Alajuela Travel Blog

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Hola Familia y Amigos,

I am now done with my two fun weeks of traveling and exploring Costa Rica. It was an amazing two weeks
with some really cool people from all over the world. I am so proud of myself for conquering my fears and
doing so many crazy, adventurous activities during that time. I really miss my 12 travel partners because
we became very close during our time together. I can’t wait to share the photos and the stories with all of you.
I have now moved on to the volunteering part of my trip. I am living with Rita and Eduardo Jimenez
Quesada in Alajuela, which is about 20 minutes outside the capital of San Jose. They have 4 sons
(Christian, Alonzo, Julio, and Jugo), two of which live here at the house, and 3 grandsons (Kevin, Jose, and
Eduardo). Rita is a hairstylist and Eduardo is a high school chemistry and biology teacher. Rita is also an
amazing chef and I am enjoying my meals with the family every night. There is also another volunteer
living in the house as well. Her name is Jenny and she is a college student from Kansas. We all get along
very well and I especially enjoy practicing my Spanish with the family.
In terms of the volunteering part of my trip, I am somewhat frustrated, or maybe a little disappointed.
This week I have been volunteering at a nutrition center for children, basically a daycare center. My
problem is that there are several other volunteers already here, and it doesn’t seem like the children
really, genuinely need much more help. Most of them are from single parent homes, similar to parts of the
US. I guess after feeling very needed last summer in India, it is difficult to create that unique
experience again. Fortunately, Eduardo is going to ask his principal if I can volunteer at his high school
instead. I would be able to help the students with English and they, in turn, could help me practice
speaking Spanish. Many of his students work for call centers after they graduate, so they could really use
my help with practicing English. I am very excited for the possibility of doing that for the next two weeks.
Also, I am receiving one-on-one Spanish lessons on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings for 2
hours each day. This private instruction from Juanita will hopefully improve my Spanish speaking skills
while I am here in Costa Rica. I can read newspapers and understand most conversations, but I need to
practice speaking more. Juanita will be a huge help to me while I am here and the practice I get everyday
speaking with Rita is priceless as well.
Otherwise, I am enjoying my weeknights with the family. Last night I went to a casino with Jugo,
Christian´s girlfriend, and other friends. It was a blast.....cowboy night with bull riding, costume contest,
etc. I am also planning on traveling as much as I can on the weekends. One weekend I hope to go to the
beach at Manuel Antonio and stay with a friend from home who is also here volunteering at a school. This
weekend, I am going to a local volcano with my family and I’m especially excited for the beautiful photo 
opportunities up at the top of the mountain.
Please continue to keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I live, travel, and volunteer here in beautiful
Costa Rica.

Kelly :-)
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photo by: kelleb