Full Copey Report submitted by Genna Macfarlan
I truly wish I could put into words how grateful I am to have had the experience I did this summer living in Copey. I could go into specifics on the incredible things I got to do; visiting volcanoes, relaxing in a beautiful river and hotsprings, paragliding over the beach and making chocolate bars from scratch, all of which are unforgettable. But this would be overlooking the true reason I feel so connected with this place – the people. It’s not cheesy because it’s true. From the second I landed in Costa Rica I felt so accepted and so taken care of. Feelings I know I won’t be able to express in one short blurb, but here I go trying anyway (:
Having the opportunity to continue my educational goals by working at the learning center was truly incredible and I am amazed at what they continue to accomplish in the space they have. Obviously, this wouldn’t be possible without the many people I was fortunate enough to meet: Catalina, Anyela, Gloria, Lucia, Lorena, Larry and Cindy, and so many more through connections, time, resources, etc.
I was able to teach 4 classes during the summer. Each was so unique and fun in its own way. My kindergartners were an absolute joy; filled with sometimes overwhelming, but absolutely contagious energy. We played games and learned colors, numbers, letters, and shapes. We sang and acted out animals, danced, and colored. So much fun.
It was quite interesting teaching a virtual adult class and I was always pleasantly surprised at the commitment and effort in our less-than-ideal online environment.
I am so proud of my 4th and 5th graders. They did an awesome end presentation on the digestive system and even surprised me with cards and a homemade digestive system cake the week I was leaving :,)
I wish I had a picture with my high school class. These young adults absolutely amazed me. No doubt they will continue to contribute to their community and beyond. Aware and active, creative and open-minded. So proud…
Really grateful to the Rodriguez family for helping me out, taking me in, showing me around, teaching me about the history and traditions, buying me coffee, and teaching me new dances. Festivals, board games, movies and just amazing conversation I was truly so touched by these endearing people.
Leaving Las Manzanas, where I got to stay with Rosi, Olman, Lucrecia, Nazareth, Ale, and Rut was like leaving my own family members. So happy we live in a time where I can still get on my computer and have face-to-face conversations with them and continue to watch Rut grow up.
The moment I got back home I sat down with a friend and said “here’s my goal…I want to keep the peace I felt and contentment while down there.” Maybe it was the difference in pace from the full-load university schedule or being surrounded by some of the most beautiful nature views I’ve seen. Smaller tasks and events felt more meaningful and important. Making tortillas from scratch in the kitchen and joking about making sure to exercise every time it rains (every day). Taking one-month baby photos for Rut and Alana, as well as the whole family.
Traveling on a two-hour bus ride to a dance festival. Almost getting left behind but ending up having the best time….haha. I could go on and on about my time here and it feels strange to be writing this as if it is a wrap-up of my time and relationships down there when I have no doubt I will go back. I have already continued to have zooms and calls with those I met, planning future visits and talks.
I’ll end with a huge, huge thank you to Art and my mom for this connection and for easing my travel worries before the trip. So glad Art has created this platform to share just a few of my amazing memories.