I feel the first few entries of my time here in Tarcoles had too much of a negative tone it them. It frustrated me that it should take me so long to adjust, and be so easily distracted by other travellers who were going up to Nicaragua, and feeling the itchy feet myself. So, during the long bus ride back to Tarcoles from Tamarindo, I analysed in details the reasons for these:
The main reason was the language. Not only did I have difficulties understanding basic instructions, I also couldn't express myself. As Fiona wondered, "How could someone who talks non-stop on a five hour journey not talk in Tarcoles..??" Well, I reckon I caught up with a lot of my talking on the bus!!
The other reason was the lack of routine. Wake up in the morning, aim for the seven thirty bus (and actually missing it three times in two days - pretty impressive huh??), paint for a couple of hours, lunch, with the good intentions of making a site visit to the boy scout site, but actually buggering off to Jaco to go online, have dinner, sit around, then sleep. That wasn't what I came to Costa Rica to do!
It struck me right there and then, that I should throw myself into my projects.
Since the Macaw Festival was still going slow, and lots more help required with the bridge project, decided that running a week of summer camp for the children in the village would be a good time filler. It would be fun, I could get to know more about the children, could start scheming how they could produce useful work for the festival, sing my favourite camp songs, and test out my games on the children. And most of all, it would give me a motive to learn Spanish, as I would need lots of different vocabulary and phrases; "be careful!", "be nice!", "No fighting!", and "Stop whining" spring to mind... All from my experience in the States as a camp counseller in the summer!
And so, a date was set to launch the week long camp - 17th to 21st January, giving me enough time to prepare for a schedule of activities, plan the actual activities and translate them into Spanish. Easy peasey. Gave a short slideshow of the photos from camp to Alex, who is supposed to assign me work here; Sami - my crazy guitar playing and singing French brother; and Tony - my ideal Spanish speaking Tico helper, who seems to understand a great deal of my English. Though the photos were whisked through very very quickly - accompanied by my narrations in English (probably spoken too quickly too) - Alex concluded that it appeared to be a good project and was excited about it.
Encouraged by that, started writing down ideas of how the week long camp can be planned, and got my head totally stuck in the cloud with all the possibilities. I was unusually responsive to the village policeman, when he dropped by in the evening, and asked what I was doing? Explained to him in great details the nuts and bolts of my plan. And when the family's favourite ex-volunteer Gareth (from England) came to pay a visit, I was still too engrossed in my work to act normally. It was almost like working for the final year individual project, when all I could talk about was my project - but I like it!
Luckily, the family went to the bar next door for a drink, and the beer promptly took me back down to earth, when I declined various villagers requesting for a dance. Thanks to Gareth, who commanded a Tico to give me lesson, everyone cheered and laughed at me, as I tried to remember the salsa steps taught on my very first day of Spanish lesson. Bernardo, my very patient social dance teacher, would be proud of the number of times I have got the steps from the spin right, although I did spare the Tico from my attempt of pulling a "sexy face"...