Archive for May, 2008

El Rey de Baile

May 9, 2008

 

On May 8, the last day of classes at Mesoamerica, Jessica, Jeremy, and Shannon, students in Lorena’s Spanish class, entertained students and staff with a wonderful theatrical performance in Spanish.  It was enjoyed by all and we were all impressed with their Spanish language skills.

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Finishing the Semester

May 6, 2008

As our semester in Costa Rica rapidly approaches its finish most of us are occupied with last minute activities that come with any semester – final papers and exams.  Over the course of the May Day holiday, a four-day weekend for us, many students took the opportunity to make their final trips to the beaches, mountains, and even to Panama.  Granted Christina had a passport scare, everything turned out alright for the travelers.  I spent my extended weekend making campaign phone calls for the Clinton campaign via Skype – not a major surprise for my companions.  Despite the extended time away from the community surrounding our school, MesoAmerica, we still found the time to complete learning aides for the English classes at la Primaria Batenia.  This completed a service project component of our Education Seminar/Numbers & Culture class that also involved painting a classroom (they will remember NC forever since the room is decked out in Tarheel colors.)  The students appeared more than happy to receive our gifts.  

While studying issues in Latin America, we have also kept abreast with the news at home such as the soaring gas prices, rice restrictions, and the ongoing Democratic primary.  It seems everyday our Latin American Politics class is geared more towards American politics everyday – we have learned just how much our government affects the whole world.

 I am among the students excited about the return home, but I at the same time I cannot think about without feeling sad as it means leaving my host mom behind.  I am sure that the bus trip back to Juan Santa maría International Airport will have a mixture of bitter-sweet emotions for everyone. 

Hasta Pronto,

Jeremías Teetor

National Museum

May 5, 2008

“From the early ages, there has always been someone before us, someone we have displaced, someone who has marginalized us, someone against whom we have fought and someone with whom we’ve eventually mixed.”  Victor Hugo Acuno (Praise of Immigrant 1999)

This quote stands before the entrance to the immigrant room of the National Museum in San Jose.  Three Elon students pose with the cardboard cutouts that represent the different ethnicities of the people of Costa Rica to include the indigenous groups, the Spanish, the Africans, the Chinese and others.   

Arenal and La Fortuna

May 4, 2008

 

Our last group trip of the semester really sent us out in style this past weekend in the Arenal area. I think from the moment we first viewed the impressive (and active!) volcano, we could unanimously agree that the best was saved for last (not that our trips to Volcanes Poas or Irazú were anything to complain about)! After a long bus ride, with our favorite driver, Mauricio, and a short lunch break at Switzerland…well, a Swiss restaurant chosen by—guess who—the infamous Brigitte, our secretary/tour guide, we FINALLY arrived in Arenal Friday night. We enjoyed dinner in La Fortuna; afterward it was unfortunately a little too cloudy to see the flowing lava from Volcan Arenal. However, we weren’t ready to give up and call it a night just yet. Some students hung out at our luxurious Los Lagos Hotel while Mauricio escorted a few ladies to the local discotec for a night of dancing!

The next day was filled with a number of activities, but of course I first have to mention the amazing breakfast we all ate, including the second best pancakes you’ll ever eat in your life (if you are curious about the first, you would have to visit Oriental, North Carolina). Some adventurers, even fearless Professor Richardson, headed out to a nearby swimming hole complete with a rope swing and waterfalls to frolic in. Others chose to lounge by the many pools of Los Lagos, though I don’t know if you could really call “Water Slide Tour 2008” (wreak havoc!) “lounging.” For those of you that want to know more about Water Slide Tour 2008, it involved groups of college students running from water slide to water slide as though we were back in elementary school. If it sounds simple, clearly you had to be there to understand. A few lucky students even pampered themselves with a massage in the hotel spa. Kristin and her mom (visiting from SOUTH AFRICA!) spent a great day at the hot springs of Tabacon. All tired out from our long days, we dined together and headed out to go catch a glimpse of the lava flow at night or relax in the hot springs of Los Lagos.

On Sunday morning, a group of early risers headed out to Lago Arenal for some kayaking and came back pretty damp, but satisfied. Others took the last opportunity to play in the pool although some students—one more than the rest—definitely learned that water slides can hurt you.  All in all, we had a great trip and Arenal is one place that I would sincerely recommend to anyone traveling in Costa Rica.

 

Posted by Shannon Boone