Updates from the Field: Costa Rica

Kurtis and Claudia are once again leading a water team in Costa Rica. Read the latest exciting news from them below!

Day one of our trip in Costa Rica was filled with surveying our sites, buying materials, and anticipation for the week ahead. The team split into two groups; one to construct a rain catchment system at a school while the other scouted sites and met some of the individuals we will work with throughout the week. Upon finding a leak in the rain catchment setup, one of the team members jokingly said “Oh well, it is going to rain anyways.” This quickly became the quote of the day. All in all, the rain catcher was a success! The principal of the school where it was installed is very pleased and could not stop thanking the group for their hard work.

On day two one group started to install a water purification system for a church feeding center that has provided food to local children everyday for two years now. It was a very long day, but the group managed to complete more than half the project and planned on coming back the next day to finish. The rest of the group held a vision clinic at the church’s feeding center. The vision clinic was such a success! The team met with over 250 people. One of the most memorable events of the day were two young, beautiful sisters who could not see two fingers held in front of their face. Their eyesight was so poor that our team members working the focometer couldn’t get a reading. We decided to just try to find some glasses that these girls could see out of. The team members at the glasses station just pulled two pairs out of the box and put them on and after a few minor adjustments both girls left with big smiles on their faces, seeing at 20/40 for the first time in their lives!

While the vision team worked at one site, the water team was at another installing a rather extensive project. They worked in a large church that has a feeding center. Every day of the year this church feeds over 100 children in a local slum. Before, the water was unsafe for consumption. Now, safe water is delivered to both church kitchens so that food and drinks prepared there are safe to consume. The church is working on a plan so the children can bring clean water home with them for their families. Good stuff!

Day three, once again, was packed with activities. Team one finished up the water system at the church while team two taught health and hygiene in every class room of a local school. These children were great, every class stood as we entered the room and in perfect English said, “good morning, thank you for coming here today”. Dan shook everyone’s hand and spread germs (glitter) all around the class, then John came in and sneezed on all the children (using a squirt bottle), followed by Larry with a huge fly that landed on poop that landed on all the children and their lunches. Through all the fun, games and giggling I can tell you that all the children learned how germs were transmitted and learned some simple ways to prevent it. After the hand washing demonstration, everyone followed up with the proper way to wash their hands! The principal followed us from room to room filming the whole thing. He loved it.

That’s all for now, we are tired but filled with joy knowing that our work is changing lives. Everyone is great, well fed and happy!

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