Joshua Shannon is a graduate of our June/July 2014 TEFL course. He took a great work/exchange teaching position at the Sarapiqui Center for Learning and Conservation. Here is the latest update of his endeavors:
“I currently live and teach in the rural town of Chilamate, located in northeastern Costa Rica. As a volunteer with the Sarapiqui Center for Learning and Conservation, I facilitate an adult English class on Thursdays and a soon-to-begin kids’ class on Saturdays. The community is eager to improve their English as the tourism industry around the lush forest and Sarapiqui River continues to grow. While preparing for lessons and upcoming programs in the library, I enjoy helping students rent books or use the computer lab. Every day, I have the opportunity to cook a healthy lunch with the other volunteers in the outdoor kitchen (which is always accompanied by a natural batido and visitors like local monkeys, toucans or iguanas). The Center is partnered with the Selva Verde Lodge and Rainforest Reserve, a resort tucked away in the jungle and hotspot for tourists and biologists. As a volunteer English teacher, I am invited to enjoy all of its amenities, including a beautiful swimming pool, nature tours and river rafting down the Rio Sarapiqui.
In the neighborhood a short walk away, I live with my Costa Rican mom, dad and brothers. The house is always buzzing with neighbors and a chance for friendly chitchat over coffee or tea is never missed. It seems like I’m always learning something new from my family, whether it be an unknown vegetable from the garden, how to cook Columbian-style arepas or a new word in Spanish. The neighbors have been kind and hospitable in inviting me into their homes where we pass time with stories or teach each other parts of our native languages. I’m looking forward to securing an online teaching position to earn a small income, after which you can surely find me enjoying a drink with my local friends at the bar.
Since moving to Chilamate, I have found the peace that comes from living in a simple, humble manner. Every day, I find solace in discovering the important things in life as the Rio Sarapiqui rushes just outside my window.”