Monday, January 18, 2010

Calvin College Finds Its Tico Side

What has Calvin College's Patrol 1 been busy doing?

(View their photos on our Facebook Page: Part I, Part II)

The same activities as Ticos, of course.

From harvesting sugar cane and making candy to jumping in the river and playing games, Patrol 1 has done it all. Up until yesterday when they ended the Land Phase and began the River Phase, Annie, Jean, Laura, Casie, Thomas, Luke, Mark, Kathryn, Ryan, Glen (the professor), Chris and Jake had been roughing it in the rainforest. Activities consisted of farm work, learning how to cook food from scratch, waterfall rappelling, swimming in the Lopez's river, camping, and community service. This hard work comes at a cost: many of the students suffered minor blisters from the heavy work of sugar cane harvesting. But any ampolla here and there is worth the pain when it means making candy in the end.

Candy was not the only food they made from scratch. After milking the cow, they made cheese. After grinding the corn, they made tortillas. After gathering eggs and bananas, they made bread. It is an understatement to say that these Calvin College students are getting in shape. Not only that, they helped with flattening and expanding the rainforest paths between two of the homestays. This act of service is greatly advantageous to the villagers living in the area who use these paths to transport items to and from their remote homes. Thanks to their work, paths are safer now for horses, too.

Overall, their Land Instructor, Mauren, had great things to say. "Disfrutaron mucho," she said with a huge smile. ("They enjoyed it a lot.") "Y no puedo creer como despabilados son," meaning that the group is incredibly bright and ready to face any challenge.

Already they're beginning to sound like indigenous Ticos. Now it's Patrol 2's turn to work on their Costa Rican cultural immersion.

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