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This day has been sponsored by : Tim & Nicole

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Week 9 Day 3 - "Cumpleaños en casa de Marielos"

This is my second invite to Marie's host family... after they had kindly invited me for New Year's without knowing me. It's José's birthday and his mom made a cake decorated with the colours & logo of his favourite soccer team: Deportivo Saprissa. He also got a batman piñata from Marie.

Marie is in Costa Rica with a different volunteering organization: OTEC. She arrived a little before me and will stay for almost a year. There's pros and cons for her organization, too, but I think she got really lucky with her host family. Her host mom, Marielos, is very enthusiastic about having volunteers in her home. She seems to enjoy the international atmosphere. Her four children had to give up their single room situation, and share rooms between themselves, but the volunteers provide an excellent extra income for the family. Marielos has hosted volunteers from various organizations in the past years and has a guest book with entries from all over the world. Some guests come back just to visit.

Ciudad Quesada is a town the size of my home town, Bad Vilbel, and it is a size where people know each other. Marielos, for example, knows Elena, the administrator of both the Hogarcito, as well as the Tesalia. When Adrienne wanted to come back to work with children for a week over her birthday in January and CCS was not able to accomodate that, Marielos spontaneously offered to host her and to contact Elena, so that Adrienne could work at the Hogarcito. In this case, no volunteering organization would be in the middle. I think this would be my preferred scenario, if I had to do it over again. Not only is it much more cost efficient, it also provides the better cultural immersion, and requires more initiative. Last not least, it eliminates any hindering restrictions implemented by the volunteering organization. On the down side, I would have probably missed out on getting to know placements like Escuela Puente Casa or AMURECI. With either I would have enjoyed working on a more permanent basis.


For today's sponsors

Happy birthday, Tim! You probably did not get a batman piñata, I guess... what did you get instead?
You knew about Nicole sponsoring this day for you, right?!

If it had not been for little Emma, I was hoping to see you guys here in Costa Rica round about now.