Monday, March 7, 2011

Community Projects update

It is almost sunset and the two families of monkeys that frequent the palms and towering trees by the GVI house have been especially playful and extra mischievous this afternoon. The white faced capuchin monkeys can’t help themselves, thumping on the metal roof and rustling the limbs to drop as much debris and half eaten fruits on us as possible as we pass underneath. The squirrel monkeys are far more considerate. Today about 8 are hanging on the palm fronds and peeking over the side of the roof through the open front door, curious about what we humans are up to inside. Hopefully the funny looking creatures inside will come out, bearing some bananas for an afternoon snack. Holding out my hand this afternoon, one of the smallest squirrel monkeys pried my fingers open one by one to snatch the banana from my palm. Their playfulness and antics never get old and I laugh when they hold my hand, in order to get a better reach for the banana in my other hand. So humanlike in their games and socialization with each other, one could procrastinate far too long on work, watching them tumble and slide, head first, down the slick metal roof of the neighbor’s house. We feel pretty fortunate to have their company, as some estimate there are fewer than 1200 of this particular species remaining in the wild.
Moving on from monkey business, starting the new projects has been an absolute joy for GVI staff and things could not be going better as we begin working with the students at Manuel Antonio Primary School. GVI has spent the week talking with the director and profes (teachers), making plans to offer the students music and chorus activities, extra-curricular sport, and a SURF TEAM, to name a few potentials. Just as in Escuela Corea, teachers and students alike are so excited for the arrival of the much anticipated volunteers. GVI staff is counting down the days: so many projects and activities are a lot of great work and we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of more helping hands. It is the volunteers that will make all of the planning and projects really come to life here.
Next week we will be getting our hands a bit dirty in the new school garden, hoping to soon be harvesting lots of the fruits and veggies with the students. With support from some very generous local hotels we are also beginning a recycling program at the school…more info on this in the weeks to come. There is much to be done in realizing all of the projects, but we could not imagine anything more rewarding than the smile of the kids and the realization that copious amounts of time and energy are materializing in opportunities and experiences that families and this community want so much for their children.

Check out this beautiful sunset from just around the corner in Manuel Antonio. This is the perfect end to a very full day and a reminder of the incredibly beautiful community that we live and work in.