Yesterday we participated in festival at the Wilson Botanical Garden here in San Vito, Costa Rica. It was an event enjoyed by all. It was geared towards the local tico (Costa Rica) population. There were guided tours of the garden, local musicians on the marimba, quijongo as well as more easily identified as guitars. Very happy and lively music, which is a mirror of the tico personality.
True to my reputation, I was at the cookie table, next to the San Vito Bird Club display. Most of the events were free of charge but food was the exception. Several women from the community made cookies to be sold at the event to raise money for some landscaping equipment. There were also volunteers painting the children’s faces and overseeing various art projects.Behold chocolate chip cookies and different types of biscotti I contributed. The best compliment I received was from 2 Italian ladies who bought a bag full of biscotti after they each tried one. They asked if I spoke Italian but had to inform them I only spoke the language of biscotti.
Greg gave informal tai chi lessons which was comically attending by masses of small children. The report I received mentioned that there was hardly room to move in the designated area, but laughter could be heard as the experience was enjoyed all the same. The research lab was organized and manned by graduate students from Stanford, UC Santa Cruz and the University of Nebraska. Looking through the microscopes was a great hit for all ages. One table featured a quiz to see how many birds could be recognized by song only. I did not embarrass myself by participating, I was content to cheer others on.
The garden’s nursery gave away small plants to spark the interest of the children and local families in gardening. There were guided bird walks through the garden including plant identification. The kitchen staff was simply amazing, and I don’t use that word lightly. Their day went as follows: get to work at 5:30AM. Martina was by herself in the early hours as she prepared breakfast for the guests staying at the cabins on the garden grounds. Greg and I eat all meals at the comedor (dining hall) thus know the staff. After breakfast I noticed that the morning dishes were piling up which was unusual for the efficient staff. Entering the kitchen I saw that Martina and other staff from the laundry and housekeeping were frantically making and packing “to go” lunches for some of the researchers who would spend the day in the field. I started washing the dishes. The kitchens here do not have hot water, so the dishes are done with a scrub pad and solid dish soap that is very gritty. I got about half way through the stack when I had to head out to the cookie table.
The rest of the kitchen staff (5) came in and proceeded to make lunches ordered from a menu for the visitors followed by regular lunch for the people staying at the garden followed by lunch for the volunteers!!! The staff has decades of experience which showed itself on Saturday. Everybody works together while happy to help out where needed. Happy to be here.