This is Kiley, Lisa, and Jill reporting from Costa Rica. Another week has passed and we cannot believe that our trip is halfway over. Last weekend we traveled to Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean coast to enjoy the beaches and sun. Although, we did enjoy the beaches, we never saw the sun. Instead, we experienced downpours without electricity for periods of time. Needless to say, it was an adventure (a fun adventure)! The Caribbean coast seems a different world from San Jose, which illustrates how diverse and different Costa Rica is. We cannot wait to experience more of this incredible country.
This past week, our practicums consisted of time at the UNIBE clinic observing therapy and assessment for half the group and a day at a public school and a day at a Juvenile Facility. I will focus on the school for the majority of the blog.
The school is a primary school: kindergarten though 6th grade. The students wore uniforms and lunch was provided for each student. It was explained that students in public schools have to wear uniforms in order to lessen social and economic distinctions between students. Our day at the school was simply incredible. Each and every one of us left with a smile on our faces and a love for the children we observed. We will touch on a few high highlights from the day. When we entered the school, the first recess was beginning. The Costarricense love for soccer was evident. There were two fields in the middle of the school where the majority of the children were playing various games of soccer. We were then placed in separate classrooms to observe a normal day for the children. Each classroom was adorned with a Catholic cross and some people in our group experienced how much the church plays a role in the school. There were two events that had a major impact on me. First, a woman entered our classroom with a plastic bag which contained Colones (the Costa Rican currency), as it turns out she was collecting money for a family who lost their son a week ago. This young man was 16 years old and had attended this school for his primary education. The students in my classroom proudly donated money to this cause. Later in the afternoon, another man entered to classroom to take the children’s orders for gifts for Mothers’ Day.
The students made us feel very important. We answered their questions from, “How do you say my name in English?” to “When does this new video game come out?” We also played hopscotch and helped with schoolwork. The four hours we spent at the school were four hours none of us will forget.