Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sanderos Rusticos

For those of you who don´t know, my first encounter with Rustic Pathways was in the summer of 2003 when I went on a Language Immersion program for two weeks in Costa Rica. I stayed with a host family, went whitewater rafting, and met other high school students from around the United States. My mom has always reminded me of Rustic Pathways and how I could potentially work on staff with them, so when I checked the website in April and saw that they were still hiring, I couldn´t resist the temptation.
So, here I am.
Staff training was one week long at the base house of the Volcano and Rainforest Project, which involved over 25 summer staff members, and over 10 full time staff members. We are warned that our schedules outlining what programs we are doing through the summer is bound to change constantly, but at this point I am suppose to be spending 6 weeks as a guide on the Volcano and Rainforest program and two weeks doing Summer Camp Leadership program. The Volcano program has the highest capacity for students, as we have two beautiful base houses on beautiful property near Arenal Volcano. The property has a football field, ponds of ducks, a stream, and a lovely pool that is filled with the stream´s water. So, its no doubt that we can handle 34 students. The program runs a week long and is based on community service projects at local schools. Over the course of the summer, we will build a bodega or a storage room, bathrooms, lay two different ceramic tile floors, paint a mural, and repaint the inside and outside of a school, and paint the fence and basketball court of another school- in total we work with 6 different schools. When the kids are resting from community service, we will be taking them to local hot springs, zip lining, horseback riding, kayaking, white water rafting, and playing football…. I know, I know, how stressful will it be to have to do all of that EVERY week…stupid hot springs. Catered meals, lounging by the pool, and having dance parties…this is the life. I have this week off and have just been traveling around a bit, meeting up with some friends, but I am excited to get the summer started and meet the group of kids on Tuesday afternoon.