Sunday, October 3, 2010

Puerto Limon

Local band playing at opening reception of Quilts for the Red Textil: First Encounter of the Ibero American Textile Network at UCR Limon
Teaching in Limon was a warm and rewarding experience.  EdJohnetta, Adriene and I had 9 to 15 students each.  We soon learned the challenges of the tropics that were greatly outweighed by the rewards of its friendly, generous and industrious people.

Adriene's class beginning a project

Fiber magic taking place.

Hermalina, American Corner Librarian taking roll to assure all interested students get a place in one of the classes.
EdJohnetta and her students preparing to learn about greeting cards.

The American Corner in the Thomas Lynch Library hosted the three classes in several spaces in the building.  All of the students enthusiastically approached three different approaches of fiber arts.  My class began with a show and tell of quilts I had brought along with part of my collection of fiber postcards.  As a ice breaker students were introduced to quilt terminology, looked at an assortment of fabrics I brought from the US for their use.  Thereafter they began making fiber postcards.  This initial project insured that each student completed at least one project no matter her speed.  Most were able to make more than one before we started on a larger piece.

Main room of library with Ed's class on the right, quilt samples in the middle and my class on left.
Here I am getting used to being called "Miss Marion".  I'm in age denial.

Many bottles of water and preferably a small towel or handkerchief are essential accessories for teaching in the  tropical environment.  These ladies are sweethearts and eager to learn.  Many wanted to know when we were coming back before we even finished the class.

Mixing it up!
Beginning quilters exploring new ground with needles and thread.  We only had one sewing machine on the first day and received another on the second day.  We accomplished a lot with limited electrical tools.
  Mother, daughter and friends working together.
First fruits of their labors.  One of my translators, Ilvira Stewart is on the left.

These are three of my fastest students. The student wearing the black and white brought we a yummy coconut.

Very nice work especially for a first effort.

 I have more great images but unfortunately Blogger has a glitch with image orientation and any taken in the vertical frame won't upload properly. If this gets fixed I'll add more of the class.
We were excited to find this sewing machine in our favorite restaurant.
UCR Limon Exhibition Gallery

Opening lectures and reception for the exhibit were held Thursday evening.  Both were well attended and received.
Beginning of the lectures.
Opening remarks by university official.

Art team and university representatives.

View of Puerto Limon from the Lighthouse Restaurant.  What a fabulous view.  Can't quite say the same for the food.

Teaching and touring was a 12 hour a day event.  Classes started at 9 a.m. and we finished our day around 10 p.m.  We made new friends,  tried local delicacies at the reception, listened to live music presented by emerging artists of the area and learned about the local issues within the community.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Road to Limon

Our grand adventure continued as we made our road trip to Limon, the Caribbean coastal city where immigrants from Jamaica settled after working on the railroad.  Limon has always been an important port city that is still underdeveloped except for goods entering and leaving the country.  Initially the railroad was important in this endeavor but now trucking plays an important role in commerce.

I was fascinated with the very colorful homes throughout the country.  This one really struck my fancy.  I was told that there are no strict zoning laws in the country so you can see very different types of homes next to each other.

These are homes enroute to Limon.  Color abounds no matter the circumstances.

We are touring through the mountains.  Tunnel Ahead!  Our gracious guides Juan Diego and  Stephen told us how fortunate we were to have such good weather.  It frequently rains in the mountains and in the National Park this time of year.  We observed the lush foliage and longed to take the skytram through the rain forest.  Unfortunately not this trip.

 As could be expected there were rivers everywhere to provide drainage for all the mountains and rain.

Of course no road trip is complete without good company and good food.  As we learned to say Pura Vida!  It was a good life indeed.

Our trusty ride and excellent driver,Stephen.  Costa Rican drivers are aggressive and you have to be  courageous to get on the roads. 

 My yummy chicken, plantain, heart of palm, beans and rice and salad. 
Onward we went as we counted the miles, watched the trucks and the never ending scenery. Our first stop in Limon was the University of Costa Rica, Limon Biblioteca where additional works were to be exhibited.  Students were swimming, sitting outside, enjoying conversation and being typical college students.  As always I was scouting the public art.

Exterior of the UCR Limon Library
Detail of the art

Exterior of a student building      

Artifacts on the UCR Limon campus

Our second stop was the Thomas Lynch Biblioteca where we would teach for two days.  These murals surround the courtyard.

After checking the facility and meeting the staff we would work with for the next two days we headed for our hotel.There's nothing like a Limon traffic jam. Cabs and trucks were moving around each other with dispatch. The trip certainly kept us alert. 

Our first view of the sea as we headed for the Westfalia Hotel our new home for five days.  A pleasant fifteen minute drive from downtown.

These beautiful tire tucans greeted us upon our arrival.  I was lucky enough to get the suite of the facility that looked out sea.   Lucky me.

As always the day ended with a fabulous meal  where we enjoyed delicious food, good conversation and the sound and smell of the sea.