Yat's Big Trip travel blog

Had initially reserved this week to be more or less solely for the preparation of camp week, planning the activities and building up the required vocabulary. But having started the ball rolling now with the Locura de Lapas, and reviving the bridge project, I did not have as much time to prepare for camp as I had hoped.

Locura de Lapas was going well, defined the agenda and identified what we have already obtained. Received very positive feedback from Fiona, and much advances for the next steps. Everything seemed much clearer when written down, and we were very excited about the realness of the project. The downer to the project is that I still don't have an operating version of Flash to work on, hence not able to finalise the brochure by the end of the week as I had hoped. Whoops, the same old feeling of lagging behind!

However have received very positive response from the community, and like Sami, felt inspired to mobilise this force soon. Having spoken to Miriam about the project, she found us two different contacts who were able to co-ordinate a dance and a play. Fantastic! Everyone else seemed excited about the festival, but I worry we don't have enough information for them to work with at the moment, hence their energy may fizzle out too soon before the festival.

Everyone was also very positive about the summer camp - seems like lots of interests from the children, locals and international volunteers alike. Sami received a phone call from Taj who announced he was coming to help with the camp, and followed by another call by his co-ordinator informing us of the arrival of four more volunteers. A local girl we met on the bus to Jacó was so excited about the programme she instantly declared she wanted to help, and was interviewed with singing "Hagalina Magalina". With the prospects of two more volunteers who were expected to arrive this week, I wasn't sure if we needed so many helpers. It was good to receive such enthusiastic response, but the camp might turn out to be ran for the adults rather than for the kids...!

However, some thoughts later, decided that the extra help would be good, especially if there will be lots of kiddies. But I wouldn't be able to co-ordinate something very big, due to a lack of materials, a lack of contact with my helpers, and a lack of time. Perhaps I am being precious, but I would feel better if I knew that my project would run in the way I had envisioned, as structured as my architectural perfectionist tendency!

Luckily the meeting that evening with my two chosen Tico helpers, Tony and Marieth, and Sami of course, went really well. It might have helped that the meeting started off English style - a trip to the bar, and filled them in with the various games and activities we had made up. Having exchanged ideas and discussions, the evening was wrapped up with some camp songs, which they enjoyed a lot, wriggling about in "The Button factory" song, and tongue twisting Hagalina Magalina - with the added difficulty of it being in English and written in my awful handwriting.

More preparation of camp included a trip to the nearby Tico town of Orotina to shop for materials for camp. That was a fun trip out for Sami and I, not only in chosing materials but also fitted in some sightseeing when we missed the bus - this seems to happen alot!! Sitting and chatting in the Central Park, we compared it to the other Central Parks in Central America, how similar they were, and how they were used. The one in Antigua obviously bringing back the most memories. I did spend a lot of time there, and met so many great people there in my first week, and continued to hang out there for the rest of the stay.

I didn't get to do as much work as I had hoped, though scouted around for suitable places in the village for the various camp activities. I was accompanied by the lovely Fiorella (aged 6), who brought me lots of empty cardboard boxes later in her own time, when she heard me asking for them at the local shops. I was actually trying to scrange as much useful materials as possible, but was very touched with her helpfulness.

All the children seemed to be very excited about the camp, which was great! However, despite their previous eagerness, my Tico helpers seemed to have forgotten about our prearranged meeting. Being in work mode, I felt somewhat demotivated, that it appeared like I was the only one who really cared about making this camp a success. As we walked towards their houses, Sami stopped by a house enroute, to say "hi" to his friends, who were playing the guitar on the side of the road.

Sat with them for a bit, and as I listened to one of them belting out an impressive ballard whilst lounging comfortably in their chairs, I wondered whether I was bringing my London speed into Costa Rica, and not giving myself the opportunity to see the things around me. Am I taking on so much, too seriously, and working at a different speed and frequency to this country? Though, earlier in the week, I had passionately declared that I wanted to be here in Costa Rica to make a difference, now I am wondering if I was missing the point of the trip; the desire to see the world, soaking up new cultures and doing something interesting with my life...

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