Although these past two weeks have felt like longer, it is safe to say all of us are having a great time here in Costa Rica! I think it feels like we have been here for longer than we have because of the novelty of our environment and the amount we have learned and accomplished in such a short amount of time.
The first week and half was dedicated to learning about the culture and exploring the surrounding area. Andrea and Johanna, the directors of CREAR (the nonprofit we are volunteering with), set up some wonderful activities for us. Our orientation week included two beautiful hikes, a cooking class, a dance class, activities with the local kids, and various culture orientated discussions. It amazing how comfortable we all feel here in Samara after only two weeks. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming, which has definitely made the adjustment period easier for us all.
This week we began our main project. We are hoping that $2,000 dollars, some donated materials, and about 65 hours of labor per person can transform a completely dilapidated building that serves as the towns health clinic into a facility that people feel safe and comfortable. In the first three days we have sanded down the chipping paint and plaster on the inside and outside of the building, knocked down a crumbling wall, cleaned out a neglected supply building, and weeded the unsightly overgrowth surrounding the building. Though we are the preparatory stages our progress is very exciting!
CREAR is a great organization and we believe renovating the clinic is a worthwhile and important task for the town of Samara. Things are going well and we are all excited to see what the next six weeks has in store for us!