I'm hopping back into this space after nearly two years away to share photos from a trip I am currently taking with 12 students and two teachers to Costa Rica. Today was our first full day, and although I was initially dubious at what our team would be able to accomplish given our collective lack of construction experience, I think you will agree that we made some progress. It was a good first day, with many opportunities to work hard, to interact with our house build team, and to practice speaking Spanish with the children and adults that live in the neighborhood where we are building.
First I will jump back to include a few photos from yesterday.
After arriving at the Pittsburgh airport in the middle of the night for an early flight out, followed by a delay in Fort Lauderdale due to mechanical problems, it was a relief to set foot on Costa Rican soil midday on Saturday:
It's always nice to be met by someone when you exit from an airport in another country. Below you can see our local guide giving us instructions:
First bus ride:
Since most of us hadn't eaten a proper meal all day, dinner was a very welcome experience.
Getting up for a 7:45am start on Sunday was not terribly difficult due to the two hour time difference. Most of us enjoyed a breakfast of gallo pinto (rice and black beans), fresh fruits including papaya, and scrambled eggs. Then it was off to the neighborhood where we are helping to build a house in three days. We were able to have this opportunity thanks to the efforts of four of our students who raised enough money by organizing and hosting a dance-a-thon last year.
We were divided into three teams, a painting team, a wall building team, and a roof truss team. The painting team had lots of help from local children:
First wall coming together:
Miss Cline hard at work with the circular saw:
First wall in place:
Second wall in place:
There was great excitement amongst our local helpers when we brought out the blue paint for the roof trusses:
Taking a well-deserved break:
Between the sawing, the hammering and the crowing of two roosters, communication was often a challenge: