Thursday, November 13, 2014

Fieldtrip

Today I went on a field trip with the whole generation of third graders from my school.  We took the hour bus ride to a place where an indigenous group called Guetares lives.  As a service project, the kids brought in food to bring to the people since they do not have much.  The drive there (and back) was beautiful, but really, driving anywhere here is beautiful.  There are just mountains everywhere!

Anyway, once we got there, a man whose Spanish name was Juan (I forget his indigenous name), gave us a run down about his people and how they live.  The whole field trip was in Spanish; I was surprised and proud at how much I understood.  He told us about how women there can have up to 22 children and that is not considered abnormal.  The hut that we were sitting in was made out of various logs, each which had a symbolic meaning behind it such as cabeza (head) or salud (health).


After Don Juan talked to us, the kids got to go to the little shops the people had set up.  By shops, I mean tables with stuff they had made on them.  There were spears (not dangerous ones), headbands with ribbon, jewelry made from clay, dreamcatchers, and other stuff.  I bought myself a dreamcatcher, partially as an inside joke between my teacher and I since I always have weird nightmares about my kids, and partially because I've always wanted one and it was a cool souvenir to get and support the people we were visiting.  After everyone finished buying things, we split into groups and went to different stations.

Station 1:  A man taught the kiddos how to make tortugas with clay.  The kids loved it and they turned out pretty cool.  One of my students gave me his; I am hoping it survives in my suitcase on the way home!


Station 2: From there we went to learn about sugar cane.  The man who was talking to the kids had a bunch of sugar cane and the kids got to try grinding it through the little machine here.  It was fun to watch them struggle with it!  A bunch of liquid would come out as each stick ran through; the man ran each stick through a couple times to get it all out.  What came out what essentially sugar in liquid form.  The kids even got to try drinking some afterwards!


Station 3: The kids learned about how the people make paint.  The lady who was giving the demonstration showed which plant was used to make blue and which plant was used to make brown.  She also showed how they use a type of carrots to make yellow.  She had water boiling over a small fire which had the plants in it and the kids got to paint on a small piece of fabric using these paints.
 

Station 4: A man showed us how he weaves various baskets.  He has some tiny tiny ones the size of the tip of my pinky and some larger ones.  It was really impressive how quick he could cut the grasses that he uses and then weave them.  At this time the students got another opportunity to buy things such as these baskets and wooden machetes (again, not dangerous).
 

Station 5: At our last station, a lady showed us how she made corn tortillas.  She put corn onto a large, flat rock and used a rock shaped like a small rolling pin to continuously roll over and crush the corn kernels.  The kernels were soft like they were fresh or had been stored in water.  As she rolled the corn, she would occasionally add a little more water to the mix.  Once it was very finely crushed, kind of into a dough, she patted it flat onto what looked like a large leaf of some sort and it shaped right into a circle.  Then, she put it in a pan over the fire.  Once it was done cooking, we all got to try a piece and it was DELICIOUS!
 

It was a really neat experience!  It was cool to see how some people native to Costa Rica live and how it is both similar and different to Native Americans.  The kids had a blast too (as you can see!)





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