High School Graduation Last Night

My once-a-week maid’s daughter graduated from the public technical high school (Colegio Técnico Professional) last night and I attended. Nelyin has been a hard worker in school and helps her Mom a lot, even cleaning my house some weeks. I am proud of her and hope she doesn’t rush into a marriage too soon. She has no specific plans for now except to get a good paying job.

Note that this school does not use caps and gowns for the commencement service (just one for their official photos) but wear their regular school uniforms which for seniors is a different color golf shirt, orange for regular students this year while the night school students are wearing the blue shirts and are generally older. In fact, some of the night school students walked up for their diploma carrying a baby or small child. There was a total of about 60 graduates. December is the end of school year (calendar year) for all schools with summer break until February when new school year starts.

I apologize for the poor cell phone photos. This current phone was cheaper than the previous one and the camera is just not as good, plus the lighting was horrible in the gymnatorium. Two other retiree couples Mayra works for drove all of us in their two large cars. Me and my maid’s family have not cars!   🙂

For full size files of these photos go to the Graduation 2019 CTP photo gallery where you can download them.

“Your education is a dress rehearsal for a life that is yours to lead.”
—Nora Ephron

 

¡Pura Vida!

New Youth Art

The wall on the back side of Colegio Liceo (College Prep High School) had all its graffiti painted over with black paint and new graffiti-style art painted – I assume by the high school art class students, though they signed each piece like a street artist (possibly wannabes).   🙂    Freshness is always good and though not my favorite style of art, it seems to be typical of teenagers today around the world.

It is important to me because I walk down this street almost every day and have to look at it.    🙂

New High School Graffiti

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”       ~Pablo Picasso

 

For more of my photos of such art here in Atenas, Costa Rica, see my gallery:  Public Art & Graffiti – Atenas 

or  for a broader look at Costa Rica Art, my gallery People, Fiestas & Art.

¡Pura Vida!

Palmares

Basilica of Our Lady of the Mercedes 
 The primary Catholic Church in
 Palmares, Costa Rica
One of very few in Costa Rica of stone, built 1894-1914

Basilica of Our Lady of the Mercedes
 Palmares, Costa Rica 
Palmares Central Park is Partly a Tropical Garden
 Palmares, Costa Rica

Unlike a lot of towns’ central parks
 Palmares, Costa Rica 

But also has the traditional sidewalks, benches & band shelter
 Palmares, Costa Rica 

Some high school kids came dressed for a church festival
 Palmares, Costa Rica 

Including their band!
 Palmares, Costa Rica  

Palmares is a 50 minute bus ride north from Atenas over one of the most winding mountain roads near us and a beautiful drive through something like the Appalachian or Ozark Mountains to this cowboy town where the biggest Tope (horse parade) happens once a year. It is much bigger than Atenas with 31,000+ plus people.

This was my “practice” bus ride here and then on another bus for the shorter ride to San Ramon where I am going by bus in November to be picked up by the staff of Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort which is north of San Ramon. 
I’m getting better at bus travel and even made a last minute change today. Aeropost sent me an email saying my CPAP supplies were ready to be picked up in Alajuela. So instead of returning to Atenas from San Ramon (through Palmares), I got the direct bus to Alajuela for my package, ate lunch at Jalapeno Central Restaurant and then my regular Atenas bus back home. 
I was particularly impressed by the bus station for one bus company in Palmares. See photo below. 
Terminal Buses Carbachez 
 Palmares, Costa Rica 

This reminded me of the nice one I used in Turrialba. There are many competing bus companies in Costa Rica and they build their own terminals, not shared with other companies. Think of the old competition between Greyhound and Trailways in the states. This station is for Carbachez buses. Had I come here on one of our CoopeAtenas Buses, I would have gone to a different terminal that is not as nice. And I left from a third terminal to go to Alajuela. It was clean, but smaller and not as nice as the one above. 

And a few buses between towns just stop at a bus stop on a main street, no terminal. For example: when I went to Tarcoles with Ed we caught our bus at a main stop on Ruta 3 highway going through town. You have to learn how to ride buses and there is a great website with schedules, though going through Palmares to San Ramon did not come from them! Got that locally! The site routed me through Alajuela which is longer. But then I came back that way anyway!  🙂
As a Senior Adult (Adulto Mayor). I rode 3 of my 4 buses free and the San Ramon to Alajuela longest trip was just 75¢ or half price! Buses are the economical way to travel here even if you pay full price!

Google Map of Atenas to Palmares  We went the shorter route, Hwy 135, but bus takes longer than car with many stops along the way!   🙂 

I did a Trip Gallery with these photos and two are also in my Costa Rica Churches gallery

New Graffiti Art in Sports Park

I watched teenagers painting on it one day and a week later it was done!
Parque deportivo (Sports Park)
Atenas, Costa Rica

I think it is an amazing work of art! Thanks to the youth of Atenas!
And a little closer! Both are cell phone photos, as most of my photos from walks in town.
Atenas, Costa Rica

I assume that maybe art classes in one of the two public high schools is doing all of these quality murals around town. This particular park is a hangout for kids of all ages, so very appropriate here!

Every artist dips his brush in his own soul,

and paints his own nature into his pictures. 

~Henry Ward Beecher

Atenas is National Champion in Volleyball – Again!

The high school volleyball team goes to city hall to be recognized by mayor.
Then . . .

Their bus is led through the town by policia, bomberos (fire truck) and
ambulencia, all with sirens in sort of a parade back to the school. 

Of course the kids show off their trophy! 

Why Not Mopt instead of Mopped?

LICEO ENGLISH CLASSES “SPELLING BEE” CELL PHONE PHOTOGRAPHS
LICEO CLASES DE INGLÉS FOTOS “Spelling Bee”:

These two seniors stayed through last several rounds until girl on the right spelled
“Mopped” as “Mopt” to be eliminated. Wow! English is a difficult language!
Inglés es difícil de aprender.

A few of the early arrival participants. Orange shirts are seniors and
blue shirts are 9th through 11th grades. They were all so nice and polite.
Los estudiantes son muy simpaticas.

The 3 other “Native English Speakers” as judges besides me. Mainly record keeping!
But good to have several because I could not understand some of the kids at times.
The man and woman at other end of table are from Australia.
Gringos ayudan.

And another Expat read the words and definitions or examples when requested.
The girl in blue is spelling one of the words.
This expat lady also does the free lending library at La Carreta Restaurant.
Estoy feliz de ayudar.
We had several breaks in the three hour spelling bee when students showed
some of their other English language work. Here some students put on a
puppet show of “Little Red Riding Hood” in English of course! Cute!
Linda!

I was there at 8:15 and left a little after 11:00 for my jungle adventure which will be storied in other posts. Maybe one more tonight. 🙂    And note that I am back to including Spanish language words and phrases in red so you will know what is Spanish AND because my Spanish teacher wants me to use more Spanish all day every day and include a Spanish section to my blog or just some Spanish lines like I have done with this post.

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.
‒Nelson Mandela

Spelling Bee and Carara National Park

All the students walk to and from
school, are clean cut, polite, friendly

ENGLISH DEPARTMENT SPELLING BEE
Tomorrow, Thursday, 30 July 2015, I’m starting the day as a “Native English Speaker” at Colegio Liceo de Atenas, the big high school near where I live, to serve as a judge and maybe to pronounce the English words for their English Language Classes Spelling Bee. They have 3 full-time English Teachers in a Spanish-speaking school! A big high school!

How fun this will be! Even though I was going to leave early on my birding adventure, I can’t turn down an opportunity like this to relate to the community! I’m trying hard to not be like most of the segregated expats who only associate with each other. I didn’t move to Central America to spend all my time with North Americans! I’m here to get away from them! 🙂 (No offense now! I still like some of you! But I sure like the culture down here better.) So I will leave for Carara at 11:00 after the Spelling Bee! FYI the school Facebook Page.    or  School Video   and    Google Images  of the school or just Google the school and you will see pages for the students to do homework, etc. You will get a report from me on this for sure!

Hope to get a better shot than this one on
my 2011 Tarcoles River Cruise as a day trip
from the Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship,
our FBN Panama Canal Cruise

CARARA NATIONAL PARK
Now for the planned trip: I have a rent car and I’m spending two nights at Hotel Villa Lapas at
Tarcoles, the closest one to the Carara Park and have scheduled a 5-hour guided tour of the park with hopes of Scarlet Macaw photos. This is mating season in the second most populous Scarlet Macaw forest of the country, so maybe some cute, cuddly couples to photograph!  🙂 But regardless, there will be many birds and much else to photograph! And if not raining too much, I will hike to the tallest waterfall in the country or at least see it from a distance at a nearby botanical gardens. I’ve done the nearby Tarcoles River cruise 3 times, but that is always another option if I get bored – ha, ha!

Tico Times article on Carara National Park

Costa Rica Bureau Page on park (not sure if it is official park page, if any)

One National Parks Page on the park (maybe not official)

A Guide Service Page     and the Wikipedia Page is good

And hopefully more than overfly shots like this one I made in 2009 at
Corcovado National Park in the South on Osa Peninsula. 

“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” ― John Muir, Our National Parks

And my PHOTO GALLERY of Costa Rica Birds if you want more!  🙂

Atenas Graffiti

It appears on an ugly wall behind the High School in first two photos, then on the concrete wall of a city park in front of the Primary School. It is the only graffiti I’m aware of and wonder if it was a school art class project?

A 4 or 5 shot panorama of wall behind high school that I walk by almost every day. There’s more beyond gate at right, next.
More behind the high school gym to the right of above image. 
The front of the high school however would never have graffiti. 
Wall on big city recreation park in front of primary school, more in next photo.
This park has soccer, basketball, volleyball, skateboard, and more recreation.

Though not all great art, it  too seems too well organized to be vandalism.
Note the skate board ramp is also painted with graffiti above & below.
Skateboard ramp in city park in front of Escuela Central.
“People say graffiti is ugly, irresponsible and childish… but that’s only if it’s done properly.” 

Great Neighborhood Project!

Except for Atenas Central, there are few sidewalks (like Donelson-Hermitage)
So in the neighborhood between Roca Verde and Atenas Central, the neighbors
got together and decided to build their own, since government isn’t doing it.

Today it was young adult volunteers mixing & pouring cement, other times
have had some older adult men doing it, at least a quarter mile finished now!
The orange roofs on hill at top of photo is a part of Roca Verde.

Today’s young men shoveling cement into the forms. Great!
I gave them a thumb’s up and said “Muchas Gracias” as I walked by.
Again you can see one Roca Verde hill in distance.
This is an earlier photo I took going down the hill toward our gate.
I feel much safer walking on a sidewalk than in narrow streets or very
rough shoulders if any! The closer to Central Park, the more sidewalks.
First shift leaving high school.
Almost all students walk to school here. 

It is interesting to watch how many people still walk in the street, possibly from years of habit, I would guess half. Of course further up you have no choice and that includes walking by the high school where there are no sidewalks. Gangs of teens leaving or arriving just fill the streets and cars wait (photo below or at right).

But it was sad to see in Tico Times recently that Pedestrian Deaths Outnumber Drunk Driving Deaths in Costa Rica.  Speeding and irresponsible lane-changing are the top two causes of road deaths here.

Maybe this one more sidewalk will save another life or two. Everything is not perfect in Costa Rica! Infrastructure is still lacking in many areas.