|Name: Lori Segall||Project: : Teaching English|
|From: USA||Age: 53|
I was very impressed by how organized AVIC is and how thoughtful they were about the issues foreigners face when coming to this country. Not only did they pick us up at the airport, but gave us a lesson on the local culture and showed us the town to orient us and even socialized with us. My two projects were very different from each other; helping out at a nature reserve called Madre Verde during the day and teaching English to adults in the evenings at the local university. Getting to Madre Verde required taking a bust to the next town and walking 40 minutes to the reserve. It gave me the opportunity to see a different and beautiful place up in the mountains and learn about this Costa Rican effort in environmental protection. While the reserve mostly functions o volunteer efforts and can sometimes seem disorganized, I was able to help with a few random tasks. I also translated their website to English to encourage more tourism there, which felt like a worthwhile contribution.
Since I was only in Costa rica for two weeks, I took over one week of evening class for each of 2 longer term teachers. I enjoyed talking with "real" Costa Ricans in class and helping those who were particularly interested in learning. I offered to help students with English outside of class, which led to a wonderful day trip to the countryside with one of the student's family, something I would have never experienced without the personal connection. All in all, it was a great experience!!