Should I be Shy Guy or Haunter for Halloween this year? I've come up with designs for both, and Haunter is less work, but more people know Shy Guy...Aw, heck. I'm around nerds all day; they'll know that I'm Haunter. XD
(I'm pretending that Halloween is sooner than it is. It makes me forget about the sweltering days at the end of summer in favor of the cooler breezes of autumn.)
Oh, hey, I said I'd post a Journal about Costa Rica, didn't I? Well, good news, guys: I came back safe and sound with souvenirs and sun-bleached hair. (no, seriously, my hair is usually a ..*ahem* poop-brown color with minimal natural highlights, but when exposed to lots of sun, certain areas brighten up to a boarder-line blonde. I expect that to fade soon enough, though.
ANYWAYS, Costa Rica. Lots of fun. Lots of work. It didn't feel like I was down there for a month.
I was an intern for the camp. As church groups came down to do their work, I'd join in and help out. The first group painted the walls (inside and out) and some roofs of various members of the local church. The homes looked sooo
much better with a fresh coat (or two) of paint. We even evicted a few cockroaches!
There was a lull between the first and second groups during the second week that was fairly relaxing. We interns went to markets and cooked/ate more rice and beans with the locals than I care to remember. I feel like I'm still on legume-detox. Anyway, I took lots of pictures of the river that bordered the camp (and the rock towers that I built), so maybe I'll remember to upload those sometime this year. I got some good black-and-white shots.
The second group (week three) was less organized, so I had to be a supervisor/you-go-do-this person at certain points. I was also the nominated "time nazi" for the VBS that the second group did for the kids of the local orphanage. There are so many broken families down there. From absent fathers to abusive parents to child prostitution, drug abuse and alcoholism, and various other things. If the government catches wind of a child who's in a bad spot, it will send people to remove the child from the situation..often abruptly and without warning. They get sent to orphanages where they stay until they reach 18 years old...then they're dismissed to live in the world again..with little help or preparation. Good intentions without proper planning/funding. I met a couple of adults-who-were-once-orphans, and they were pretty cool, so it's not like the system ruins all the kids, but there could be some changes. (easier said than done, unfortunately)
The last group (fourth week) were so organized and prepared that they didn't need out help..which was good, because the interns and some locals were tasked with applying a new concrete floor to the main gathering building (the "celebration center"). There are weekly skateboarding nights where homemade ramps and rails are set up around the building (which is one big, rectangular room) for the locals to hang out for a few hours and practice tricks and such. However, the wear-and-tear of hundreds of skateboard jumps, slides, and crashes on the old floor brought chunks of concrete up along with a fine dust cloud. So, we worked to re-floor that building the last week I was there. ...I say "we" but I didn't help much. I caught a bug or swallowed the water or something and felt like crap for the majority of that last week, including to the airport and waiting for my flight. Dunno what it was, but it wasn't until a few days later back in the States that I stopped feeling queasy and drained.
Hm..so what stood out to me the most...well, the sewage system..or lack there-of. Little canals along the streets/sidewalks carry rainwater and grey/black-water. Yep, what you flush down the toilet ends up by the street and then ventures its way into the river (which one group went white-water rafting in..yes, I went too. Thankfully, my boat didn't flip, and I kept my mouth closed). There is a little trash can next to every toilet. You'd throw your paper waste in there instead of in the toilet along with your natural waste. The smell was rarely unbearable. (I've done my business in the wilderness, so it's not like this was that
gross to me, but it is sensational news to some.)
I really liked how open the homes were designed to be. Not open in a floor-plan sense, but open to fresh air and a breeze. No air-conditioning (nor heating, but it doesn't get cold enough down there to even justify a fireplace), so all air, inside or out, is fresh, natural, Costa Rican air. I think I almost had a nose-bleed on the flight back home since that canned air was the first I'd tasted of treated air in an entire month.
Have I rambled enough? If you have any questions or anything you want to say, as always, feel free to comment. Hopefully, my class workload will stay low for this week, so I can pop on and respond to comments and such.
Well, that was my summer. How was yours?