Sunday, October 19, 2008

More about the wall and ... Taco Bell?

There were three things I had written down to include in my previous post, and it turns out I forgot two of the three. As Beth (I miss you very much!) would say "Genius!"

First an anecdote about the fence: Candace and I were talking about the wall for the childrens homes the other day. She told me that there have already been incidents of people trying to come through/over the fence to get children from the home! She said that sometimes the abusive parents who have lost custody of the children are able to find out by word of mouth that the children are there. There have been mothers and other family members trying to lure children towards the fence or trying to come in and take them from the home. I know that some of the children in the home currently were placed there because their parents were wanted for multiple murders. It scares me to think of how easily those people could get in to the project -and what they might be willing to do to get their children back! Yikes.

The other thing I wanted to do was post pictures of the current fence. Before you accuse the project of being negligent when there's a horrible fence next to a nice children's home, keep in mind that it's the rainy season and it pours every single day - it was just repaired in January. Also keep in mind a 2x4 costs $8 here and minimum wage is $2 per hour.

In the above photo, the children's home is on the right and the tin shack to the left is part of the adjoining impoverished community.

The above photo speaks for itself. Many of the boards are just falling off of the fence, and those that haven't fallen yet are rotting. People could come right through!

Again, for those who didn't see, information on giving to the project can be found in my previous post, "How to".

On an unrelated note, last night we ate dinner in the mall food court. You might all be disappointed to find out that and the fast food I've been craving most is Taco Bell! I know, I'm in a latin country, with real Costa Rican cuisine. How could I possibly crave T-Bell? Well, taco bell here has a few differences from the States. It's expensive- Like $13 for two people to eat. The tacos also come with french fries on the side. Weirdness.

On Fridays we have an English discussion group. I have so much fun teaching the Costa Ricans idioms and other phrases in English. Last week we had little debates on different topics such as the death penalty (which is illegal here), abortion (also illegal here), and more lighthearted ones such as dogs vs. cats as pets and coke vs. pepsi.

On a side note, in vitro fertilization is also illegal here because of the way fertilized embryos (baby people!) are treated. I never thought about that before but it's so true - they always implant two embryos and expect one to die so the mother ends up with one baby. It's like there is a life sacrificed every time the procedure happens, and the doctors expect it to happen that way based on the chances of the embryo "sticking." (disclaimer: this is not a super-scientific description and I don't want people to start arguing about it.)

One last anecdote is that tonight I hung out with Brian's host family. Their papa tico brought home a bag of fresh macadamia nuts - still inside their little shells. It became a huge family activity using rocks, a hammer head (no handle!), or a pliers to break open the shells on the sidewalk. Everyone was laughing, joking, and even after taking a long time to get a shell open, they'd give the nut inside to someone else. It struck me how in the states people would never buy macadamia nuts like that. It would be so much easier to buy a container of de-shelled nuts. However, the sheer joy we all had in opening the nuts would've been absent. It's a good representation of the general attitude I've encountered here. They clearly have a lot less than Americans yet are usually far more joyful. That small bag of nuts was the highlight of thier (and my) evening. They say "it's the small things in life..." I've noticed that when you have fewer big things (i.e. SUVs, square footage, and hot pockets), you're more likely to catch all of the joyful small things that come by.

That's all I have for now. Thanks for reading and que Dios les bendiga!


Anonymous said...

Wow! That fence is pretty shady.

Nah, I can totally see why you would be all over T-bell... I love that place despite its fully american mexican food.

Here I really miss real pizza... pizza here is really expensive and it often has really bizarro toppings like corn, mayonnaise, or seafood. It also is really droopy and requires 'hashi support' (chopsticks). :)

Amy said...

Thinking of you, Julie! Blessings on your day! Amy

Anonymous said...

I enjoy keeping up with your journey Julie . . . keep up the good work! Praying that Luis' faith continues to grow and spreads to his family. Take care 'n God bless, Kim P.