Sustainability & Civic Engagement

We spent the last few days working on the “study”in our study abroad. We visited an organic coffee farm, the teenage pregnancy center, and a rural school. We also attended a lecture on globalization in Latin America.

  
  

Lexi left her camera unattended and we left her a surprise for later 🙂


  
    

Yesterday we had a few hours free. Hmmmm…what do you do with a gaggle of girls and some free time? Go to the mall 🙂

 Profe! What’s with that face?

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Hicimos Amigos Nuevos

Yesterday was a great day as well.  We traveled to Barrio Mercedes in order to spend time at the Instituto Naccional de Aprendizaje where we visited college students who are learning English.

Here are Krystin and Knight meeting some new friends.

We spent some time helping them practie their English with icebreaker games.  It was a lot of fun and their English was very good.

The last part of our visit had the students in small groups dicussing global issues.  Then we all got back together to share what we learned in our groups and generally from each other.  The morning went very quickly.   Las Chicas Fuertes exchanged facebook invites with some of thier new friends and a quick photo before we left.

In the afternoon we had a lecture on Tico nutrition and traditional foods and then Odie  graciously opened her home to us for an empanada lesson.


We made empanadas from both maiz y plantanos.  Here are the plantain, bean and cheese empanadas waiting to be cooked.


Just for the record, Knight did not help prepare the empanadas, but found his way to the corn empanadas stuffed with vegetables and chicken once they were done.

Here is what knight was doing while the ladies were having their cooking lesson – watching telenovelas with his new friend Oso Azul.  Such a rascal he is!

¡Pura Vida! 
 

Exploramos Atenas

We spent most of our day learning the area we will call home for the next week.

  

We started our morning with a visit to the fresh market.  We had  list of things en Espanol to find, describe, and ask the vendors the cost of.  As you can see, Knight took a selfie break in the middle of our scavenger hunt.

When we returned to the center of town, we went out to explore the local businesses that surrounded the park and the school.  We made special note of where the ice cream shop was for later this afternoon.  I promised Knight he could have un cono de guanabana.  

It sure was a busy morning.  After all that caminando, we had our first clase de Espanol.

Between all the scavenger hunts and language learning, we worked up an appetite!  At noon we set off to el Mercado Municipal and had lunch at a local “soda.” Sodas are small family run shops that specialize in a local dish called casado. Casado translated literally means married.  In terms of the dish, it represents a mix of several foods. The plate came with rice, beans, plantanos, salad, a choice of meats, and chayote – a squash-like vegetable.  All that for the equivalent of $4.  Very tasty.

After recovering from our food coma, we attended Odie’s lecture on Healthcare and Education in Costa Rica.  It was muy  interesante to learn about how they differ from our systems.   The last stop for our group adventure was the ice cream shop across the park.

Well off to pack an overnight back for tomorrow’s adventure.  We leave bright and early for Volcano Poas and then Braulio Carrillo National Park.  Sunday sounds fun too, with ziplinging (on my bucket list – che-check) and white water rafting.

!Nos vemos!

Hola de Atenas

Day one was long but also a blur.  Here we are at the New Bern airport waiting for our 6 am flight yesterday.  We had a 2 hour layover at the Atlanta airport from there.

As you can see, we appointed Knight keeper of the luggage.  We then took advantage of the down time and had some airport breakfast.  The flight from Atlanta to San Jose was 4 hours, but uneventful.  I will say the line to enter the country was impressive though.  It took us a hour from landing to make it through immigration and customs.

Odie and her hijo Esteban were waiting for us, and then whisked us away towards Atenas.   Odie and her family were generous hosts and opened their home to us upon arrival.  Her husband prepared a lunch feast for us.
As you saw ayer, the ladies enjoyed the pool for a while as we waited to meet a new friend Lexi.  Lexi is from Charlotte, NC and will be joining us in our itinerary for the next 8 days.  So I will have a small gaggle of chicas to explore Costa Rica with this week.

We spent the rest of the afternoon in an orientation meeting going over our itinerary and some general information on Atenas and our host families.  Entonces, it was off to meet our families!  The rest of the evening was spent getting to know our host families. I am staying with a young family near the center of town.  Luis is a beekeeper and Dixi is a college student studying to be a pharmacist.  They have a 7 year old hija, Tracy and dos perros. Their puppy has not gathered the courage to meet me yet, but their snauzer Pele and I became fast friends.  I love a scruffy little dog with bushy eyebrows.

Well, I am still getting used to the 2 hour time difference.  I woke up this morning at 3:45 am.  The sliver lining to that is that I have plenty of time to catch up on my posts.  I can’t wait to meet mi chicas and here about their familias tambien. Today we start off with an immersive Spanish lesson in the farmers market.  Afterwards we will explore Atenas, have almuerzo in a local soda and then spend the afternoon learning about Costa Rican health, education, and environment.

¡Hasta Luego Amigos!

Llegamos en Costa Rica!

We made it!  It was an uneventful journey from New Bern, NC this morning, through Atlanta and finally arriving in San Jose.  Odie and her family are spoiling us already with a delicious lunch and some lounging around the pool.

Pura Vida!

Chair of Social Science, Humanities,
& Foreign Languages

Liberal Arts & University Transfer
Craven Community College

800 College Court
New Bern, NC 28562
Email: bellaceroc@cravencc.edu
Phone: 252.638.7328
Fax: 252.638.3231

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