Day 4 – January 6, 2013
Who said Sunday was a day of rest? Jesus was a little off on that one. Sunday was not so lazy, but who has time for that when you’re in Costa Rica? We had another day filled with great experiences, starting with breakfast at Eduardo’s (our bus driver’s) family home. His tiny little mother (I’m talking somewhere in the 4 foot range) made our entire group a traditional Costa Rican breakfast right in their home, which was complete with a wood-burning stove, drip coffee maker, and stone oven. A huge platter of fresh fruit (bananas, papaya, pineapple, mango) welcomed us after a warm welcome from the family, followed by freshly made bread, handmade tortillas with sour cream, fresh coffee, scrambled eggs, and a traditional rice/beans mixture. I was completely over-stuffed, but it was well worth it. Luckily I got a chance to burn off some of the meal by walking around the el centro of San Jose for a few hours (with quads that were still burning from the hours-long hike Saturday). We got a chance to walk through a market and I bought a few souvenirs to take home with me (dream catcher, bracelet, ring, cutting board made of different types of wood including purple heart which is gorgeous, a wine holder, and Costa Rican coffee for my parents). The guy I bought the dream catcher, ring, and bracelet from was really interesting and we were able to watch him make some jewelry right in front of us – including “crazy” rings he made out of wire for Katie, Audra and I, which were his artistic representation of Costa Rica’s motto “Pura Vida.” Gotta love free stuff and it will be such a nice memento for the trip. After our walk around town and taking dozens and dozens of pictures for keepsakes, design inspiration, and our project, we had our first opportunity to go to CODECE’s main “base” where we had a delicious lunch and learned a little bit more about the organization and interviewed Dona Sonia, one of the women who works at CODECE. After that and an afternoon break, we headed up towards the top of one of the mountains (to Aserri) for a dinner with Texas-sized portions of meat and to take photos overlooking the entire city at night. The way it was lit up and the lights shimmered in the distance was just gorgeous. I have never seen anything like it. I just can’t believe people live here and see that few every day. It was an amazing end to the day.
What difference did you make to the success of the team? I think my main contribution of the day was to help with translating from Spanish to English. I was able to help other team members speak to CODECE members by helping them with their Spanish and I was also able to talk with Dona Sonia about what they would like included on the website that we’re building. Even if it is not set in stone, it obviously helps our team to know a little bit more about the direction that they would like us to take.
What difference did you make to the client? I feel people in other countries really appreciate it when you try to speak their language when coming to their home country, so I think by trying to speak to them in Spanish rather than English helped to bridge a gap. I think it also helped to talk to them about their needs and wants for the website in order to get them thinking about their priorities, which will ultimately make our jobs easier.