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This day has been sponsored by : Jorge

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Week 2 Day 3 - "W2D3 - CAIPAD... Costa Rican Spanish... y pura vida! "

These are really two separate topics. CAIPAD is the local handicapped center. People with a variety of handicaps work and learn there. The people with a lesser degree of a handicap work at the taller where they make various products from wood, e.g. tables, stools, chests, cupboards...

Look at the pictures, and you will see the cupboard I helped build! Well... I helped to put in the back side which you can see on picture two. On the third picture you can see the team I worked with: Fernando (left) and Jonathan (right). Jonathan laughed when I told him he was going to be my boss for the morning and needed to explain to me what to do. We used the two metal sticks (picture two) in order to 'press' the scaffold into four precise 90° angles. Then we first used glue to make the slats stick to the scaffold and then we added nails for proper hold. On the fourth picture you see the "teacher" in charge of the taller, Marco. And in the background you can see some of the chests that are being produced. The articles are being sold at CAIPAD and the money from the sales is being reinvested to buy new materials.

The second half of the morning I spent with Doña Katia in a class where she was teaching about nutrition and the importance of exercising to a group of 5 people with very limited mental capabilities. We were preparing a sentence or two per student about today's topic in their notebook, written in dotted lines, so that they could "write" by connecting the dots. We also stuck a picture below the writing that they could colour.

The fourth picture of today is of Don William, the "all-around" teacher at CAIPAD, i.e. he does a bit of everything. The picture is not so good unfortunately, but I wanted to add it because I wanted to share his "side business" with you. He has a small coffee plantation which we will visit next Wednesday and I might then dedicate the day's topic to it. For now just a "hint" for those of you in The Netherlands: Max Havelar is distributing his coffee. If you go and check it out, please send me an eMail to share how you liked it. I'd have to travel to an eco store in San José to get hold of some... or wait until I am back in the Netherlands.

Unfortunately, there is no picture of the highlight of the day: Ronald Rodriguez, alias "RoRo", was singing "El Rey" for me at lunch. RoRo needs to wear a helmet at all times to protect himself from injuries during his frequent epileptic seizures. His nickname RoRo was given to him by former Costa Rican president Abel Pacheco.

Since today's sponsor is originally from Spain, I also wanted to talk about how the local language is different from the Spanish in other Spanish speaking countries. This second topic is too difficult to cover in English; if you are curious, check out the section "For today's sponsor" below. The one expression I'll try to explain here is the national all around phrase pura vida: It literally means 'pure life' and is used unlimited times per day in a variety of ways, e.g. to just say "hello" or as a reply to "how are you" or as a reply to any question where you'd rather remain vague with your answer.


For today's sponsor

Feliz cumple, Jorge!!!

CAIPAD es un centro para minusválidos donde vienen para trabajar y estudiar / aprender. Las personas tienen handicaps de distintos grados.

En las fotos pueden ver...
1er foto: Entrada de Caipad
2a foto: el armadio que ayudé construir
3a foto: mis colegas del armadio: Fernando (izquierda) y Jonathan (derecha)
4a foto: Don Marco, "el jefe del taller". Detràs de él se pueden ver unas cajas que se producen ahí.
5a foto: Don William; "teacher" (así in inglés los llaman aca) at CAIPAD y productor de café. En Holanda, Max Havelar distribuye su café. Si lo van a probar, escribenme si les ha gustado!

Con repecto al lenguaje local, el cambio más fuerte para mi fue que los Costa Ricenses usan "usted" hasta para los bebés. El "tu" no se utiliza para nada. En algunos regiones se utiliza el "vos", pero enfatizan que es distinto del "vos" argentino. En el "Hogarcito" doy del "usted" a cada niño, incluso a los cuatro bebés.

Por las calles se habla "pachugo"... aqui unos ejemplos:
¡Qué color! = ¡Qué bañazo! = ¡Qué vergüenza!
brete = trabajo / bretear = trabajar
p y p = trabajar duro
jamar = comer
pura vida = tuanis (¿tuanis o agüevado?)