Monday, June 25, 2012

Hello Pingry Parents!

The kids are safely on their way home. They will be arriving shortly on United Airlines flight 1079 to Newark. They had a really great trip and I'm sure they have plenty of stories to share with you upon arrival!

Lizzy Leighty
Program Coordinator, World Leadership School

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Day 9

Dear Readers,
Today was our last day staying at the Chilamate Rainforest Eco-Retreat. We were all sad to leave the lodge after almost a week.
To start off the daily recap, this morning, Hannah, Aidan, and Brooke went for a morning walk which was accompanied with many birds and misty rainforest canopies. After having a tasty breakfast, we headed out to go zip lining through the jungle.  The course consisted of 14 lines and 9 platforms and a few shrieks.  Everyone had a lot of fun navigating the jungle with their leather gloves, harnesses, and helmets.
We then proceeded to head back to the lodge for lunch.  This was our first lunch at the lodge since we started eating at our home stays on the second day of our trip.  It was a delicious lunch and great to tie up our stay at the lodge.  We spent the rest of the time doing final trip evaluations and hanging out.
A few games of “Egyptian Rat Screw” later, and we were getting into the car to our San Jose hotel.  A hearty goodbye from Megan and Davis sent us on our way.
It took us about 3 hours to reach San Jose, where we are currently all cooling off together after the long, cramped car ride.  We will be at dinner at 6 o’clock and afterwards we will be completing more evaluations.  After a short rest tonight, we are going to the airport at 4:30 AM for our flight.  It’s been a great trip and we’ll see you all soon!
Signing out,
Tommy, Hannah, Chase, Aidan, and Bruce

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Day 8

Dear Gringos,
Today was our last day with the kids at the school L.  Instead of working, we played with the children for hours playing many different games like Uno, American football, soccer, and many others. We were surprised to a community celebration in honor of our work later on. We ate rice, macaroni salad, refried beans with chips, and the kids even put on a dance for us! There were relays, a piƱata, and a balloon popping game. Then there were teary goodbyes (for the girls), small gifts were given to all of us, and final hugs. We all agree that we will miss the community, and even though we are ready to head home, we will always keep this awesome place in our hearts.
Now the daily report (non-sad stuff); after we got back from the school, we were planning to go to the artists market nearby, but it was already closed.  We then decided to take one last swim in the Sarapiqui River, though it was very murky and muddy after the rainstorm. After this came 45 minutes of solitary reflection time writing all around the property. So once again, folks, this brings us to the present moment, blogging and playing cards (Egyptian Rat Screw has been banned for obsessive reasons). As long as there’s internet tomorrow, we will blog once again! Goodnight ‘Murica.
-Benito and A.Zolzzz
P.S. –Bruce
Mom, I’m just reminding you that I don’t have any underwear left so you need to go out and buy me more underwear for the resort .. I’m just reminding you …

Friday, June 22, 2012

Day 7

After Ms. Kelleher’s substituted blog yesterday, the students are back (Tommy and Aidan) to post. The day was started by another lovely wake-up call credited to the howler monkeys. We really started to feel the mental tiredness hit us today, considering that most of us just wanted to sleep.
Today was our last real day of work on the Escuela.  Aidan and Hannah finished by painting the bases of the rainwater collectors.  After a full blue coat, they painted fish, raindrops, oceans, and messages for the kids.  Bruce did some odd jobs and painted the tubes of the fence blue, along with several other community members, who joined in after Davis, our foreman, had an administration meeting the night before.  Tommy and Chase (Ms. Kelleher and Brooke too) painted “ESCUELA LINDA VISTA” on the fence which now proudly sports the words.
Afterwards, we split up to eat our last home stay meal because we will be eating with the whole community at the school tomorrow and back here at Chilamate on Sunday. Chayote, fried tortillas, beans, and rice anyone? We gave the families our gifts for taking care of us and also took lots of pictures with them.  Bianca let us hold her baby chicks, which were the cutest things ever.  Tommy held four of the five chicks most of the time and lulled them to sleep under his bandanas.  ‘Twas a splendid ending to a wonderful home stay experience.
AFTER THAT… We went on another adventure with Jaime.  He took us to see plants in the area and we tasted tons of different exotic herbs, fruits, and other plants. So it brings us to here, where we are sitting in the lodge writing to y’all. Take a look at the pictures below, and we’ll talk to you tomorrow!

-Tommy and Aidan 


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Day 6

Dear parents and followers,
I hope you will accept a blog post from me since the kids are enjoying some much needed fun free time after a long and busy day.   I will do my best to fill you in on all their goings on. 
Today was a really busy and interesting day, but first lets back up to last night and our night hike through the creepy crawly jungle.  Jaime our guide was great fun and only scared us a little (haha).  On our night hike we had to be quiet (a challenge for us) and patient (also a challenge).  However we were rewarded well.  We saw red eyed tree frogs, campanita frogs, tarantulas, giant stick bugs, and some other large scale arachnids.  I think everyone had a lot of fun.
Today we were woken by our normal morning howler monkey call  - today they were particularly excited.  After another delicious breakfast at Chilamate, we headed over to Linda Vista school.  Today our activities were varied as the photos should show.  Bruce worked with William (one of our new local friends) to do some repair work on the playground.  They re-seated the see-saws, re-strung the bridge on the jungle gym, and repaired the monkey bars.  Chase and Tommy worked to paint the school name (Escuela de Linda Vista) on the front of the school fence.  After some paint color debates they have settled on blue edged in yellow.  Currently the sign reads ESC . . . I am trying not to read too much into that abbreviation.  Hannah and Aidan worked on painting the bases for the new rainwater system for the bathrooms.  The bathrooms for the school are currently run on well water which is the potable water.  Rather than waste the potable water on the bathrooms (if the well runs dry school is canceled) we are installing rain water collection basins that the toilets can be run off of.  Seems like a simple thing, but it is so important for the school.  Finally Brooke and I were relegated to the least glamorous job of painting the main fence.  We have made the job glamorous by speckling ourselves in silver paint.
After a good productive day of work we were picked up and taken about 20 minutes to the community of Paraiso where we met Daniel and toured his organic farm.  First Daniel fed us a delicious lunch of yucca, picadillo, cerdo, arroz, y pintos.  Afterwards we got to tour his totally organic and sustainable farm.  Yep even the waste doesn’t go to waste as he uses pig manure to produce gas to power his stove.  The kids got to feed pigs, milk goats, taste fresh peppercorns, and better understand how sustainable agriculture works.  After a few adventures on the farm we went back to his house where he had fresh coffee and arepas for us.  All in all Daniel is another example of a wonderful, friendly, and generous Costa Rican. 
Back at Chilamate retreat the kids cooled off by swimming in the river (a favorite activity around here).  After a nice swim they sat down to do a really interesting WLS exercise called “Building Utopia”.  They were put in groups and asked to prioritize the 8 UN Millenium World Development Goals.  While there are 8 main goals there are a total of 19 goals once you subdivide some of them.  This was an interesting exercise to watch as each group approached and prioritized the world issues differently.  Hopefully it got them thinking. 
Finally we had a delicious dinner of arroz con pollo, pintos, tortillas fritas, y chayote.  Brooke and I are organizing a game of Win, Lose, or Draw before bed. 
Ms. Kelleher/Margaret

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Day 5

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Day 4

Dear ‘Murica,
Second day of painting the fence, and we have made great progress. It was the hottest day so far, and we are all sunburned.  Oh well. We played football with the kids, and walked to our home stays. The kids did not have school today because their one teacher had a meeting and there are no substitutes. Eventually, we sweated it out to the cooking class where we were REALLY welcomed. Squash and beef anyone? We stayed for a long time after chasing the chickens and playing with the kids (monkey in the middle). Signing off for tonight… GOODNIGHT ‘MURICA.

-Aidan and Supreme Overlord Chase (side note by Tommy which is almost as long as the actual blog..)
(P.S. From Tommy – Hi mom, if you have signed me up for Princeton lax camp (which I think starts on the 28) if it starts before the end of the month and there is a later session that isn’t on the 4th of July, could you possibly switch me to that one? Thanks and I love you mommy! Oh and I love you too daddy… kind of. KIDDING happy belated Fathers’ Day :) And I love everyone else (Dylan, Katherine, Laura, Annabelle, Oliver, and Grandma) Peace)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Day 3

Parents and followers - we are sorry we didn't blog yesterday.  There was a really cool storm here last night which knocked out the internet at the lodge.  We are currently working with minimal internet and so the kids have written a blog, but we can't post pictures right now.  Hopefully tomorrow.  Everyone is great!  Margaret Kelleher

Day Three:
Today we started our project at the school painting their fence.  The school was fantastic with a lot of contributions from previous World Leadership Projects and the kids were adorable and polite.  We painted the fence with silver oil-based paint so that it doesn’t rust when it rains.  We are going to paint the tubes of the fence blue eventually.  Like we said, the kids were super polite and we got to play with them as well!  We played name games and football (Americano).  We had another delicious lunch at our homestays (Tommy, Bruce, and Hannah with Bianca; Aidan and Chase with Juanita).  We took a swim again and had lots of free time afterwards to cool down and I [Tommy] finally took a shower after 3 days of filth!  Most of our free time has been spent with intense sessions of Egyptian Rat Screw card games between Bruce, Tommy, and Chase (Chase mostly winning every hand).  After our free time we discussed what kind of personality/temperament each of us in the group had and what benefits and/or problems they brought up.  Chase was a Rationalist/Conceptualizer, Aidan and Tommy were Idealists, and Hannah and Bruce were Artisans/Experiencers.  And after that we started writing this blog.  Soon we will eat yet another delicious dinner at the lodge.
We miss you so much,
Tommy, Bruce, Hannah, Aidan, and Chase (Written by Bruce and Tommy)
(P.S. Bruce needs more rubber bands because he dropped one of his bags in the river AND it turns out I actually don’t need all of these clothes MOM.. and my bag weighed 52 pounds ..)
(P.P.S. Tommy misses you all dearly and hopes the beach is awesome and warm and while Bruce’s bag was the heaviest, mine was the lightest at 31 pounds.  Say Hi to Annabelle and Oliver for me and give them a smooch.  Also, mom, if you could call or email or something Mrs. Gibbons and Mrs. Geller and find out what Belle and Shoshana’s mailing addresses are, so that I have them when I get back, that would be absolutely fantastic. Love you all so much!)