Volunteers from 7 countries, and a Costa Rican classroom full of kids.

It was a week or so ago, but about a dozen volunteers from the local animal sanctuary took the hour-long-drive over to Manzanillo on the opposite side of the peninsula from where I live.  We took two carloads, and half a van full of party supplies and threw the kids a ‘back to school’ party.  The school year here runs February to December, with ‘spring break’ around July, so they had only been back from summer break a few days.

We talked to them about sea turtles, nest robbing, and protecting the local wild life refuges.  The question of the day was, “To whom do the refuges belong?”  By the time we left they all could tell us the answer.  “It belongs to all of us!”  In Spanish, of course.

Joanna and Yda passing out stickers and chatting with the kids.

We made Valentines covered in animal stickers with them.  We acted out a play about looking for poachers and what to do if they saw any.  We shared snacks and drinks.  We even delivered a suitcase full of uniforms for the kids who can’t afford them, brought down from thrift shops in the States by yours-truly when I came back a few weeks ago.

“Citizens arrest” of a pair of “Poachers.” Thomas says he doesn’t want to go to jail!

We had as much fun (maybe more) as the kids did.  It was a gorgeous day, and the volunteers are always an awesome group to hang out with.  I’ve found that I love the international variety to be found in these groups, and I love counting countries as I look at the people around me.  All-in-all, good times were had and we did some good things.

Then we said goodbye to the kids and went to lunch at a restaurant with a view of the beach.  Does life get much better than lazing in the breeze, chatting with new friends?

Playa Manzanillo from my seat at the table.
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