26 Mar

Friday started off well. 5:20 alarm, cool morning, and a hot shower! Rather than shower hopping, I picked my favorite shower and would run the water until the hot water stopped (about 2 minutes). Then I’d wait for the motor to rest, and repeat. It was brilliant… and it only took me the entire week to figure out.

After having gallo pinto for breakfast, the Insights headed off to our last day of work at our placements. Tired from the week and, perhaps, coming to terms with the fact that it was our last day with the kids, we still finished the laundry rather quickly even though people drifted about. Once blouses and pants spanned every inch of clothes-line, Jackie, Maria Paula, and I went to work washing the downstairs windows. Armed with a bucket of water and some newspaper, we wiped away the dust and grime that had accumulated. Francesco and Andrew took over cleaning the upstairs windows and even drew a crowd of adoring fans. Jose and Andre insisted upon helping out and playing too.

Of course, we had arts & crafts time with the usual favorites: paper towel rolls and assorted paper, markers, crayons, glue, and scissors. Jose made a cardboard short staff out of the rolls while the rest of the kids were content to draw and make 3D paper houses. The creativity was soaring. It was inspiring to see what everyone could make out of a single piece of paper.

At 11 or so, I took Jose and David to pick up Casey and Lucy from school. Jose led the way there and back, but made sure to stop at a little shop to pick up a some Ben trading cards – 10 for 100 colones. Both Jose and David were preoccupied with the new cards, so I held Casey and Lucy’s hands as we walked back to Dona Melba’s since neither of them had yet developed a healthy fear or awareness of the cars whizzing by us.

While I was out picking up Casey and Lucy, Maddie had taken Caesar to a parade… none of the Insights were really sure what that meant – other than the fact that she wasn’t with us when we sad our goodbyes, or rather hasta el proximo tiempo (until next time) and pura vida (pure life/full of life). It was bittersweet.

Lunch at the homebase was a bit of a surprise- spaghetti and garlic bread! Maybe this was their way of spicing up the usual rice and beans. It was a great meal, if not a bit anticlimactic for some people’s last lunch in Costa Rica.

After eating, I took a walk to the nearby city of San Rafael in order to mail some postcards and pay the $26 departure tax (paid in either USD, CRC, or with a VISA credit card) at one of the national banks: Banco Nacional, Banco de Costa Rica, or Bancredito. A traveler can also pay the tax at the airport, but I didn’t want to risk missing my flight because of waiting in line.

Once I had meandered around San Rafael for a while, I took a short nap and then headed out for my last walk around Cartago before dinner. There was a lot going on in the streets. People were setting up Stations of the Cross at their homes and a folk festival and parade was being put on at the Basilica and the ruins, which must have been a continuation of what Maddie took Caesar to earlier in the day.

I watched the parade start, but had to run back to the homebase to make it in time for 6:30pm dinner. It was worth the extra effort to get there on time, because we had olla de carne (pot of meat), a special Costa Rican dish: a big pot of soup with large chunks of meat, potatoes, yuca, chayote (a local pear-shaped vegetable) and other hearty vegetables. Even with such an awesome meal, Jackie (a fellow Insight) and Sarah (a Core volunteer) wanted something more… pizza.

Sarah, having been in Costa Rica for 6 weeks already, was familiar with the local pizza place down the street. We went there via an alternate route because there was a procession of people walking the Stations of the Cross that I had seen earlier. Had my camera not run out of batteries during the parade, I’d have taken some pictures of the candle lit streets and beautiful altars people made outside their homes.

Some people went out to Sunset, the local hot spot in Cartago… there’s only one apparently. I opted to stay at the homebase to paint my hand and continue working on my lanyard. It was a sound decision considering the fact that I had no “nice” clothes or money anyways. Hasta el proximo tiempo.

☼ Domingo (I found Jesus…) ☼ Lunes ☼ Martes ☼ Miercoles ☼ JuevesViernes


2 Responses to “Viernes”

  1. matt March 28, 2009 at 11:34 am #

    This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

  2. V March 28, 2009 at 4:11 pm #

    Thanks Matt, hope you are having a wonderful day!

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