Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My first Habitat build in Costa Rica!

What a great day! My co-worker Andres organized a build day at one of our sites in San Carlos. (2.5 hours from San Jose) I walked to my office in the morning, I was walking fast because I was supposed to be there at 7a and it was 8 after when I arrived. Not one car was in the parking lot and no bus waiting for us. I called Andres and he said he would be there in 2 minutes. I thought it was unlikely that the bus would have actually left on time, but I just sat on the bench waiting and laughed to myself. This would never happen in the U.S. Can you imagine your office planned a field trip and not even one person (including the bus) was there on time? Most people would be there early to make sure they didn’t miss the bus. Ha! This country is full of Ernestos! (I don’t mind it either, like the other night when we were cooking for some friends who were coming over….I was so glad none of them showed up on time…we weren’t ready.) During the ride to the site, we passed through a town with this beautiful white church. Sorry thats all I know about it....it was pretty and huge.I had seen pictures of the build site and I thought it was even cuter in person. There will be 70 families living in this row of colorful houses. 3 rooms and a bathroom. They will each have a yard, and be tought to garden. The idea is that the neighborhood is self sustaining. Not just creating the environment, but teaching them to how make a future with it. Here is one of them closer up.It was really hot, and the task at hand was to transfer this huge pile of rocks to the floor of one of the houses (and from there, they will pour a cement floor) Andres gives me a thubs up!Gloves would have been a great thing to take with me, and I know Kate has them somewhere in the house, but I couldn't find them. So, as you can imagine, I have some blisters...5 to be exact. Now, Im not complaning....Im just saying......
After an hour of shoveling and hauling I challenged Andres. "I bet I can fill up my wheelbarrow faster that you" ...just for shits and giggles. He was scared, but accepted the challenge. So someone yelled GO and we went at it...... We had a cheering (and laughing) audienceSomeone finally felt sorry for me and yelled stop, .....and then we compared. There was no way I was going to catch him....but it's not THAT MUCH more, right?
No need for the gym yesterday, I sweat about 1 gallon of water and my upper body is a bit sore....a definite cross-fit workout! For Lunch we walked to a little outdoor pizzeria, and on the way a guy selling papayas.
I love all the vivid colors in this shot.The pizzeria was in the middle of nowhere! It was a "hotel" with cabinas too. Close enough to the Arenal volcano and far enough away from....anything else! Here is the build team (minus 2) as we wait for our naturales (juice) y pizza.

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