I think this second week in Monteverde has been favorite of the three weeks. I have gotten used to family and their schedule, and I have even gotten used to Monteverde. We have done and experienced so many amazing things here. First of all, the Cloud Forest School was unbelievable. I was so impressed with the amount of freedom the students had there. Our guide told us that the students make their own paths and trails through the forest, and I cannot imagine that being okay in most of the schools at home. I was also shocked at the amount of time that the students are able to spend outdoors. I was shocked when we were told that teachers take their students on hikes for one or two hours. When I was in high school, our field day got eliminated because we were losing too much “instructional time.” That’s why I was so amazed that so much of their learning takes place on hikes or with plants. I think it is very beneficial for students to spend time outside and learn from nature. It is definitely something I want to incorporate in my classroom.
Going to the coffee farm this week brought out the inner child in me. I used to love doing things like that when I was little, and I loved to spend time on the farm. Walking through the cow pasture reminded me of when my sister and I used to do that at home. We would go to the fence and pet the cows, and of course we named them all. I found a lot of cross cultural similarities in the coffee farm and the farms at home. Just like you can’t plant peanuts or cotton in the same field every year, they cannot plant coffee in the same fields ever year. Crop rotation was just one of similarities that I saw. Not only did planting the trees make me feel like a child again, but climbing the tree was so much fun for me.
Knowing that I have to tell my family goodbye in the morning is already making me sad. I wish I could do more to tell them thank you. They have taken care of me, and they have made me feel so comfortable in their home. I feel extremely lucky to have been placed with them, and I hate to say goodbye; but my Mama Tica told me to remember that I always had a family in Costa Rica, and she wanted me to come visit. So maybe it won't be goodbye forever!