Day 3 in Costa Rica: Cleaning, Hospitality, and Contrasts

Michaela- After an amazing breakfast cooked by the Hotel we climbed into our tiny bus and drove to church with work on our minds. When we arrived at the church we all split up into different groups to clean and fix up things around the church and the local streets. I was a part of the group who cleaned the streets. We began by pulling weeds and disposing them into large garbage bags. After a while the bags got really full...and heavy. We started to move the bags and they eventually began ripping and weeds started flying. It was a mess. After a while we all just started laughing at each other. While we were pulling weeds an older lady came out of her house and started talking in Spanish to me. At first it was a bit rough but eventually we ended up communicating with each other. I’ve noticed so many different cultural differences between Costa Rica and the U.S. For example, every house has tall gates, barbed wire, and occasionally razor wire on top. It was a very neat to observe all the similarities and differences between each house. So far my experience in Costa Rica has been a blast.

Will- After a delicious lunch from Flora and Miguel Sr we went back to work outside on the streets. I personally thought this was a good experience because we got to see a middle class neighborhood in Costa Rica compared to Holmes County. The major differences that I noticed was that trash was everywhere on the streets and that the public treatment to the neighborhood was very poor. One thing that I also noticed was that the people in the neighborhood were very happy when we weeded and did street work for them. After we finished working we went back to the church and played cards and four-square. This was a good bonding experience and I got to know people a lot better. After games we had another delicious dinner with rice and beans and pork chops and then went back to the hotel overall the day was great.

Jeff- around lunchtime, a neighbor of the church texted pastor Miguel. He said that his dog had died, and he had no place to bury him. Tom and Scott went over to his house. He was having a hard time and it was clear that he wouldn't be able to bury it, so we offered to. We picked a spot on  the side yard of the church and dug through fill dirt, chips of cinder block and tile until we had made a hold large enough to place the dog in. I fashioned a rough cross with some scraps of wood and some nails, and then we laid the dog to rest. It was clear our work meant a lot to the owner.