I am doing a few weeks of voluntary work at an environmental learning centre in Central America. For gardening and teaching some local women some felting and other textile crafts, and to update the centre's website. It is a very interesting place, and the programmes are quite impressive. There are 8 volunteers here I think, two of us are twenty nine, and the rest are in their early to mid 20s.
The website does better justice to the huge undertaking this has been: http://www.learningcentercostarica.org/
This is from 4 years ago
My 25 year old daughter Erin and I are leaving for New Zealand on November 15 from Toronto, Ontario Canada. She hopes to find enough money to attend university in Wellington after Christmas: we shall see how that works out.
We will be meeting lots of relatives on my father's side for the first time! We are very excited to meet everyone first,(who looks like whom? How else are we similar?) then see what everyday life as a KIWI is like.. with some side trips thrown in too.
I am really looking forward to the days being longer than up here in the northern hemisphere this time of year.
February 10th 2010
Visit One: Monday of this week. This is my last week here, and Gerardo asked his friend Rudolpho to take us on a tour for free. The only way they could do it was on his day off, so we thanked him repeatedly once we realized that that was the situation. We saw the labs and library, etc. and only a few minutes in the forest. I wanted to go back for a proper 3 hour tour of the rainforest. Today, I went. Post more pix later, have to dash again. Tomorrow is my last day. I asked to please not go out as planned, but have choc. cake at lunch and NO SPEECHES. That way everyone can have some and not cost much. Off to Minerva's. I am STARVING after hiking 3 hours in the ... read more
February 5th 2010
We went through a bit of deceit to get them.... read more
February 4th 2010
First, hello out there to my fellow volunteers Leah and Heidi, (unfortunately for them, it's an accident of birth) , NOT Canadians, who have been plagued with curiosity about what I was putting in my blog. By the way, I'm glad you have such appreciation for nuance and subtlety in language use, including the above GEM. Just consider this as Vocabulary Enrichment. Hi, Heidi's Mom!! Glad you are enjoying my blog! Guess this is my 15 minutes of fame. And back to my casual observations of life in the (rocky, poorly paved, dangerously driven-on) Slower Lane, and reports of Daily Happenings. Of late, I have been involved in many computer tasks such as trying to download videos about what to do with the friggin' felting needles when they do arrive. IF they arrive. And I am ... read more
January 29th 2010
At Minerva's her entire family (7 kids +spouses +children) are coming for a big surprise party for her daughter who is getting married. When Vladimir got home he told me his brother Robert will be arriving later in the evening with 2 goats. My stomach lurched. It wouldn't be for the milk,.. So I had some supper and there was Minerva's little granddaughter Hemena. She is between 2 and 3 I'd say. Beautiful curls and lots of talk. She is Robert's daughter. And his wife was there too. Don't know her name yet. After supper I went to read my camera manual a bit in my room with the doors just pulled together when there was a huge commotion outside, the arrival of a truck. About 5 minutes later a lot of squealing. Not human. I ... read more
January 28th 2010
Plenty hot but today we have lovely breezes cooling our office. The mornings are so cheerful, bright dappled sunlight in the garden around the Learning Centre. It was my turn to cook yesterday, and I remember my first turn, when I was attempting to open a can of something. I had to dig out my big perennial garden knife I brought with me, as it has huge pointy ends on it. My Tico friend Kattia helped with that, as I am a bit out of practice in safely gouging out a hole in the top of a can. We all suggested that a can opener be ordered, and Kattia said we'd have to give lessons to the Costa Rican women who give the cooking classes on how to operate it. So many times when I go ... read more
January 25th 2010
No sooner did I type that than a downpour began. OK well after a busy frantic week last week, one where I spent a good deal of time trying to set up movies on two of the centre's laptops so my ladies who do crafts, "Las Morphas" can see felting movies without having to be connected to the internet - the computers didn't work on Thursday, the day before the class. I went to the library Friday morning and wrote out the Basics of doing a search on the computer. It began with "Make sure the little button is lit up on the CPU" and covered where the Space Bar is, and how typing is like writing. Wrote it all out in English and asked the receptionist to type it out for me since it took ... read more
January 22nd 2010
I'll just upload some pictures. I can't take the time to resize them, I have to dash out to take my bus in a few mo's. ... read more
January 19th 2010
By the way the Spanish way to say the name of the River and area is sarapiKEE. I was pronouncing it incorrectly all last week. D'oh. I think I'll just upload a bunch of pix and put in some captions. Well that took about an hour with interruptions. Just discovered I'm on for lunch tomorrow with Lee another volunteer, from Georgia. Dashing to the bus, stayed late an extra hour tonight.... read more
January 16th 2010
One week already at the Sarapiqui Coservation Learning Centre (save me alot of explainin' - go to the site http://www.learningcentercostarica.org/) and it's nothing but fun, A.L style. I am staying at Minerva's house; she has a 24 yr old son Vladimir (I asked, por que the Russian name? She just shrugs. ) and 6 older children. Son Alberto and his wife Wilma and their daughter Nahomi were at Minerva's when I arrived. School holidays began last week for the children, and they were in from San Jose for the weekend. They have considerably more English than I have Spanish It was a long trip, departing at 6:30 am from Toronto and finally putting my head down on the pillow at 10 pm. Costa Rican coffee in the morning, not hard to take. There are 7 volunteers ... read more
April 25th 2006
The first time we went to Rotorua it was my birthday, Jan 26th. We only saw the museum as there was so much to look at. The next time we were in Rotorua we stayed for three days as soon as we finished our week in Napier. We saw many of the features I had been hearing about for a long time. There is no escaping the touristy look and feel of the place, and we couldn't miss seeing some of the fantastic landforms and the geothermal areas. ... read more