Parties and volcanoes

Trip Start Jun 16, 2005
Trip End Aug 2006

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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Thursday, August 10, 2006

It's been an interesting and packed week this past week. I finally feel like everything is coming together, which is as it should be! Morgan, of course, is doing wonderfully with the kids, as is Sol Anyel, and so I feel like I can return to the States in good conscience.

The church decided to throw me a going-away party last Sunday and asked Morgan if she would help with the piñata, and she suggested we make it -- which turned out to be quite a project! Papier-maché for 30 kids is crazy. But, we ended up making it work,
Morgan, more adventurous than I, also tried concrete-sledding down the alameda with the kids. She perhaps discovered a new talent?

Jennifer, Morgan and I pitched in to buy Stephannie a high chair after she fell from the box she'd been sitting on... check out that photo! She mostly loves it.

My dad came down for my last week here, to help me get all my stuff home. It was just wonderful to have him around, and of course the kids were ecstatic!

He arrived on Thursday night, and so he had Friday with the kids. Saturday, we took Sol Anyel, María Fernanda, Marci, Victor and Stephannie to Pizza Hut. They have a play area, and it was a nice way to both say thank-you to Sol Anyel and Marci for all the work they've done for this program and for the kids to get to have a chance to play on a safe jungle-gym. And, of course: Who doesn't like pizza?

Then, on Sunday, the church had my going-away party. We had a seemingly endless stream of piñatas because we'd decided to have many small ones, trying to string them together (which didn't end up working so well in the end, but lots of kids got to try to hit it). I got whacked in the right wrist by a 13-year-old, dizzy girl wielding a stick, but nothing seems to be broken. =) I even got a chance to break one! Apparently I sent it flying around the room. I cried a lot, and so did the kids, which I guess means I did ok this year. It was such a wonderful time!!!

Monday, Dad and I took off for Arenal. I figured that it would be good for Dad to get to see something as long as he was coming down here! So, Monday we hiked through the forest to (try to) see the lava, but the clouds were too low, so we didn't get to see anything. But, we did get to see an old lava flow and tons of animals, so that was pretty cool. Then, we went to the hot springs. Tuesday, we went rafting. Dad fell out, but somehow managed not to lose his glasses! Wednesday, we went horseback riding to the waterfall, which was different this time -- not on the road -- so we saw lots of toucans and other animals. It was beautiful!! Then, we came back on the bus.

When I got back to the church last night, I found that Morgan had planned a surprise mini going-away party for me! She'd baked a cake, and Marci, Stephannie, Victor, Sol Anyel, María Fernanda, Veronica, Ruth and Esteban were over. Daysi came by later with Melissa, so we had a great group to eat that cake! It was so, so nice to get to spend that time with them.

I'm at the airport right now in San Jose, taking advantage of the free wireless internet. It's so strange to be leaving. I ended up having to leave way earlier than planned because of the events in Britain earlier today; I wanted to make sure I got here in enough time to wait in line, but it turned out that everything went the smoothest it's ever gone! I'm hoping Houston isn't too bad, but it might be just awful; we'll see. Hey, if I have to stay over, that's what I'll have to do.

I hope you're all well.


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