Tuesday, July 17, 2012

First Day at Servio Flores Arroyo!

There is a radio channel here that we listen to on the bus sometimes and I swear it's called "The Shit". Like 95.5 The Moose, it's like "Siete Quattro Siete, The Shit". It's funny. We got lucky and had a super sunny day today! We went to a new clinic called Servio Flores Arroyo. It is such a precious place! It is a place that is half-indoor, half-outdoor like Manos de Jesus, but super colorful and full of flowers and decoration. The place is like a day-time school for mentally challenged adults. After they've been at the school long enough, they are able to work outside in the real world. They learn to do many arts and crafts along with cooking things like rolls, and making jelly and ice cream. They press and make their own paper for their crafts! I took many pictures. They have an outdoor workshop too where they learn how to garden and harvest. We got a tour and then had a mid-morning snack with everyone. It was coffee, juice, crackers, cream cheese and a really good jelly made of pears, apples and cinnamon. We went to the therapy room and our first patient was Elizabeth. She was older, but she had a stroke when she was a child that left the right side of her body with limited mobility. We worked with her for a long time doing different stretches and exercises to strengthen her right arm and right leg, along with other exercises that forced her to use both her left and right limbs together in unison so her brain can connect the two further. She was very sweet and did quite well. We then had lunch with everyone. Lunch was rice and salad and chips, with watermelon green tea. I love the way they do their juices here. Everything is hand made with a juicer or blender every day, and they choose whatever fruit combinations they like. Sometimes it's papaya and pineapple, sometimes cass and coconut, other days a type of grape with guava--and sometimes blackberry--which I can't have. At lunch, Luis showed us a video of his pet sloth. We didn't even know he had a sloth! I guess he lives with his roommate out by the edge of a rainforest somewhere, and one day they found the mother sloth dead but the baby still alive. So they took the baby in for the past 2 months. He said all it does is sleep all day and then play with the cat and dog at night. They still haven't named it! It is female, and brown, and cute. They seem to take care of it well--they know what to feed it and where to put it, and it has access to the woods at all times. It just can't be on its own yet. Anyway, who has a sloth?! Only in Costa Rica! In the afternoon, my group worked with Maria. She has a syndrome that makes your bones keep growing. So, she is quite big--especially for a Costa Rican! She hurt her knee and tore her miniscus not long ago, so we worked with exercises and stretches that involved the leg. She was a sweetie, too. We also purchased some of their arts and crafts--they make such beautiful things! Plus I was glad to purchase something where my money went to the handicapped people themselves. We went to dinner at a big, fancy mall. None of us could decide what we wanted for dinner, so Luis said he would surprise us. He took us to the mall because there are a lot of options. Everyone was shocked that there were really nice areas in San Jose. I mean I knew there were nice areas because the last time I was here we went to a mall--maybe even the same one--and the other tourist hotels by the beach were super luxurious. But everything we have seen so far here has been average Costa Rican areas, or even really poor areas like La Carpio--not the gleaming gems of malls and what not. So, I think they were surprised that there were nice parts, too. Anyway, Rachel and I are just chatting so buenos noches!

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