Day 6

We started the day with an 8:00 departure from the cabinas bound for our second day of computer installation at the school nearby. Our breakfast consisted of rice and beans, and the usual cooler of fruit juice. We got right to work finishing the software setup, and after that we spent some time with the kids in the classroom. They gave us a lot of paper cutouts and airplanes, and both Dylan and myself received little love notes. We stayed at the school until lunchtime, where we were served Costa Rican style pasta and fried plantain with cheese.

Next we went to the road just outside the school grounds and caught a public bus, which to our surprise was a repainted Blue Bird school bus. It had been installed with handrails and a rope for indicating when the driver should stop. The bus ride was about an hour long, and we got off in Ciudad Quesada, which is the big market city in San Carlos, the county we are staying in. The city was very densely packed with little shops, many of which sold jewelry, shoes, and flashy tote bags.

Our first stop was a giant Catholic church with an enormous statue of Jesus on the wall, and Angelica told us it was the only church that she had ever seen that depicted Jesus without the cross. Gabriel took us the bank where we spent about 20 minutes exchanging dollars to colones. Once everyone had their cash we all walked to a souvenir shop that many of us bought shirts and mugs at. Our chaperones told us that we were to meet back at the plaza across the street in two and a half hours, and let us go on our own to explore the city.

Some of the boys bought some jerseys of one of the Costa Rican soccer teams that Rokea told us was the most popular one in the region. Several of us ate at a restaurant next to the plaza that sold a lot of American burgers and sausage options, and also coffee and French fries. We ended up ordering a fruit salad, a couple of coffees, a papaya shake and a chocolate shake, and two plates of French fries. Ordering in Spanish was challenging, but also entertaining, and we managed pretty successfully. The food, however, was less than desirable, and Steven described it as “the worst meal [he] has ever had.” We wandered the streets a little while longer until we had to meet back up, and Gabriel led us to the bus station where we caught another public bus.

This bus ride was a little shorter, and it took us right to the front of our cabinas where we spent the rest of our day. The school employees arrived around seven fifteen to grill us meat and tortillas for dinner, which we supplemented with the very groovy sound of a Spanish techno CD. We returned to our rooms and watched some TV to close out this otherwise eventful and rather tiring day.