Written by the Leader of the Day: Isaac Bendon
June 25 2017
Today was the first day of service. The group went to the “Bio Fabrica” which is the headquarters of the sustainable coffee farm. The Bio Fabrica is where we are working for the first two weeks. Today we split into two groups. One group shoveled compost into bags so that they could be transported to the farms, and the other group moved rocks. We learned about the importance of sustainable and organic agricultural practices. The group also talked about the necessity of taking care of the earth. After the service project, the women of the community prepared pork and rice with black beans. During lunch we saw monkeys hanging out in the trees. In the afternoon we teamed up with another volunteer group and some local community members to play baseball. During the game we got to bond with the kids through our lack of ability to play baseball (side note for my parents I did not hurt anyone)*. As leader of the day I decided on the word of the day which was “Mejorar” meaning to improve. I felt accomplished because nobody died or got sick while I was leader. Additionally nobody was really sad and I kept the group motivated. My favorite part so far has been getting to meet everybody and get to know them. Also I am extremely thankful to have my cousin Lily here to help me with my Spanish and edit this blog.
Monday, June 26
Author: Natalie Reisman
Hola! I’m Natalie from New York and I was the Líder del Día, or Leader of the Day, today! Our fourth day of this adventure was incredible, and unlike most Mondays back home, we all looked forward to what this day would bring.
We woke up bright and early to the sound of the river and chirping birds outside of our cabanas. A beautiful breakfast was prepared by the amazing Juan. American food is a rarity at GLA, but today’s breakfast consisted of french toast, scrambled eggs, and bacon. Everyone loved the taste of home.
After a morning stretch led by Hannah, I told the group our word of the day (Aventura for adventure). After that it was off to the service sites! Half of us went with Jonathan, leader of Green Communities, and the other half went to a local coffee farm. The group that went with Juan spent half of the morning loading bags of compost onto his truck to transport to the coffee farm where the rest of the students were. We loaded over 95 bags!!! The smell of fresh brosa (fermented coffee bean skins) in the morning is surely something we will never forget!
Once the whole group was together on Juan’s farm, we worked in an assembly line with buckets to get the compost on the coffee plants. It was super interesting for everyone to see how coffee beans grow and how they tranform into red cherries when ready to harvest.
After a tiring three hours of work, we went to the river that runs through Providencia for a quick swim. The water was super cold, but the brave didn’t let the temperature stop them from enjoying the nature.
An amazing lunch was prepared for us by the local women of the community and we enjoyed the pasta, veggies, homemade breadsticks, and fresh blackberry juice. These kind women truly care for us without knowing much about us.
We were broken up into our levels for Spanish class after taking quick showers. My group, the advanced class, focused on brainstorming for our final project and planning a lesson for tomorrow.
Free time followed our class and we spent it reading, playing soccer with Gustavo and Diego, shopping in the pulpería, and napping.
Every part of this trip has been amazing, and this day was no different. Being leader of the day was super fun and I loved playing a role in ensuring that everybody’s day was fulfilling and successful.
Much love! – Natalie
June 27, 2017
Author: Graham Soofer
Today for service we shoveled compost. Some people worked in the assembly line and passed the buckets (baldes) to and from the compost to the coffee plants in order to fertilize the coffee plants. We had a break and ate mangos and pears.
We split up into different Spanish groups and some groups went into town and spoke to the locals while other groups learned the basics such as the alphabet, months, numbers and more.
For our three amazing meals our we ate corn flakes for breakfast (desayuno), rice, garbanzos, and salad for lunch, and finally we had rice and a mix of vegetables for dinner.
As leader of the day I encouraged the others to push limits and keep an upbeat personality all day. We also watched a TED talk about the sterotyping of different cultures and how close minded that makes people. So far my favorite part of being here was playing soccer with some of the local boys and my fellow students.
Shoutout to mi hermano Ben, mi mama, mi padre, y mi perro Winnie. Take care, Love Graham
The first is a group picture at our hotel in Turrialba for the excursion
Make a face like you’re about to get snacks!!
July 3, 2017
Written by Noah Stegman
¡Hola! I am Noah, and I was the Líder del Día today. Today was a long, but very fun day. We started off the morning with breakfast and morning stretching, which is always a relief. After that we had a long walk to some beautiful fresh water springs in the forest. There we carried out a group discussion about water, the wasting of it, and ways to conserve it. There we shared ideas on how to conserve water, and became more aware of the situation about a lack of water in countries around the world. After the talk we carried out our third day in a row of service in the park in downtown Providencia. The service included cementing and digging trenches for the foundation for an eventual basketball court.
As leader of the day I felt like myself, being leader of the day did not change the way I acted towards my friends in the group. Although, I felt like leading by example was the best way to carry out being a leader, so I worked very hard on encouraging my group, and working hard during service to express the amount of motivation we still had as a group. My favorite part about this trip so far has been interacting with the locals in our Adopt a Gringo groups, the best intercultural experience. In this part of the program a small group of us are invited into a local family’s house. It’s incredible being able to communicate with the locals in their native language, it helps me realize how much I actually know, and how well I can communicate in another language. ¡Buenas Noches!
July 6, 2017
I was leader on the end of the weekend so my adventure for today was driving on the bus back from our surfing adventure, and keeping everyone excited and ready for the day.
I learned that as a leader, even if you are tired, you need to keep a positive and excited attitude to share with all of the people you are leading.
I had intercultural experiences today in spanish class and buying snacks from the local store.
My experience as a leader today was great, I had a super great time talking to everyone, singing everyone a goodnight song, waking everyone up in the morning, and getting everyone through the day.
My favorite part of being a leader today was waking people up enthusiastically and singing my goodnight song to them. Shout out to mi familia and mama Julie!
– Carter Johnson
July 7, 2017
Hi. I’m Daniel Le Lorier. Today is July 7th, and I was leader of the day today. I’m usually quiet so I knew being leader would be interesting. I woke everyone up after a night of singing them Bohemian Rhapsody and headed to breakfast. I didn’t have too much time to eat, but it was enough.
Service today was brutal. We worked on building the park again today. This time, however, some kids had to haul wheelbarrows full of cement up a hill to the trenches. Of course, I had to lead by example by choosing to do the hard task. I’m tired. But I’m still here so it’s all good. Throughout service time I made sure I was more talkative and supportive than usual, even if it may have been a couple more sentences. I mean, I gotta get my snaps am I right?
After service I bought some more junk food and went to the last Spanish class. As a member of the Beginner class, I took part in the skit we were performing for our last day. Apparently my voice is good for narration, so that was my part. The whole play was in Spanish so that sure was an intercultural experience. Even if it WAS about Isaac in a waterfall playing the didgery doo. That was fun.
Later we had a group discussion about differing cultural views, and we did an activity that involved me staring at people’s feet. It was weird, but I see the point that was made about some customs in one culture being different to customs in another.
Then, we had dinner and my boy Kevin took Leader of the Day for tomorrow. This has been my blog. Daniel Le Lorier signing out.
July 8, 2017
Written by Gilson (Kevin) Dosouto
Hola mi nombre es Gilson (Kevin) Dosouto and today I was the leader of the day. Today our service project was at Geraldo’s farm. My adventure started a bit late. Usually the leader would go around at 6:30 in the morning and wake everyone up, and so I was waiting on that person to wake me up but at 6:35 I realized I was the leader and I had to wake everyone up! So I woke up everyone and at 7:00 am everyone was at breakfast. Then we did our usual stretches after breakfast and headed to the worksite about 8 am. At first we loaded the truck with compost bags and delivered it Geraldo’s farm. At the farm we unloaded the truck and began to fertilize the coffee plants. We would stand in line and pass the buckets of compost down the line to where it was needed. Communication played a huge part in our work. We communicated to inform to each other to move down or up the line and to make sure everyone is on the same page. We worked at the coffee farm until 12. In between we had a little break. We headed to lunch at Doña Flora’s. For our afternoon activities we played soccer with the Young Dreamers and people of the community. Young Dreamers are students in the local communities who are very passionate about learning . They get up at 5 in the morning and sits on the bus for 2 hours to go to school in the city, they would occasionaly get home at 7 pm. We had lots of fun during the game and talked a lot to the locals. My experience as a leader was a bit different. I checked in a lot with peers and tried to embrace leadership. I tried to lead by example and make sure everyone was doing great. My favorite experience in this trip so far is working at the playground because I like to work for something that will benefit the community and this playground is perfect. At the end of the day I feel so satisfied knowing that the littlest thing would make world better tomorrow.