By Caroline Kessler
At what point does the Carpe Diem group decide to head home?
This week marked the halfway point of our trip! In a month and a half, we’ve traveled through two countries, lived in eight locations, stayed with three host families, and eaten about ten pounds of Gallo pinto. Yum!
An update since the last post: We were in the rural mountain town of Penas Blancas this week volunteering and working in artist workshops. Each morning we woke up to a magnificent view of fog rising from the trees and a waterfall cascading from the mountains. Mozying our way to the kitchen, three smiling women greeted us with a hot plate of food and freshly squeezed juice. After that, it was go-time. We’d throw on our work gloves and rain boots, and head up a rocky road to one of the local’s homes.
The objective of the volunteer project was to install a composting toilet system. This would increase soil fertility and make farming more sustainable for them. We started out digging two six-foot deep holes. One hole was for the processor and the other was filled with rocks to further separate the remains. In the afternoons, we spent time exploring the area, making delicious cornbread, and learning from artists how to make prints, paint murals, and make soap.
It was definitely a week for the books. Wednesday night marked the halfway point of the week and semester so naturally, a halfway party was in order. We played games and danced to music. On Friday night, we gathered with the locals for a final goodbye. They thanked us for our work, played an epic game of musical chairs, and then sent us off with a song on the mandolin and a chicken fried dinner. Again, yum!
We’re all really excited about how far we’ve come. It’s been filled with learning and growing, some challenges, and a lot of laughter. Each moment is so different from the next, making us realize we still have so much to uncover.