Sunday, June 23, 2013

New Friends

After two long weeks, Maria, the director of the house, decided to take our one resident into town and give the volunteers a day off. After contemplating a road trip to a volcano and hot springs, we decided to instead walk down the street to a hotel/pool/bar for the afternoon. For about six hours we hung out, swam at the pool, and enjoyed a drink as we relaxed and socialized as a group.

I have been really lucky meeting such a great group of individuals here at the house. The mix of cultures is very eclectic. I am definitely the odd man out so far as the exotic upbringing. Between Italy/Netherlands, Netherlands, Virginia/Germany/Netherlands, and Hawaii/California/Venezuela/Spain, my straight up North Carolina does not seem to be super exciting, but they still allow me to be part of the group anyway. I have really enjoyed getting to know each of them and finally a day without safe house duties really allowed us to get to know each other better. If we all survive the summer, then I will have to plan some more international travel to go visit people.

New things are always occurring at the safe house. We now have a music player which is exciting. Sadly, our resident picked out Rihana, Alejandro Sanz, and Wisin &Yandel, as the first three cds of the house. We will see how long these last until we all discover what the music lyrics are actually saying. Other new things include the new security camera system, DVD player, as well as, new study room tables allowing us leave the kitchen table for study time. Also, new and exciting, is the fact that two teachers from the states will be volunteering for a week. They are ESL teachers and are bringing new laptops and assessment tools for the girls. They will be good to talk to as I am curriculum planning and will also help with some of the daily school sessions as well. 

With only one resident, things are running very smoothly, and I have had time to work on various projects. Yesterday morning, I sent off letters to the Ministry of Education and the TIP coalition. Hopefully, we can sit down with the Ministry of Education soon to talk about a universal curriculum for the school system. For the high school curriculum, I am hoping to go volunteer in a local high school to get some more insight on how their classrooms work and what type of classes would be accepted in the schools. The TIP report is also very interesting and we are hoping to work closely with the US embassy to achieve some of their recommendations. The section on Costa Rica is page 139.

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