Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
The next day we went horseback riding at some friends of Milton´s place down valley somewhat. We rode for an hour down to a natural hot springs they have built up next to a raging river. This time Toby rode with Dave and liked it more. At the end he and Cass both rode a little by themselves and were very proud. It was a steep trail but the horses were strong and knew what they were doing. It was beautiful and very fun. Super nice family. They brought their 5 month old who slept the whole time on the horse and laughed at our kids in the pool. On the way back toby spotted a white faced monkey that then climbed down from its tree and ran across the field which Ive never seen before. Overall very awesome weekend!
The kids are generally more wild than schools we are used to in the states but are lots of fun. I went with a class to climb a massive strangler fig tree this morning, the kids went at least 100 feet up!! That would never fly at home would it!! We´ve seen sloths, toucans, coati mundi and white faced monkeys on campus. Very cool.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
The next morning we swam more and packed up then took a Interbus shuttle to Monteverde. The drive takes almost 4 hours mostly because the last 38 km are on a steep very bumpy road that takes forever. I was glad we werent in a big bus. Kids took turn sleeping and playing name that animal guessing games. We had another couple in the bus with us from NY and when we stopped the van to look at howler monkeys our kids couldnt belive they had never seen monos in the wild before! It started blowing really hard as we reached the top of the mountain and was raining by the time we arrived in the pitch dark at 7. The family we are renting from picked us up in their van and explained in spanish that there was a small problem with the lights. Well what that meant was that their was NO electricity in the house yet (they had just bought it recently). Fortunately we had packed sandwiches and had 2 headlamps. The kids felt like we were camping and were great about it. The next day the family showed up to try to get it to work but to no avail. Three days later we finally got power only to loose it 2 hours later when the wind blew the power lines over. The house is huge and very sparesely furnished but the kids love it (especially for running around on rainy days which our first 4 were). There has been a huge storm throughout all of Central America that is finally over. It is also pink and very close to the school.
The school (Cloud Forest School or Centro de Educacion Creativo) is 100 meters up the hill and a beautiful CRMS like place. It looks out over the Gulf of Nicoya and has great cloud forest trails and fabulous playgrounds. The first 5 days we just got settled, hoped for power and warm water. So far we have visited the Childrens Eternal Rainforest (which most school kids have contributed to at some point), the Cheese factory (delicous ice cream and carmel too!) and the butterfly garden (with an insect house where we petted tarantulas). There are tons of tourists in MV which is a bit hard to get used to and it makes it a little harder to practice spanish because all the service people speak english. It is a very beautiful place though and the kids are loving it.
We finally have power but not hot water yet. We boil water on the stove for kid baths but dave and i are doing cold showers. Which would be fine if it hadnt been chilly. After 7 weeks on the road we have gotten very flexible though. I will write more about the school and our volunteer work next time I can. This brings us basically up to date.
4. Looking out at the Isla T bay from a town park.
Then our Gamboa taxista picked us up and took us to the ferry dock in PC where we caught a ferry to Isla Taboga 12 miles out from the city in the Pacific.
We had a fabulous time in Bocas despite the fact that it rained HARD for 2 days and lightly for another two. Every day except Christmas when it was pouring insanely hard, we managed to go to the beach. Toby and Dave spent 6 hours at the beach one day when it was drizzling off and on. The water was so warm it was great even in the rain. On the way to the beach that day, Toby spotted a white faced monkey (fairly rare) and a sloth both really close. He was very psyched!. Some highlights for us were how incredibly into the water toby is and how comfortable cassidy even got. We would go out beyond the breakers and bob around with the boogie board and toby would swim around us in circles. Grandpa Bill had his best day of surfing ever on an offshore break near Isla Contadora with a neighbor of the lodge. I saw an anteater right in front of me while jogging in the rain one morning. He stopped to slurp on ants so close that i could hear him! We never really got snorkeling but thats ok. The kids were very psyched on Xmas even though we had very few presents. It was really cool to have a super low key, completely different christmas and have everyone very happy about it. We´d definitely recommend the lodge to anyone looking for a beautiful low key island escape! Our last day there was beautiful and we spent 5 hours at the beach before heading into town with Grandpa for the flight to Panama City.