Friday, July 2, 2010

Meet the Mighty Intern

The Programming and Communications offices have been thanking their lucky Katies lately.

Katie Odell, one of our 2007 30-Day Multi-Element with Spanish Emphasis (photo: top right with fellow student Brandon Park) alumni, arrived June 14th to the relief of our base staff.  There is a ton of work to do, and it's more than we can handle.  This year's busy season brings with it more than 200 students from the USA, Canada, the UK, Spain, Israel, Mexico, Zambia, China, and Italy.  She is here to greet them at the airport, entertain them on fly-in days, organize their equipment prior to arrival, gather their documentation for instructors, collect and lock up their valuables, and distribute evaluations and t-shirts on the last day.

But those are only her duties that involve students. Day-to-day work in these offices requires tons of her assistance as well.  Our projects have been thrown at her left and right, and she hasn't let us down.  When asked how it's going so far, she said,
"It's so great to walk into the offices and see how excited everyone is for my help."
Katie has made some time for herself, too.  Since she's arrived, she's gone traveling to Monteverde, celebrated birthdays, and gone out to the city with staff on nights and weekends.  It's definitely a different side to Costa Rica Outward Bound than she saw three years ago, and she has adapted quite nicely.

Her ability to adapt may be because Costa Rica is not the only place this 20-year-old New Orleans native has traveled.  Last fall, she completed a Semester at Sea (photo: bottom right, in Hong Kong) during which she circumnavigated the globe; summer adventure courses have taken her biking 300 miles along the southern Irish coast and 1,000 miles along America's west coast; almost every western European country has been checked off her destination list; and Katie's mom has taken her on long road trips to distant locations as far as Mexico and Canada.

Currently, Katie attends Jimmy Carter's grandson's alma mater, Oglethorpe University (in Atlanta, GA), where she is studying American Studies and has been appointed the Civic Engagement Mentor.  In that same vein, she not only hosts Oglethorpe's Katrina volunteers in New Orleans during winter break, but also volunteers with Habitat for Humanity.  In her remaining 1.5-2 collegiate years Katie hopes to study abroad in South Africa because - even though her major contradicts it -one of her passions is to learn more about African history.  She realized how little she knew about it eight months ago when her Semester at Sea ship docked there.

Other future plans include - but are not limited to - living in San Francisco, opening a hostel in New Orleans, and even possibly following in her mom's footsteps as a Fiber Artist (which is not surprising since art runs in her family).  In New Orleans her mom is a well-known artist who makes clothing and artwork from old ties and fabrics, while her dad is a popular musician.

And even after all of this time, travel and planning since her previous experience with us here in Costa Rica, Katie has never forgotten "the incredible taste of the fresh fruit here," she says.  Nothing has ever measured up to  it, and she thinks about it every time she has fruit back at home.  Among some of her favorite memories is this moment:
"We were rafting down an intense rapid on the Pacuare River while Felipe Lopez was guiding, and I got tossed out....  I remember being freaked out at first, but then I realized how much fun it was."

We're not surprised you handled an intense situation well, Super Intern.


Rhodes said...


Anonymous said...

Hey ya got a good on in Kakk katie she is a sweet heart and I am sure an asset for your program. Keep it green!

Anonymous said...

Go Kaykay GO!