There is no more appropriate way to end this testimony than by ending with PURA VIDA! I stated out by taking three weeks of language school and then header to San Ramon where I volunteered as a physical education teacher for five weeks.

Three weeks of Spanish school was enough for me to begin to try and communicate in Spanish, but soon I realized that the language barrier presented a definite challenge for me since my Spanish was still very limited. However, even with limited Spanish I was able to have a fun and rewarding experience...

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The school cannot afford to hire full time P.E. teacher so volunteers seem to be always needed. The kids absolutely love P.E. and don’t have any problems expressing how they feel about it. Smaller children tended to give us hugs, older kids tended to shout BOLA! BOLA! Which was a reference to soccer, and all kids tended to come to us with a lot of energy and smiling faces.

Jeffrey Kamenski

Volunteering as P.E teacher was hard work and required a lot of energy. Our schedule was 8:40am – 11:30am and 2:00pm – 4:50pm, Monday through Thursday. We were pretty much chained by the end of they day. The supplies at the school were limited, so we were forced to be creative with certain games. The kids had little understanding of other sports besides soccer so we tried to incorporate games that involved using hands instead of feet.

The regular teachers of the classes were usually present while we taught and some teachers were helpful, helping us translate to the kids what we wanted them to do.

Some classes were good, some were angelic, some were bad, but the kids all shared a common interest: loved P.E.!

My home stay has definitely felt me with nice memories. I stayed in a big house full of adult, children, cats, dogs and ever pigs! Which were outside. Everybody was very nice to me and made me feel like I belonged. I even got the opportunity to go to a wedding with the family which was a very unique Costa Rica experience. My host family was a social and happy bunch, some members randomly breaking out in melody, singing and dancing to music. Sometimes trying to find quiet moments was difficult and at times sleeping in during the mornings was impossible, but this definitely made things more entertaining and my host family will always have a special place in my heart.

Weekend traveling deserves a section all it own. My weekend trips included going to beautiful beaches, surfing, hiking to gorgeous waterfalls, horseback riding, canopy (zip lining) through the rainforest, canyoning (repeling down waterfalls), bungee jumping, whitewater rafting, among others. There is no way that I can pick a favorite activity because each was unique in its own right.

There were plenty of breathtaking moments and amazing experiences that will be hard to forget!

I can honestly say that this trip has been worthwhile for me. I have gained friendships that may potentially last a lifetime, some knowledge of a language that was once unfamiliar and a unique experience helping kids as P.E. teacher in Costa Rica. There is no more appropriate way to end this testimony than by ending with PURA VIDA!

By Jeffrey Kamenski

At the end of my program, I left this report for uVolunteer. I hope it helps future volunteers have a good understanding of the uVolunteer program. I've also allowed uVolunteer to give out my email address to those interested in asking me questions about my trip and the uVolunteer program.

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