MST

Trip Start Jun 26, 2006
1
44
50
Trip End Aug 14, 2008


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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Wednesday, October 10, 2007

It's been raining non-stop for the past two days and we've started on day three. Supposedly, we're experiencing a monsoon of sorts that should only last three days. It's funny. In the states, I was obsessed with the weather report: 5 degrees colder than it was this morning means grab a jacket on the way out. Here, I get dressed, step outside and turn around to change my clothes if what I'm wearing isn't weather appropriate. It just doesn't matter. Another point may be that the weather doesn't vary all that much so you pretty much wear the same thing year round.
 
I'll concede that it's been a tad chilly and that I have given in to wearing long sleeved shirts and carrying around a jacket. If there's one thing I can't stand it's wearing full blown cold weather gear when it's 75 degrees out. I never thought I'd see: gloves, knit toggle hats, scarves, puffy winter coats... I've been combating the extremist culture by refusing to don no more than a sweater when it gets "cold."
 
Other news: Last week, I successfully completed yet another acronym: MST, which stands for mid-service training. This means I am officially halfway through service. I suffered through a week of medical appointments, charlas (lectures), and talleres (workshops). I made it through unscathed except for a vaccine on both arms.
 
My group, Tico 15 CED (community economic development), all thirteen of us (we started out as 18), made a revolutionary break through with the office staff. Given our nature, we are not the most dynamic group. We're more serious and straight-cut than the kumbayah singing CYF (children, youth and family) and RCD (rural community dev) volunteers. We're business majors. What could you expect? Anyhow, our group, particularly, has the reputation of being dry, sarcastic and unenthusiastic.
 
On Thursday we had to do a presentation about our projects for the entire staff. Some groups do boring PowerPoint presentations, others do skits, you get the idea. Everyone, I'm sure, was expecting us to do a ppt or flipcharts. However, someone had the brilliant idea to do a skit based on the popular Saturday evening show, Bailando por un Sueño (Dancing for a Dream).
 
The premise of the show is similar to Dancing with the Stars (I think. I don't watch DwtS so I'm not sure.) Each contestant has a dream (an operation for a sick relative, building a playground, constructing a house for poor neighbors, etc). The contestants dance with a Costa Rican star. Every week, the pairs do two dances, get judged and one pair is eliminated.
 
We paired up and our projects were our sueños. My partner and I did the Chicken Dance. The other pairs did: merengue, polka, the Macarena, and reggaeton/mime. It was absolutely ridiculous, but we received two thumbs up for fine family fun. The staff was pleasantly shocked, to say the least. Tears of mirth flowed freely and laugher abounded. We are no longer the screw up kids.
 
Watching the video afterwards gave more cause for giggles. I, as most of you know, am not prone to smiling freely (save on the wrinkles), however, Thursday, I wore the most ridiculous, let's be happy smile. I think that was the clincher. Several people commented that just for that, I could be a kindergarten teacher.
 
If I could show you the video, I would, but posting myself dancing the Chicken Dance would probably give many of you good blackmail material...
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