Costa Rica: Day 2

Day 2

Costa Rica_2

Today, the SHU students got to meet their counterparts (“buddies”) from TEC University. We spent the day at Juan Castro Blanco National Park where we first heard some short lectures (in Spanish and English) about the park and conservation initiatives in Costa Rica and then took a hike through the park. We finished the day with a late lunch at a restaurant in the park. Tomorrow, the students will spend the day with their host families who have planned local activities for them.

So far the weather has been wonderful and the students seem very excited about the food and coffee!

C.U.R.T.I.S Week- Day 4

Day four!  We can’t believe it is almost over.  Today was our last service day 😦

One group went to the Thomas Merton Center, where they helped to clean out cans and other food from the basement and then went to Holy Rosary to help Angie with food packaging.  This group was also fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to go to an exhibition with Angie which displayed photographs from the photographer Ed Brinsko in McLevy Hall.  Brinsko took photographs of Malcom X speaking at University of Bridgeport, and JFK speaking outside the transit station!   The students who went there were mesmerized by the beautiful photography, and learned some great history about Bridgeport!

The other group went to Hall House, where they helped with a Basketball Tournament. They sold tickets and did a little cleaning.  They also learned a little about a girl named Kristin, who died at the age of 15 from a disease that she had since birth.  Despite the challenges that she faced, she lived by the motto love life.  Her parents created an organization in her honor, with the same motto.  This organization helps to promote awareness, hope and funds for children in need.

All in all it was a productive day! At night we were able to hear about what drove SHU to become so service oriented from two retired faculty members, Ralph and Eileen.  It was amazing to hear their stories about service and how the Volunteer Programs and Service and Learning Office got its start.

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Kristin (middle)

C.U.R.T.I.S Week- Day 5

This week has been an amazing experience for all of us.  It has been an incredible week, where we have had the opportunity to meet so many new people both in the SHU and Bridgeport Community.  The members of C.U.R.T.I.S Week will continue to go out into the community and leave their mark.

Even though we had our last day, we will not stop, but instead continue to strive to make the world a better place to live for everyone.  Before we pack our bags and load our vans, to journey back to campus to embark on Spring Semester 2015, we went to Spanish Mass at St. Charles.  We were able to celebrate mass at the parish that we had called home for the past few days.  It was a wonderful experience and definitely a great way to end the week and start the new semester!

This week was only a taste of what we do during the semester.  There are so many great organizations to volunteer with.  If you are interested visit the Volunteer Programs Office in SU 100 to see the weekly volunteer projects!

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C.U.R.T.I.S. Week – Day 3

We are already three days into CURTIS Week. Every morning we wake up at St. Charles Church in Bridgeport, make breakfast then organize ourselves into teams of two to go out into the community. This year’s group is pretty big with 17 students in all. That includes 3 upperclassmen leaders. The leaders drive us to our work sites and help organize us as we volunteer at different locations throughout Bridgeport.

Today, first we went to Caroline house where we sorted and organized the classroom making the learning environment better for the children. image1 (1)We got to meet Jean who runs the Caroline House and she told us some amazing, but sad stories about some of the women who come to the Caroline House. It really helped us understand how fortunate we are and how our work is helping others.

After this, we went to the hall neighborhood house again where we got to play with children, both infants and preschoolers!!! We absolutely loved all the love we got from the children and also getting to talk to the teachers and hear their stories too was one of the greatest experiences.

In the evening SHU’s Father David joined us for dinner to speak about urban issues of the community.  It was a busy day, but we had such a great time! image1 (2)