Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Time Between

Seeing as though I was inbetween jobs for a little over a week... I took some time to be with some girlfriends of mine. Needless to say, we all needed a vacation, so we hit the beaches in Manuel Antonio and Matapalo. It was so good to be among friends.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Small Explanation

An explanation for this detour in my Journey. 

Many of you have been following my Adventura in the Cuerpo de Paz. These past six months have been aligned with growth, beauty and experience. However, for various reasons beyond my control I had to leave my community in Limón. 

There is such a mix of emotion that plays into this semi-rare experience. Expectations that have now become changed and transfered into engaging in a experience, a new community. The chance to start over, try different strategies, a newfound sense of knowing what I am actually doing. When i was first placed in Limón, I had not a clue what it would be like to be thrown into a community, to be a Community Development Worker, who works sustainably to strengthen community groups and associations, work in education and capacitation, and organizational development and training... In all honesty, it almost hurts me, tal vez be pride, to admit that this new community and opportunity to start new was a breath of fresh air amongst the trials I had faced with my community in Limón. There are many that I am truly sad to have to say goodbye to. 

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. I believe I have just been given the gift of breathe... I can finally feel like I can breathe. Something I was not aware of when I did not have it, but a gift that I have recently discovered that I was given when I received it. Which I should be thankful, its not usually the case... You usually notice something when its missing, when its been taken away... So I will savor the breathe that has so extraordinarily been given to me. 

You may ask... What do I think I gained by this little spectacle, do i believe that someone might have been trying to show me something or allow me to grow through this whole experience, that otherwise might be seen as just a waste of time... Did I grab anything from it... Well, after careful thought and reflection, I can honestly say that I know now what I have in my community, the beauty they offer... amidst a background of struggle. It is a new light shed upon the situation... For example, my new community has been insanely supportive, friendly and welcoming, this was not necessarily ever the case in Limón. Maybe... just maybe this is a small anecdote to help me throughout the next year and nine months ahead of me... Some perspective if you will.

Anyways, about my new site. 
I have been in my new site for about ten days. Its beautiful, the perfect place to learn photography, views from our mountainous hills of the Gulf of Nicoya, on a clear day Volcano Arenal, and on a very very clear day I have heard you can see Lake Nicaragua. A community of 270 people full of the distinct and proud Guanecastecan culture, amongst cafétales, ganaderos y nuestro propio agrícultura... Lines of coffee are grown, we produce leche for ourselves and for Monteverde´s very own Cheese Factory, not to mention we grown and are so proud to be agricultors of much of our own vegetables and fruits. 

My town is beautiful, the people are overly beautiful, and I have truly been overwhelmed by their welcoming kindness. Its refreshing. 

Lets see... My living situation is that I am living with my new Mother, 63 and newly widowed... I am sure its super interesting having a new young daughter in the house after so many years, but we do keep each other company. Thats not to say that I dont have my 11 older siblings that live to far and always stop by along with many nieces and nephews. Its a nice set up... However, I do recognize that I have yet to experience life outside of this honeymoon phase. For now I am and will try to remain content.

In the community, there is much to do...  I am new so I am still learning how things work, our strengths and weaknesses, resources and setbacks... But so far I have been busy knocking on doors, cafecitos, interviews and holding meetings - meeting and getting to know the people. Meanwhile Im loving it. 

As far as projects, my first is that i agreed to be the new English Teacher at the school... Never thought I would make such a commitment right off the bat, but I have this oddly good feeling about it. And the 27 kids in my school and general community, truly need the english to get descent jobs in Monteverde, this is a huge economic drive for this community, as it is in much of Costa Rica... Which leads me to the ideas that i have about what is tourism and globalization and what does that do to the culture and the people of the rest of the world. But thats the big picture and this is the real life of these people. Needless to say, there is so much to think about... always is... But one of the beautiful things is that my community is largely untainted by the visible effects of tourism... for at least the time being... And i will do my best to support its development in such a way that supports and provokes a recognition of the beauty of indigenous Costa Rica and culture.  

Its a beautiful thing. 

For now... I will relish in the beauty that is anew. New breathe, life, challenges and triumphs to look forward to... 

Change of Plans - Part One.

My School where I'll be teaching...
The youngest group of kids ill be teaching...

Salon Comunal.
The Catholic Church.
The Beauty in which i now live. 
The valley.

Trip to The Santa Elena Reserve.


Carablanca Monos.

Its always been my dream to see one.