I just wanted to let you know that my experiences as a volunteer on the fincas in the Pocora area, was one of my best experiences here. The weeks were from Jan 5 to Feb 12, 6 weeks in total. I think it is quite esential that one have a very good understanding of Spanish before pursing any position like this. I used my dictionary a lot and, the women especially were kind enough to help me along. Also, on the other side of the country there is a different dialect. At first I thought it was me but when I would meet people from the west I could communicate quite well. And now, being back on the west side, I find once again I can communicate well.
I was able to go for a tour of the Earth University, but not until my 5th week at the fincas. This would've be helpful before hand as it is here that all concepts of what these fincas are doing, is demonstrated in a large nutshell. Also, I found 1 week at each finca a little long as one begins a bonding with the families and it is hard to leave. It was wonderful but hard also. These people are just so kind and strong and giving, a lot different than back home where it's each person for their ownself.
I was not prepared for the finca lifestyle; bugs everywhere, lots of mud when it rains, open slatted homes so everything comes and goes as it pleases, bugs crawling in and on food, some people don't clean well, or maybe it's pointless? I got used to this after a couple weeks, but if I had my own vehicle I might have left sooner (I'm glad I didn't have one). Especially after the meeting with the 3 1/2 foot by 3" round snake in my bedroom one morning. I just kept telling myself 'I am in this for the experience". Still, as I said, the people were great and the work experience good. Volcan Turrialba was just 2 hills behind me also. Got some good pics of it fuming but at first I was so worried, not knowing much about volcanos and not understanding a lot of the language.
Essentials are; a bug net, lots of repellant, rubber work gloves and rubber boots, not just plain boots and your own pillow- very essential, my neck was constantly sore. Beds also were 2" foam on boards. However, I survived and the memories and relationships developed far outweigh any of the above little hiccups.
The best place and experience was at the finca Bella Vista. It is on a hill with a grand view and nice breeze. It is a clean home and everything demonstrated at the Earth university is used here. I was able to be transported from the last finca to this one by horse and was able to ride horses several times here. These people really care for their family, animals and land. As well they take pride in everything they do from composting and planting gardens and trees to making cheese and coffee and selling these products. The other great place was the finca Raices. Altho' there is more work for a male (not so much for a female) the place is a wonderful 'break' from life and I said to the owner it would be a great place for yoga groups- very spiritual.
I've lots of stories to tell but it would be pages. Suffice to say all was great and I am very happy you were able to set me up with this program. Vivian, Jane and their staff were very accomodating also. Transitions were smooth. I will be leaving the country at the end of March or earlier, not sure yet. If you have any questions about my experiences please feel free to email me.
Thanx again, Bobbie Jayne Lyone
see again: Essentials are; a bug net, lots of repellant, rubber work gloves and rubber boots, not just plain boots and your own pillow- very essential, my neck was constantly sore. Beds also were 2" foam on boards. However, I survived and the memories and relationships developed far outweigh any of the above little hiccups