With opén arms, bright eyes and wide smiles, the community of Artesana accepted our foreign, but friendly group of travelers like family. They, conciously or not, ranked the quality and quantity of our meals based on the ammount of days we had been there, and possibly the amount of work we had contributed. The first job to be done was the installment of a compósting toilet in Don Freddies house. Don Freddie was the ex-president of the non-profit Artesana and held a commanding, but light hearted presence. Him and his wife had four children to themselves, and their latrine was not in any condition to sustain them any longer. It was an honor to provide them with such a privledge many of us take in the states. Furthermore, his wife was thrilled with the ability to use the soon-to-ready compost for her garden. Though the laboris task of installing water lines drained our bodies, our hearts were filled by the opportunity to play with the little ninos during their recess. The school was located directly across the street from the house we were constructing at and this gave us the ability to play with the children. It also gave the children the opportunity to help, voluntarily of course, with the much needed moving of stone that was to finalize the process of covering the holding tank of the compost. A task in which they brought much joy in doing. Our going-away ceremony was very special in the fact that the whole community came to give and recieve thanks for all that was brought and shared with one another. We had a delicious feast and the rooms were filled with delight. Some of us danced, and some of us observed, but all was done with laughter and smiles. I will always be in much grattitude for the openess and the lessons that the small, bright-eyed community of Artesana and Penas Blancas provided to our forgein, but friendly group of strangers.
Thank you for all the love and lessons,