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Costa Rica 2005 (page 2 of 4)

We spent three weeks in Ciudad Quesada, San Carlos, with a program called Cross-Cultural Solutions (CCS). Every morning we'd take the CCS bus to our volunteer work placements. Lonna and Bunky helped out at the government-run Santa Clara Nutrition Center for pre-school children of low-income (<$84/month) families.

The San Carlos plain, with Arenal Volcano in the background.

There were 42 volunteers in the program, most of them college age. For our kids, it was like they'd joined a frat. Here Luke is chillin' on the bus with pals Jimmy and Kimberly.

All of the CCS staff are Ticos (Costa Ricans). They were wonderful, gracious, taught us a lot of Spanish, arranged our volunteer placements, helped us with any problems, and generally interpreted the culture for us. Here, Greiven helps Bunky leave his mark at the CCS house.

Steve, Caleb, and Luke (and sometimes Bunky) taught English in two public elementary schools (depending on the day of the week). Here, Valerie helps Luke and her friends reach some guavas during recess at San Gerardo.

At the nutrition center, personal hygene is also taught. The most desired position during the teeth-brushing ritual is that of the toothpaste dispenser. The kids take turns at this role.

Thursday evenings often bring a "pacines", or skating party. While mostly a roller-blading pick-up derby for older teens, Caleb found some of the boys from San Gerardo school to hang out with.

Some of the older kids couldn't help but pose when someone parked this motorcycle in front of the school. The houses in the background are fairly typical.

William Rodriguez, the principal of the San Gerardo school, invited our family to his "fincita" (little farm), where the boys are enjoying fresh coconut (called "pipa" at this stage).

And, of course, we played some futbol ahead of the daily afternoon rain showers.

on to page three (of four) of Costa Rica 2005 photos