was hard to keep up at times. Although we made huge fools of ourselves, no one said anything because we were having fun.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Cooling Off in the River!

After a hot day in the sun working, what would be better than a swim in a river with cold mountain water? According to the PDS boys, nothing! (Except maybe an ice cold coke!)
Boys were floating in the inner tubes!
Boys were just swimming and having splas-fests!

Some enjoyed digging in the mud.
Some just enjoyed being buried in the mud.

Day 5 Continues!

We were immersed into the local Costa Rican culture this afternoon for lunch! With us divided into four groups, each group spent an hour visiting with and dining with a family living in the area of Buena Vista. Each family opened their home to us, made us a meal, and shared information about their lives. Each group was served delicious food. Each family served their group true Costa Rican food- rice and beans. With the rice and beans some boys were served more American - type entrees such as hamburgers, fried chicken, or even a French fry! 
Duncan, Collin, and Brooks spent time with a sweet lady named Diga. She is a great grandmother and is about 80. After serving them a delicious meal, she played soccer with the boys! And she was super! ( I would have her on my team any day!!!)

A few of the thoughts of all of our boys on this experience:
•Their lives are very different from ours, but they are very happy.
•One family built a soccer team in their field for the entire neighborhood to use.
•One family had a well for water right in their kitchen. They hooked the bucket to a rope and lowered the bucket down to get fresh water.

•The families had flat screen TVs , iPhones, and refrigerators.
•They were a close knit community, always talking to their neighbors. 
•All of the families were very glad to open their home to us! They treated us as family!

Fifth Day of Fun in Costa Rica

UThis section of our blog has been compiled by Mrs. Creasman's group- Harrison, Walter, Webb, and Collin.

Our work at the Chilamate School continued today with everyone participating in a new job. Today a few of the boys from the Chilamate School worked alongside of us. It was a lot of fun. Some of the boys dug up rocks to place behind a retaining wall as reinforcement. Some of the rocks were carried in buckets by one person or if it was very heavy two boys worked together to carry the bucket to its destination. 

We also had boys carry larger rocks by themselves. 

Walter worked with a boy from the school that tried to teach him Spamish as they were working. He would point to objects around the area and tell Walter the Spanish word for that object.
Another group of boys painted the inside and outside of metal beams. 

A third group of boys resurfaced a concrete base. First they applied three layers of plaster using "spatulas" and spreading the plaster horizontally.

The last step was to smooth out the plaster with their hands. (I see a lot of DIY projects in their future!)