Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Journey Continues

Yesterday we began construction of the hydroponic tables. To begin this project we first had to sort the wood into different piles according to length and width. We then measured and marked one board ad a template so that the pile could be marked and brought to me for cutting. The 16 long boards were marked by hand one by one whereas the 48 shorter boards we set up an assembly line with some placing the wood onto a table set up inside a slot with a stopper so once the wood was in place the end of the wood was positioned so that the saw would be lined up to cut the board at exactly one meter. Then the that board was removed and while it was taken to be stacked the first person placed another board onto the table and so on until all 64 pieces were cut and stacked.

After a break we returned to the work sight and with hammers in hand we began assembling the tables. Several of the students were tentative about using a hammer and some took to it automatically but by lunch 8 one-meter-square table frames were stacked and ready to be legged up.

Yesterday’s lunch was at a hacienda just down the road from the school, hosted by a neighbor Maria Rosa. The entrance was magical. A wide front lane lined with palms and ornamental plants. Immediately upon entering the tall wrought iron front gates we were passionately greeted by a pack of beautiful dogs while up by the front door several elderly dogs patiently awaited our arrival with their tails feverishly wagging. We took a tour of the lovely gardens, led by Gio, and lunch was served outdoors featuring fresh vegetables, rice, beans, lentils, plantains, chicken, and beef. Our day ended with an assembly line preparation of our tamale dinner feast at the Casa Loma Tranquil and Doña Olga, one of the host family mothers.

Today we spent the entire day at the Escuela Linda Vista. All of the trip students taught an interactive English class to the one-room school students (grades 1-6) that ended with a “relay race” drill of Spanish words to English. Winners (the girls’ team) won new pencils. For the rest of the day, work continued on making tables for the hydroponic greenhouse with much hammering and carrying wood in the sunny tropical heat. Gio Madrigal, our World Leadership and Naturalist guide, used a machete to break coconuts for a terrific coconut water break. Now we are at the Chilamate Retreat/Rio Sarapiqui taking a swim before returning to our host families and tomorrow we visit a dairy farm to learn how to make queso blanco.


Unknown said...

wow, sounds like a packed and amazing day. We hope to see photos of the work in progress.

Here we are out on Montauk, it snowed last night! but fortunately melted by afternoon. We took two walks on the beach once in the snow, once after it melted.

Hope everyone is relaxing after the workday.