We woke up to the rain clanging on the roof (I love that sound), but how very unusual. It's normally sunny and beautiful in the mornings. So, we had a lazy morning, then I met Isabel in Copey just before 10 am, as planned. She lead the way on her ATV and I followed her up to Seidy's house in the SUV. Seidy is one of the directors of the Copey Learning Center. I also met Angela, the young woman who's been volunteering there the last 2 years, but who is leaving in late November. Angela is from Pennsylvania and works with the Peace Corp. She explained what the community is endeavouring to do with this centre. This centre was opened because the people of Copey strongly believe that if their children know how to speak English well, they will have better opportunities i.e. better jobs. The parents are so keen that many of them also take night classes to learn English. This was all news to me. Very interesting. The centre is split into 4 divisions: language, tourism, environment and arts. For the last 2 years, the volunteers have been concentrating on the language aspect, but have also begun developing programs within the environment and arts divisions. They've started an organic garden and Angela has started a choir with the children, and she would have liked to have expanded into theatre, storytelling and dance. It's a process that takes patience. They're doing their best. The children learn English in school, and after school, if enrolled in the program, they are required to go to the community centre for an extra hour and a half of English classes. Copey children get more English lessons than most other kids in Costa Rica. The parents pay for the kids to attend these lessons. The teachers, however, don't get paid, it's all volunteer. The money funds field trips, teaching materials, etc. It was a very interesting meeting, and I've decided to go on Wednesday evening to have a look at the centre and to shadow Angela. There's an adult night class and I want to see what exactly is involved. Since I've never taught before, I need all the help I can get. I have a few weeks before Angela leaves, so I'll be paying very close attention. I hope I can be of service, somehow, some way. I'm rather intrigued about the tourism division.
I think I might look into what's involved there, too. I would love to help put Copey/Rio Blanco on the map (for obvious reasons, but also to generate business for everyone in our region).
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Dave and Krista are a couple from the Pacific Northwest that led overwhelmingly busy lives.
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