25 and counting
I turned 25 two days ago. That sounds a lot older than 24. But I suppose at least now I can rent a car.
A lot has changed in the last six months. I passed the one-year mark of my service, and am coming up on one year and six months in my community.
I visited my family in Florida for a week and had one of my best family vacations ever.
I attended my mid-service training in San José with other volunteers and presented on a computer class, Intel Learn, that I gave in my community.
I joined the Peace Corps Costa Rica ICT committee and helped write part of a Peace Corps manual, Nave Computacional, to teach kids how to use Microsoft Office.
I took the GRE and got my scores back (I'm happy).
I bought a horse.
I climbed Mount Chirripó (and vowed never to do it again).
I signed up to take the LSAT in June.
I lost a good friend.
I gained a few new ones.
I completed an Intel course in a nearby community and got to know many people there that I wouldn't have met otherwise.
I helped build a library in my community and I open it twice a week.
I've gotten to watch kids that never paid much attention to books discover new stories.
I painted a World Map in my community with the help of 18 elementary school kids and 4 high school girls from Tennessee.
I've introduced the awesome-ness that is the Harry Potter series to a few local kids (thanks to my mom who bought the books in Spanish and brought them down here).
And I've celebrated my birthday in a way I never have before: with many, many people. I've never had so many celebrations, so many candles to blow out, so many "happy birthday"s sung. Its been amazing to see how many people I know and how many people care enough to make the effort of celebrating my birthday. I'm not sure I'll ever meet another group of people as large, as welcoming and as loving as I have here. Thanks to all those special people who made my birthday special, too.
And now, I think I should finally post some pictures.
My site host mom, Aurora, host sister, Raquel, and me just after I cut my hair.
My training host family. Martín (host dad), Tito (host brother), Jazmín (host sister), Ana (host mom). The oldest daughter, Jenifer, isn't in this picture.
A monkey looking for food in the trees outside my back window.
Me at the beginning of the Mt. Chirripó climb.
Me at the end of the Mt. Chirripó climb.
My intermediate English class.
Some primary school kids using Nave Computacional.
The Intel Learn computer class in my community.
The Intel Learn computer class in a nearby community.
The finished product.
My Intel group in the nearby community when they surprised me with a birthday cake.
The primary school kids in my community with whom I do English and computer classes.
More from my happy place.
My happy place continued.