A week of travelling

Trip Start Aug 21, 2006
Trip End Aug 18, 2007

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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Tuesday, October 17, 2006

This was a week of new adventures and visiting new places. Last Friday a bunch of people from my program left Ciudad Colon and went to La Carpio, a slum on the outskirts of San Jose, to visit the school there. Because of miscommunication we ended up not being there at the same time as the teachers, but I managed to convince the janitors to let us into the school so we could see the setup, and we walked around the town for a while. The neighbourhood is poor and known as being one of the more violent parts of Costa Rica. Our taxi driver actually came pretty close to ditching us on the side of the road when he realized where we were going, and the whole way there spoke about how going to La Carpio was such a bad idea because they are all drug dealers and criminals and Nicaraguans. There is so much racism here against Nicas, and there is such a large illegal migrant population from there, who are here especially at this time of the year picking coffee.

In La Carpio I ended up talking to a grandmother who stopped me on the street. She was so excited when she found out I was a teacher and spoke about the school and what she considers to be the void it is not filling in the youths education. She said that there is no sex education in La Carpio, and that she attributes her 12 year old granddaughter getting pregnant to this. She mentioned that if volunteers from Upeace come she thinks sex education is what we should teach, though I'm not too sure how that would be seen by the rest of the community.

And the other exciting story is that I have just returned from a weekend in Tortugeras, which is located pretty near to the Nicaraguan border on the Carribean side. Tortugueras is the national park set up for the conservation of sea turtles. The hotel where we were staying was built on a tiny piece of land lying between a lagoon and the ocean, and me and some classmates spent the weekend taking boat tours in the canals, watching wildlife (I saw SO many monkeys!) and relaxing. We saw sea turtles and barracudas in the ocean (no swimming on that beach!) and water buffalo in the lagoon, crocodiles and monkeys (no swimming on that side either, but there was a beautiful pool at the hotel, so we made up for it). Anyone who comes for a visit here will ABSOLUTELY be brought there; it's really quite a sight.

And now it's back to work, I have a really big paper due tomorrow and another class starting then, research methods, promises to be lots of fun (can we all hear the sarcasm in my voice?). The only good thing about it is that by the end of this class we're supposed to have the subject of our thesis and started to have collected some information. I promise to write about that soon, but for now I'm back to work.
One last thing, my wonderful father knows so much more than I do about technology and has managed to get me an internet phone registered in Montreal, so I have a phone attached to my Internet modem that people can call as if they were calling a regular 514 phone number a.ka. no long distance charges. I feel a bit sketchy about giving out my phone number on the internet, but if anyone wants to be in touch with me send me an e-mail and I'll get you the phone number.
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