Almost saw a volcano today!

Trip Start Jun 16, 2005
Trip End Aug 2006

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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Sunday, July 31, 2005

Well, Ben and I decided to head to Arenal for his last weekend here. We got up at 4:30 this morning to catch the 6:15 bus and had a 4 1/2 hour ride to La Fortuna, which sits at the bottom of the volcano Arenal. It's supposed to be really cool if the clouds clear, but it's also supposed to be kind of a crap-shoot as to whether they actually do. We almost got to see the top today, but there's definitely a perennial cloud over it! Mordor, anyone?!

But we also hiked the 8k each way (and the trail at the end) to see a really cool waterfall and got to swim in the pool at the bottom. There were even fish -- trout, I think -- a lot of them! It was really beautiful, and really cold.

We're staying at a pretty nice place with -- gasp! -- air conditioning! for 35, which is the most we've paid but the going rate for backpackers in the area. It doesn't help that there's some ridiculous (ly awesome, apparently) resort up on the volcano that uses the hot springs charging 230 a night -- gives the other hotels a reason to up their prices! But, it's nice and we even have a pool. And a view of the volcano, because it's impossible not to!

The program has been going well, and we even did watercolor paintings yesterday afternoon. I'm definitely going to make sure I have painting shirts for the kids before we venture into Tempera, but it went well and the kids were pretty creative. I have some postcards of art from my trip to New York and DC, and I posted them in the classroom; a couple of the older kids were even copying the Mark Rothko and the Monet! Obviously I want them coming up with their own ideas, but inspiration has to come from somewhere...

I've been having a bit of a problem with getting the kids to obey the no-food-in-the-classroom rule. Someone was eating jacotes (a little fruit that's in season right now) and -- even after reprimanding the child in question -- I found pits °under° the carpet! It wouldn't be such a big deal, but I haven't seen a cockroach in about a week and I don't have ants anymore, and I would like to keep it that way! Given that the church is very open-air, I certainly don't need to attract little friends...

We had about 20 kids on -- I think -- Wednesday afternoon. That seems to be the limit, especially in anticipation that I won't have Ben anymore in a couple of days! They were really good, though, and a better balance of boys to girls meant I didn't have to mediate as much -- they just worked quietly.

I am trying to get windows put into the classroom as it is an absolute oven right now, and I'm not going to start teaching music until it's less hot! The kids can get pretty irritable, and I don't want anyone banging anyone else over the head with a recorder. I also, for my own sanity, am not going to deal with recorders and 100 degree temps at the same time! The problem is that Albert's metal cutter broke and we haven't been able to find another one... yes, this also means I still don't have one in my apartment, either. That tin roof is an absolute oven!

I'm looking forward to Monday. I haven't figured out which project we're going to do yet, but it might involve some messiness... How fun!

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