Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Volunteer Voice - First Week in Manuel Antonio

Written by Bethany Devlin from Australia - GVI Manuel Antonio Teaching Volunteer

I arrived in in San Jose on Friday and met GVI staff and other volunteers at Gaudy's Backpackers Hostel. I was invited to have dinner out which was great, an authentic Mexican meal to start my adventure. 

The bus ride to Quepos was really nice, beautiful scenery, plantain chips for a snack, and I even saw some crocodiles on the way! My first weekend included a trip to the beach where I very poorly attempted to surf, and we had pizza delivered for dinner -yes, you can get gluten free pizza delivered in the rainforest! 

Bethany planning for her English class next day
The project at El Cocal was quite a challenge to see. The resources we have and what we are trying to achieve made me feel daunted about the task ahead. After a week here I am more optimistic about my own personal contribution to what we can achieve. I am helping to teach English to grades 1-6, and being in a country thriving in tourism it is an opportunity for children in El Cocal to get work and succeed. 

Although cold showers weren't so welcoming, when I arrived the volunteers and staff at the house were. Living in one big house is really fun; getting addicted to the same TV show, cooking and cleaning together, it is a really comfortable environment to be in. 

Adventure to be continued...
Bethany enjoying the local area as part of a Spanish class