Sunday, May 20, 2012

Day 4: Last Day with the BriBri/Transfer to Manzanillo

Making Chocolate
On our final morning with the BriBri, we visited the communal kitchen to learn how to make traditional BriBri chocolate. We roasted the cacao beans, crushed them to a fine powder, and mixed the contents with condensed milk. We then ate this delicious mix with raw plantains, it was the best thing I have ever tasted. It was so creamy and rich, and we made it! 
After our cooking class, we trekked to the BriBri clinic. We toured the simple building where patients' medical records were stored in a plastic container, the vaccines and medications were stored in a small refrigerator in one of the exam rooms and there were about 4 exam rooms for the whole community. We were told that the doctor came by every Tuesday to examine any member of the community that was experiencing an illness or to monitor any pregnancies among the women of the BriBri. 
We took it upon ourselves to organize their medical supplies and sort them by category for easier access. It was the least we could do after all the hospitality the BriBri had shown us. We sorted all the band-aids, the bandages, the syringes, catheters, gloves, and over-the-counter medications. We also cleaned some of the exam rooms and explored the area outside the clinic. 
The view from outside the clinic was breathtaking! We could see the entire community from the top of the hill, including Panama (which was just on the other side of the river). After our time at the clinic, we made our way back for lunch and to start packing because our time with the BriBri was coming to an end. After a long good-bye and after thanking everyone in the community for being so welcoming and warm, we started our journey to Manzanillo, Costa Rica. 
After another 2 hour canoe ride, a 4 hour bus ride, and a 1 hour stop at a fruit stand (where we had the best fruit ever), we finally arrived to the Manzanillo area of Costa Rica. The Caribbean coast of Costa Rica is incredibly beautiful. The blue water and the green trees made us feel like we were in paradise. Our lodge was gorgeous, with large windows and orchids growing right outside our doors. We had an amazing dinner in the communal dining room and after forcing our tour guide, Carlos to shoo away a bat from our room, we went to sleep early in preparation for our service project the following day. 

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