Monday, June 14, 2010


Well I'm finally done with the Peace Corps and have been back home for a few weeks now. I wanted to thank everyone who has checked my blog over the last 2 years even though lately I haven't been doing a good job about keeping it updated.

I have posted some before/after pictures of the computer project I did. Thank you to those of you who donated.



Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thanks for the Support

Thank you everyone who donated to the computer project. We have risen all the money (over $1600) thanks to your generosity and will soon begin the fun part; actually fixing up the building and buying/installing the electrical system and computers. Hopefully it won’t take longer than 3 month since I am done in the middle of May. Plus I would like to have time to teach a few classes and organize some lesson plan ideas for the teacher to use after I leave.

In other news I spent 3 day in San Jose at the luxurious Crowne Plaza hotel for the Peace Corps Close of Service Conference. We basically learned about the administrative/medical procedures necessary to officially finish the PC and leave country. Sometimes I can't believe it's almost over.

The day after the conference my grandmother came and brought me on an 8 day all-inclusive tour around the country. We toured around San Jose and the local mountains then went to Tortugero, La Fortuna, and the JW Marriott south of Tamarindo. It was definitely the most luxurious week of my life.

We stayed only in 4 and 5 star hotels and were given what seemed to be an unlimited supply delicious food and drink. We were transported in a nice air conditioned tour bus and brought to all kinds of preplanned activities and adventures. I definitely saw what I guess you could call “the other side of Costa Rica.” Thanks Grammy if your reading this!

Anyway I’ll post some before, during and after pictures of the computer project once things get underway so keep posted.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Your chance to help out!

I hope everyone has had a merry Christmas and a happy new year. I am just getting back to Costa Rica after spending a very cold but enjoyable couple weeks home. Now I need to get back to work on my computer lab project.

For those of you who don't know, I'm helping the elementary school in my town build a small computer lab with internet, and we need your help! Please click on the link at the right hand side of the page under "Computer Lab Project" -------->
or copy and paste the link below in your web browser to read a thorough description of the project and donate if you can.

I know Christmas has passed but don't let go of that altruistic spirit!
I will post pictures of our work as soon as we get the money and start the project.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Here are some pictures from when I went white water rafting a couple months ago on the Pacuare River, which runs from the mountains of Cartago to the Caribbean coast in the province of Limon. This is one of the top 5 rivers in the world to go rafting. Not only was the river impressively raging and exciting, the scenery was beyond beautiful. For the whole of the 4-hour trip we passed through completely undeveloped indigenous territory with beautiful waterfalls and rock formations. The weather and conditions were perfect, the wildlife was rampant, and I have to say it was one of my coolest experiences here in Costa Rica.

I'm the one in the middle on the right hand side with the blue shirt.
Me jumping from the waterfall.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Im Back

So what have I been doing the last 6-7 months? Well it would take too long to write about everything so here are some random pictures I took before my camera died when I took it snorkeling (it was supposed to be waterproof).

Other than what´s in the picture...I went home for 2 weeks, went to Nicaragua for about a week, got my appendix taken out in San José, went white water rafting in the fifth best rafting river in the world, had an amazing thanksgiving dinner at the beach, and a lot of other stuff I can´t think of right now. Rafting pictures coming soon.

Tico 18 saying goodbye to Chris

Soccer Game
Rural Bridge
Normal houses
Cute little girl playing with a machete.
Birthday Party
My cat eating dinner.

Trip to the zoo.

Fruity drinks on the beach
Rodeo in my town.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

A Miracle

The most spectacular and beautiful event occurred last week. A truck came to my town from the government’s ministry of communication and installed a big satellite next to the school. Now I have free wireless internet 200 yards down the road from my house!  I just have to walk a little ways down the road with my laptop and I can receive a wireless signal anywhere within a fifty-yard radius of the school. This is of such a monumental benefit to me in so many ways and improves my quality of life in such a way that I cannot express.  It’s so hard for me to believe that in such a small, rural town like mine there can internet. 

            I greatly appreciate this gift from the Costa Rican government, which I can’t help but believe was built exclusively for me since nobody in my town (or in any other towns around me I would imagine) has a computer. Nor are there computers in the school. And if there were computers nobody would know how to use them. There are many things the government could have spent this money on that would have been of much more benefit to the people of my town.  I can’t complain though because now one person within 15 miles has internet, me. I guess it would be a good project for me anyways; try to get cheap or donated computers for the school and teach people how to operate them.

            I’m trying not to get too excited because due to the destructive nature of the youth (and adults) in my town I fear it won't be long until the equipment is either destroyed or stolen. Oh yeah, they also installed two more payphones which was nice but also unnecessary since we already have one payphone and people are never lined up to use it. It might get used 2-3 times a day if at all.  Well, not we have two more. All this was donated without any solicitation from anyone in my town. I really don’t understand the priority ranking techniques of the government but oh well.

            Well else is new?  Not a whole lot. Last week I visited my friend Rob’s town with my other friend Heather and camped on the beach with his host family and other people from his town for a couple days.  It was pretty fun and good to see there the other volunteers live. See the pictures.

            According to my landlord in the rainy season mice usually invade my apartment so I decided to acquire myself a kitten. I walked to a guy’s house who I heard had a litter of kittens he was getting rid of. He wasn’t home so I talked to his neighbor and she said he was out hunting. Two days later I went to a different guy’s house who had a bunch of kittens and brought one home. When I got home there was a kitten in a sack waiting on my doorstep. Now I have two. At least they can keep each other company.

            The rainy season is starting again.  It just rained for about a day and a half strait. Everything looks a lot cleaner without layers of dust and the flora is starting to turn green again.  I’m not really looking forward to 5-6 months of perpetual wetness but its important for the farmers and the animals.

            This Sunday the local development association, which consists of 4 old men and 2 old women from my town who get together twice a month and complain for 3 hours but never do anything, is reelecting executive members. I attend every meeting but the redundancies of the conversations and complaints is really wearing on me and I feel like the entire group is a huge waste of time. They are supposed to be the governing body of the town and plan activities, events and projects for the betterment of the community but I have been here for a year and they haven’t done much at all.  I can tell they are just not into it and don’t want to be there.  I don’t know why they joined in the first place.  Hopefully we will get some new member with more motivation and fresh ideas. It will be interesting to see what happens.

Well I don’t really know what else to talk about. Here are some pictures. Thanks for reading. 

My new best friend

The house you can see up the hill a little ways behind the trees in mine. My commute to the internet went from a 90 minute bus ride to a 3 minute walk.
The 2 new telephones also installed. 

Maroñón aka "Cashew Fruit." 
Most people don't know it but cashews come from the nut at the bottom of this fruit. 

You can see the pile of discarded cashews in the background. The fruit itself tastes disgusting. Honestly one of the most awful things I have ever tasted in my life. Some people like it thought... I guess its an acquired taste.

A kid in a tree picking mangos. He has a long stick with a metal loop and a bag at the end.
A bunch of mangos not quite ripe yet. 
These mangos are big and delicious.  Fresher and better than the supermarket
A horse eating mangos

This tree grows grapes. They're pretty tasty.
Another sunset picture. I like how this one came out with the little girl and the boats.

Going out to sea in a kayak.

Rob and Heather. We're on our way back in from kayaking around the bay. 
Getting a ride across the bay with Rob's friend.
A boat graveyard

The early morning view from our campsite. 

Rob with a couple old guys from his town. 

Our campsite on the beach

I forget what these things are called but you break them open and there is a little round nut that tastes like coconut.

Working hard in English Class (The older people have a tougher time keeping up)

Bored in English class.  (The younger students sometimes get bored waiting for the older ones to catch up) 

Crossing the Gulf of Nicoya on a ferry. 
Another view from the ferry. 

My kittens. 

All over my town it looks like the aftermath of an atomic bomb.  The farmers are going through the land cutting everything with machetes and burning it to get ready to plant beans and corn for the rainy season. 
Jose neighbor/landlod.