Sunday, March 15, 2015

Students’ Journal: Costa Rica Day 5

Yesterday we all went up to Jaime’s, our rainforest expert, ethno-botany studio.  Jaime and his nephew, Elian, brought us all different kinds of plants, fruits, herbs, and more. First, we tried out the “lipstick plant”; it was spikey on the outside and had seeds on the inside that produced a red paste that we could smear on our lips and face. Some people went for tribal face paint, and others just used it as lip tint. We also tried other plants that made our tongues numb and ones that produced a perfume scent. We also had the pleasure of trying many fruits, vegetables, and nuts, which he had grown in his garden, these being, oranges, a full coconut, and mimbro, a small, green, bitter vegetable that tastes great when paired with salt. The last thing that Jaime brought out was bagged chocolate and banana ice cream; it was delicious. 

Fun in the Sun
Earlier today, many Berkeley Carroll homestay families went down to the river to cool off. Our family told us that on Sundays, most Costa Rican families from Linda Vista (rural community within Chilamate) come down to the river at some time or another during the day. This is one of many ways which we have seen the connectedness of the community, one of their many strengths. When we went to the river, we collected tadpoles with our homestay siblings, but mostly with our 5-year-old brother, Manfred. Each tadpole was jet black and some even had little legs growing. Soon after, other students started drizzling in with their families and we had a big splash war. Manfred formed a bond with CC, hanging all over him like a monkey that wouldn’t get off a tree. We also waded into the water, which was really refreshing on a day that was muy caliente.”

Our Homestay Experience
“I had a great first impression when I first met my homestay family. They all had huge smiles on their faces and were giving everyone big hugs. The first night we had rice and beans, and I immediately loved it. The entire time at our homestay family was amazing, and our family was comforting when I felt homesick. I am really going to miss them and I hope that we keep in touch.”
      - Bea

“I really loved how my homestay family was so welcoming.  I felt so honored that my homestay mom, Bianca, was worrying so much about our stay, when she should be worrying about herself, seeing as she is pregnant and due in two weeks.  The kids were also very welcoming and gave many hugs.”
-       Camille

“When I first stepped foot in our homestay house, I felt at home. Our room was very spacious, and our mother, Bianca, had left us delicious candies on our pillows. In the bathroom there was a paper flower folded from bath tissue. Bianca has made us only the most gourmet food of Costa Rica and, overall, has made our experience truly incredible.”
- Gaia

CC and Mr. Agnor reenacting a scene from Lord of the Flies.

Camille used a special leaf to stamp on a “natural tattoo”.


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